Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Lineated Woodpecker (Hylatomus lineatus)


French: Pic ouentou German: Linienspecht Spanish: Picamaderos listado

Picus lineatus


, 1766,



Closely related to H. pileatus and H. schulzii; interbreeds with latter. Hitherto considered conspecific with H. fuscipennis, but differs in its glossy black vs dark brown plumage (3); clear-cut black rather than blurry brown bars on belly (2); larger size (strongest difference in tail, with effect size 4.6, score 2). Large degree of individual variation exists among all populations. Race erythrops, previously regarded as a separate species, is perhaps only a variable morph. Additional described races are obsoletus (Sonora), petersi (Tamaulipas), mesorhynchus (Costa Rica), nuperus (Santa Marta, in N Colombia), improcerus (Bahia, in E Brazil) and fulcitus (Chaco, in Argentina), all considered insufficiently differentiated to be accepted. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. l. scapularis (Vigors, 1829) – W Mexico (S from Sonora).
  • H. l. similis (Lesson, 1847) – E & S Mexico S to NW Costa Rica.
  • H. l. lineatus (Linnaeus, 1766) – E & S Costa Rica to W Colombia and E to Trinidad, the Guianas and NE & E Brazil (Maranhão, Bahia), S to E Peru, N & E Bolivia, N Paraguay and São Paulo.
  • H. l. erythrops (Valenciennes, 1826) – E Paraguay, N & NE Argentina (E Salta, Misiones, Corrientes) and SE Brazil (Espírito Santo and São Paulo S to Rio Grande do Sul).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 30–36 cm; male 204–217 g, female 186–213 g (lineatus), 150–164 g (similis), male 182–264 g (erythrops). Male has... read more


    Call note a loud sharp “pik”; rattle as “kip-whurrr”, “pik-urrr-r-r... read more


    Humid, transitional and moderately dry areas; generally avoids xerophytic areas or marshes, but... read more

    Food and feeding

    Known to consume beetles and their wood-boring larvae, ants (Crematogaster, Camponotus, Azteca) and their brood... read more


    Mar–Apr in Panama, Apr–May in Belize, and Feb–Apr in Trinidad and Suriname; birds in breeding condition in Jan–Feb... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common, and widespread, throughout most of its very large range; uncommon to fairly common in Ecuador and Peru.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Lineated Woodpecker (Hylatomus lineatus). 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 16 December 2019).