Antigua, Panay, Philippines.
This species, along with P. temminckii, P. kizuki, P. ramsayi, P. canicapillus, P. nanus and P. moluccensis, was previously placed in Dendrocopos, but molecular studies indicate that they all form a separate clade of very small species, evidently sister to the P. tridactylus clade#R#R; all seven have been combined in Yungipicus by some authors. Closely related to P. temminckii, although one molecular study (in which temminckii not sampled)#R suggested possible sister relationship with P. canicapillus. Usually considered conspecific with P. ramsayi, but fairly recently separated on characters of latter’s nearest-neighbour P. m. fulvifasciatus that can be scored against P. ramsayi as follows: brownish-black vs mid-brown general coloration (2); presence of white spotting on wings and coverts (3); black-spotted breast on yellowish-cream background, with narrow white-spotted black malar vs soft grey-and-buff streaks below, including broad mid-brown malar, with ill-defined yellow breastband (3); small red nape-side patches vs full orange-red nape on male (ns). Other named races are menagei (Sibuyan), leytensis (Samar, Calicoan, Leyte, Bohol) and apo (Mt Apo, on Mindanao), all considered insufficiently distinct. Three subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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