Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Scaled Piculet (Picumnus squamulatus)


French: Picumne squamulé German: Schuppenzwergspecht Spanish: Carpinterito escamoso

Picumnus squamulatus


, 1854,



Race lovejoyi possibly not sufficiently distinct to warrant acceptance. Race obsoletus almost certainly includes form previously known as P. exilis salvini, described from “Bogotá” skins with no type locality. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. roehli J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1944 – N Colombia (Santa Marta Mts S to about Boyacá) and N Venezuela (Zulia E to W Sucre and Monagas).
  • P. s. lovejoyi Phelps, Jr & Aveledo, 1987 – extreme NW Venezuela (NW Zulia).
  • P. s. apurensis Phelps, Jr & Aveledo, 1987 – NC Venezuela in Apure, Guárico and Anzoátegui (R Zuata and R Pariaguán).
  • P. s. obsoletus J. A. Allen, 1892 – extreme NE Venezuela (E Sucre).
  • P. s. squamulatus Lafresnaye, 1854 – NE & C Colombia (Arauca S to Huila and NE Meta).
  • Descriptive notes

    8–9·2 cm; 7–12 g. Male has black forehead to nape, feathers of forecrown narrowly tipped red, those of rest of crown tipped white; whitish lores and thin... read more


    Rather high-pitched squeaky “chi-chi-ch’e’e’chi”, becoming trill-like... read more


    Inhabits gallery forest, forest edge, second growth, and deciduous woodland; also found in open... read more

    Food and feeding

    Small insects. Forages singly or in pairs, in dense scrub, tangled undergrowth and small trees. Investigates thin branches and twigs.


    Birds in breeding condition in Jan and Oct in Colombia; nesting in Apr–Jun and Sept in Venezuela. Displays include wing-spreading and... read more


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. No data on population sizes. Possibly not uncommon, and may perhaps be overlooked owing to inconspicuous behaviour. Occurs in Henri Pittier and Cueva... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Scaled Piculet (Picumnus squamulatus). 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).