Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus)


French: Pic à huppe jaune German: Gelbhaubenspecht Spanish: Pito crestigualdo

Picus chlorolophus


, 1818,

Bengal, India


Closely related to P. puniceus, which is separated altitudinally in small area of range overlap. Subspecies chlorigaster and wellsi considered possibly to constitute a separate species on grounds of morphological and vocal differences#R, but further study needed. Considerable variation, both individual and geographical, and races also intergrade; proposed races chlorolophoides (N Thailand), laotianus (Laos) and krempfi (Cochinchina, in S Vietnam) are sometimes recognized. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. simlae R. Meinertzhagen, 1924 – NE Pakistan and N India (Himachal Pradesh) E to W Nepal#R.
  • P. c. chlorolophus Vieillot, 1818 – Himalayan Yellownape – E Nepal E to Myanmar and N Vietnam.
  • P. c. annamensis R. Meinertzhagen, 1924 – SE Thailand to S Vietnam.
  • P. c. chlorigaster Jerdon, 1845 – Indian Yellownape – peninsular India.
  • P. c. wellsi R. Meinertzhagen, 1924 – Sri Lanka.
  • P. c. citrinocristatus (Rickett, 1901) – Chinese Yellownape – N Vietnam (Tonkin) E, discontinuously, to SE China (Fujian).
  • P. c. longipennis (E. J. O. Hartert, 1910) – Hainan I.
  • P. c. rodgeri (E. J. O. Hartert & Butler, 1898) – Malayan Yellownape – highlands of Peninsular Malaysia.
  • P. c. vanheysti (Robinson & Kloss, 1919) – Sumatran highlands.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–28 cm; 57–74 g (chlori­gaster), 74–83 g (simlae). Male has green ­forehead and crown bordered with red feather tips, golden-... read more


    Loud, mournful, “pée-a” or “péee-ui”, also short “chak... read more


    Evergreen forest and moist deciduous forest, dry forest, woodland, bamboo, scrub, plantations, and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Ants, including Crematogaster, also beetles and their larvae (including dung beetles); other insect larvae. Also takes berries and... read more


    Feb–Jul, mainly Mar–May. Crest-raising in display. Nest excavated by both sexes in (partly) dead trunk or branch, at 1·5... read more


    Resident. Possible dispersal; recorded as rare vagrant in NE Pakistan.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common, or locally common, throughout most of range; common in SE Asia; uncommon in China. Occurs in numerous protected areas in all... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Lesser Yellownape (Picus chlorolophus). 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 7 December 2019).