Sometimes (with C. melanochloros) placed in a separate genus Chrysoptilus with the other “forest flickers” C. punctigula and C. atricollis, but phylogenetic analyses indicate that placement in Colaptes more appropriate#R. Present species usually considered conspecific with C. melanochloros, but differs in its somewhat larger size, with notably longer bill, although there appears to be a large area of intergradation and variability in Corrientes (NE Argentina) (for bill at least 1); black at distal end of submoustachial stripe (2); underparts paler, stonier, with heart-shaped and larger (vs circular or spade-shaped and smaller) spots below, becoming more distinctly barred on flanks and lower belly, and with coarser streaking on chin and throat (2); reduced barring on outer tail (ns[1–2]); narrower, stonier vs broader, yellow barring above with whitish vs yellowish rump (2); partly terrestrial vs largely arboreal behaviour (2); hybrid zone along R Paraná and R Uruguay (2). Additional named races patagonicus (WC Argentina) and perplexus (E Argentina) considered insufficiently differentiated to warrant recognition. Three subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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