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Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Cladus: Craniata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Euornithes
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Ornithurae
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Ordo: Piciformes

Familia: Picidae
Subfamilia: Picinae
Genus: Dendropicos
Species: D. abyssinicus - D. elachus - D. elliotii - D. fuscescens - D. gabonensis - D. goertae - D. griseocephalus - D. lugubris - D. obsoletus - D. poecilolaemus - D. spodocephalus - D. stierlingi

Dendropicos Malherbe, 1849

Memoires. l'Académie royale de Metz 30 p.316,338

Dendropicos is a genus of woodpeckers in the family Picidae. They are small woodpeckers that are native to the sub-Saharan woodlands and forests.[1]

The genus Dendropicos was introduced by the French ornithologist Alfred Malherbe in 1849.[2] The type species was subsequently designated as one of the subspecies of the cardinal woodpecker.[3][4] The word Dendropicos is from the Greek dendron meaning tree and pikos for woodpecker.[5] Molecular genetic studies have shown that the genus Dendropicos is sister to the genus Chloropicus.[6]

The genus Dendropicos formerly contained several additional species. A 2015 molecular phylogenetic study that analysed nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequences from pied woodpeckers found that Dendropicos was polyphyletic. In the rearranged genera the bearded, fire-bellied and yellow breasted woodpeckers were moved to Chloropicus while the Arabian woodpecker was moved to Dendrocoptes.[7][8] The taxonomic committee of the British Ornithologists' Union have recommended an alternative arrangement of species in which the genera Dendrocoptes and Leiopicus are combined into a larger Dendropicos.[9]

Elliot's, African grey, eastern grey and olive woodpecker are sometimes placed in a separate genus, Mesopicos.[1]

The genus contains the following 12 species:[8]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
Dendropicus minutus - 1700-1880 - Print - Iconographia Zoologica - Special Collections University of Amsterdam - UBA01 IZ18700187 (cropped).tif Little grey woodpecker Dendropicos elachus Cameroon, Chad, Gambia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, and Sudan
Die Vögel Afrikas (6425133621), Dendropicos poecilolaemus.jpg Speckle-breasted woodpecker Dendropicos poecilolaemus Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Sudan, and Uganda.
Abyssinian Woodpecker, crop.jpg Abyssinian woodpecker Dendropicos abyssinicus Eritrea and Ethiopia
Cardinal Woodpecker - MALE, Dendropicos fuscescens at Pilanesberg National Park, Northwest Province, South Africa (15091608612).jpg Cardinal woodpecker Dendropicos fuscescens Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Dendropicos gabonensis Keulemans.jpg Gabon woodpecker Dendropicos gabonensis Southern Nigeria to south-western Cameroon
Gabon Woodpecker - Ghana S4E2409 (16224282519).jpg Melancholy woodpecker Dendropicos lugubris Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone and Togo
Die Vögel Afrikas (6425133621), Dendropicos stierlingi.jpg Stierling's woodpecker Dendropicos stierlingi southern Tanzania, southwestern Malawi and northern Mozambique
Elliot's woodpecker Dendropicos elliotii Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda
Grey Woodpecker ...Gambia (33190095995), crop.jpg African grey woodpecker Dendropicos goertae Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda
Gray Woodpecker - KenyaNH8O2206, crop.jpg Eastern grey woodpecker Dendropicos spodocephalus Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Tanzania
Olive Woodpecker - South Africa, crop.jpg Olive woodpecker Dendropicos griseocephalus Angola, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Brown-backed Woodpecker - Gambia (31838114303), crop.jpg Brown-backed woodpecker Dendropicos obsoletus Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, and Uganda


Only males have red plumage in the crown, and some species have red plumage on the rump or belly in either sex.[1]

Gorman, Gerard (2014). Woodpeckers of the World: The Complete Guide (Helm Photographic Guides). London: Bloomsbury. p. 165. ISBN 978-1408147153.
Malherbe, Alfred (1849). "Nouvelle classification des picinée ou pics". Mémoires de l'Académie nationale de Metz (in French). 30: 316, 338.
Sclater, William Lutley (1921). "Genus Dendropicos". Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. 42: 25.
Dickinson, E.C.; Remsen, J.V., Jr., eds. (2013). The Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. Volume 1: Non-passerines (4th ed.). Eastbourne, UK: Aves Press. p. 312. ISBN 978-0-9568611-0-8.
Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
Shakya, S.B.; Fuchs, J.; Pons, J.-M.; Sheldon, F.H. (2017). "Tapping the woodpecker tree for evolutionary insight". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 116: 182–191. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2017.09.005. PMID 28890006.
Fuchs, J.; Pons, J.M. (2015). "A new classification of the pied woodpeckers assemblage (Dendropicini, Picidae) based on a comprehensive multi-locus phylogeny". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 88: 28–37. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2015.03.016. PMID 25818851.
Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Woodpeckers". World Bird List Version 6.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 May 2016.
Sangster, G.; et al. (2016). "Taxonomic recommendations for Western Palearctic birds: 11th report". Ibis. 158 (1): 206–212. doi:10.1111/ibi.12322. open access

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