Silesia, south Poland.
No very close relatives within genus (except D. owstoni); has hybridized rarely with D. major, and probably closest to that species-group (comprising D. major, D. assimilis, D. syriacus, D. leucopterus and D. himalayensis, probably also D. darjellensis#R); similarity to Leiopicus medius may suggest relatedness, but this not borne out by available genetic data#R. Subspecific differentiation largely a result of vast range that includes many isolated and island populations, some of which are distinctive and one, owstoni, here accorded status of full species, differing from morphologically and geographically closest form (D. l. namiyei) in its larger overall size, expressed by longer bill and wings (bill 40.5 vs 35.5, wing 158.5 vs 147, but n=2 for namiyei#R; allow 2), much less white in wings and tail (2), buffier face, chin and throat (1), black (vs black-and-buffy-white-streaked) lower breast sides and flanks, forming a more complete or complete breastband (3), paler (flame-scarlet vs crimson) crown of male (ns), and dull flame-red vs pinkish belly and vent (ns); SW race lilfordi possibly also a distinct species, separated by altitude and ecology from parapatric nominate race (though altitudinal preferences of the two sometimes reversed#R), but hybridizing rarely in some overlap areas (e.g. Serbia). Races uralensis and quelpartensis tentatively accepted here, but perhaps not safely separable from, respectively, nominate and namiyei. Other described races are voznesenskii (E Siberia and Kamchatka), saghalinensis (Sakhalin), ussuriensis (Ussuriland and NE China) and sinicus (Korea), all considered inadequately differentiated or representing intergrades. Eleven subspecies recognized.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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