Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Lita Woodpecker (Piculus litae)


French: Pic de Lita German: Litaspecht Spanish: Carpintero de Lita

Chloronerpes litæ


, 1901,

Lita, Ecuador


Usually thought to be closely related to P. simplex, P. callopterus and P. leucolaemus, and all four often treated as conspecific. Alternatively, present species frequently lumped with P. leucolaemus alone, but differs significantly in plumage details; possibly not even closely related. On the other hand, in some aspects of plumage litae resembles P. flavigula as much as it does P. leucolaemus, and some specimens of litae from SW Colombia were initially misidentified as P. flavigula. Monotypic.


W Colombia (Pacific slope of N Andes, middle Magdalena Valley) S to NW Ecuador (S to NW Pichincha).

Descriptive notes

c. 17–18 cm. Male has red forehead to hindneck, golden-yellow lores to ear-coverts and neck side, broad red malar with thin olive-yellow stripe below; dusky olive chin... read more


Hissing “shreeyr” or “peessh”, very like that of P. leucolaemus... read more


Humid and wet forest, also forest edges and mature second growth; in lowlands and foothills, to c.... read more

Food and feeding

No details of diet; presumably insects and larvae. Forages singly, occasionally in pairs, in subcanopy and middle levels of forest.


Very little information. Single observation, in Aug, of male excavating two holes 8 m and 10 m up large dead tree, with female in... read more


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Chocó EBA. Uncommon to locally common. Occurs in El Pangán Reserve (Colombia). Very poorly known; easily... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Lita Woodpecker (Piculus litae). 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 14 December 2019).