Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Lafresnaye's Piculet (Picumnus lafresnayi)


French: Picumne de Lafresnaye German: Lafresnayezwergspecht Spanish: Carpinterito de Lafresnaye

Picumnus Lafresnayi


, 1862,



Closely related to P. pumilus (which see) and has been thought conspecific; formerly considered conspecific with P. aurifrons, but may be closer to P. exilis. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. l. lafresnayi Malherbe, 1862 – SE Colombia, E Ecuador and N Peru (S to San Martín).
  • P. l. punctifrons Taczanowski, 1886 – N Peru (SE Amazonas).
  • P. l. taczanowskii Domaniewski, 1925 – NE & NC Peru (Huánuco to N Ayacucho).
  • P. l. pusillus Pinto, 1936 – NC Brazil on middle R Amazon E to R Negro.
  • Descriptive notes

    9–10 cm; 9–10 g. Male has dark olive-brown cap with red forecrown spots, whitish spots on rest of crown and nape; pale buff lores, whitish feather edges forming... read more


    Largely silent, but occasional high-pitched “tseeyt, tsit”.


    Inhabits heavily forested, very humid country, preferring secondary growth, forest edges and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Termites; presumably also other small invertebrates. Forages in lower and middle strata. Gleaning is the only feeding technique recorded.... read more


    Few records available suggest nesting in Jul–Nov. One nest was in hole c. 3 m up in a shrub, and contained 2 eggs; both sexes care... read more


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common in Ecuador; regularly recorded on Baeza-Tena and Loreto roads. Considered rare in Peru.

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Lafresnaye's Piculet (Picumnus lafresnayi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2019).