J. F. Gmelin, 1788,
in Gujanae = “Cayenne”.
Sister to D. kienerii. Assessment of geographical variation complicated by marked individual variation, at least in some populations. Races fall into two groups, “picirostris group” in Panama and N & NW South America and “picus group” in Amazonia and E South America; these groups are treated as separate species by some authors, but not by others because of apparent hybrids from lower R Orinoco region of Venezuela. Vocally the two groups are very similar, analysis of songs (both recordings and sonograms) having revealed no obvious differences between them: “picirostris group” may have a descending series with, on average, fewer notes than song of “picus group”, and latter seems to show more variation in number of notes, even within the same race, with examples which are hardly different from, if not identical to, those of “picirostris group”; only series with very high number of notes could perhaps be safely attributed to “picus group”. Race deltanus possibly merits elevation to species rank#R. Races similar within each group; choicus poorly differentiated from picirostris. Purported races bahiae (NE Brazil) and rufescens (NC Brazil) described on basis of average differences from nominate, but individual variation so marked that neither is reliably diagnosable. Proposed race borreroi from S Colombia (E base of Andes in Caquetá) apparently not distinguishable from peruvianus, which itself may be indistinguishable from saturatior. Thirteen subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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