Previously placed in Picoides. Molecular analyses, however, indicate that this species belongs in present genus and is part of a clade which contains also V. spilogaster and V. mixtus#R. Genetically close to latter#R#R and may be conspecific, but see that species. Birds of isolated N population slightly smaller than those of Patagonia, with other morphological, plumage and genetic differences, probably representing a separate taxon, for which name puncticeps is available; further study in progress. Monotypic.
WC & S Bolivia (from La Paz, Cochabamba, Santa Cruz) S to N Argentina (Salta); Andean foothills and lowlands in C & S Chile (Bío-Bío to Magallanes) and SW Argentina (Neuquén to Santa Cruz).
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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