Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)


White-bellied Piculet (Picumnus spilogaster)


French: Picumne à ventre blanc German: Weißbauch-Zwergspecht Spanish: Carpinterito ventriblanco

Picumnus spilogaster


, 1866,

the Guianas


Sometimes considered to include P. nigropunctatus, but the two differ vocally. Race pallidus sometimes considered a separate species, or treated as race of P. minutissimus, but appears very close morphologically to other forms of present species. Previously listed form P. leucogaster (described from R Cauamé, Roraima, N Brazil) is synonym of nominate spilogaster, showing complete gradation towards typical spilogaster; possibly represents a link between nominate and orinocensis, exhibiting some intermediate features. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. orinocensis J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1950 – C Venezuela from SE Apure E along R Meta and R Orinoco to Delta Amacuro.
  • P. s. spilogaster Sundevall, 1866 – N Guyana and N Brazil (Roraima).
  • P. s. pallidus E. Snethlage, 1924 – NE Brazil in E Pará (Belém area).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 9 cm; 13–14 g. Male has top of head black, crown with broad red feather tips forming fairly solid patch, hindcrown to nape spotted white; buffish lores, dark brown... read more


    Song a high-pitched thin trill c. 3 seconds long, c. 25–35 notes on slightly descending scale. read more


    Inhabits rainforest, gallery forest and deciduous forest, clearings, forest edge, and also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet unrecorded. Observed singly and in pairs, but no documented information on foraging behaviour.


    Probably Sept–Nov. No information on nest or breeding biology.


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Poorly known, and no data available on ­numbers. No definite records for Suriname or French Guiana, making range smaller than previously thought. Uncommon in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). White-bellied Piculet (Picumnus spilogaster). 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 25 February 2020).