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Xiphidiopicus percussus

Xiphidiopicus percussus (*)

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: Xiphidiopicus
Species: Xiphidiopicus percussus
Subspecies: X. p. cocoensis - X. p. gloriae - X. p. insulaepinorum - X. p. marthae - X. p. monticola - X. p. percussus

Xiphidiopicus percussus (Temminck, 1826)

Nouveau recueil de planches coloriées d'oiseaux livr.66 pl.390,424
Vernacular names
čeština: datel kubánský
dansk: Cubagrønspætte
Deutsch: Blutfleckspecht
English: Cuban Green Woodpecker
español: Carpintero Tajá
eesti: viherrähn
suomi: kuubanvihertikka
français: Pic poignardé
italiano: Picchio verde di Cuba
日本語: キュアバアオゲラ, kyu-baaogera
Nederlands: Cubaanse Groene Specht
norsk: Kubaspett
polski: oskomik zielony
português: Pica-pau-verde-cubano
русский: Кубинский зелёный дятел
slovenčina: tesárik zelený
svenska: Kubansk grönspett
中文: 古巴绿啄木鸟

The Cuban green woodpecker (Xiphidiopicus percussus) is a species of woodpecker in the family Picidae and tribe Melanerpini, known locally as Carpintero Verde.[2] It is the only species within the genus Xiphidiopicus[3] and is one of two woodpeckers endemic to Cuba. It is the most widespread and common woodpecker in Cuba, inhabiting primarily woodlands, as well as dry and wet forests, pine forests and mangroves.[4][5][6] The population of the Cuban green woodpecker is stable and it's status is listed as "Least Concern".[5]

1 Appearance
2 Taxonomy
2.1 Subspecies
3 Habitat and Distribution
4 Behavior
4.1 Vocalizations
4.1.1 Calls and Songs
4.1.2 Diet
4.2 Reproduction
4.2.1 Courtship
4.2.2 Breeding Season, Nesting and Hatching
5 References
6 External links

A male X.p percussus gripping a tree

A medium-sized and colorful bird, the Cuban green woodpecker is similar to a sapsucker in general shape and size.[5][7] Featuring olive green overparts and yellow, streaked underparts, the Cuban green woodpecker usually appears crested, and features a bright red upper breast, as well as a black chin contrasting a white face and supercilium. In males, a red crown is present, while females possess black crowns with white stripes.[4][5][7] [8] The area around the cloaca, or the crissum, is yellow with black barring.[5][9]

Its beak is short and straight with a progressively darkening coloration, from dark blue to black from base to tip dark blue to black coloration.[4][10][8] [11]They have been shown to have brown irises and grayish green tarsi and toes [11]

Cuban green woodpeckers show slight sexually dimorphic qualities; females have shorter bills and are generally significantly smaller than their male counterparts. Juveniles will show more barring and streaking on their breasts and lack the depth of color adults have in their plumage.

They typically measure between 21 to 25 cm (8.3 to 9.8 in) in length and weigh approximately 48 to 97 g (1.7 to 3.4 oz).[4][5][11]
Underparts of a male Xiphidiopicus percussus

The Cuban green woodpecker as a species is unique in both genetics and appearance.[12] Historically, it was presumed that the Cuban green woodpecker (Xiphidiopicus percussus), and the Hispaniolan woodpecker (Melanerpes striatus) were sister taxons and there was speculation that it had relationships to the genera Sphyrapicus and Melanerpes. According to research done in 2006, "X. percussus is the sister taxon to the Melanerpes woodpeckers, which appear to group into a single distinct clade." [12] It was also found that Xiphidiopicus percussus is not the sister taxon to M. striatus and that the genus Sphyrapicus diverged earlier than Xiphidiopicus, which diverged during the late Miocene-early Pliocene, and originated in Central America or North America.[12]

In terms of appearance, no other Cuban species of woodpecker unmarked green upperparts. The Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius) is similar in coloration and also has a facial pattern that is reminiscent to that of Cuban Green Woodpecker, however the sapsucker's upperparts are white and black and has a broad black band across its breast.

The species can be divided into the following subspecies, with only two being formerly recognized [5]:

X.p. insulaepinorum - found in the Cantiles Keys and Archipiélago Jardines de la Reina (Cayo Caballones). [13]
X.p. percussus - found on the archipelagos of Sabana and Camagüey[14]
X.p. cocoensis
X.p. gloriae
X.p. marthae
X.p. monticola

X.percussus adult plumage
Habitat and Distribution
Pair of X. percussus perching on branches

To Cuban green woodpecker is only found in Cuba, but is extremely common on the island. Its natural habitats are wet and dry forests, mangroves, open woodland with palms, and pine forests, lowland moist forests, and heavily degraded former forest.[4][5][15]

The Cuban Green Woodpecker is found most frequently in pairs, and less frequently in small groups. [4][5] It is able to remain completely still for long periods and will forage for dead insects on dead limbs at any height within its habitat. [5] They are very territorial, especially during breeding season, and use active vocalization, utilizing both drumming and vocal signals, and active pursuit, pursuing threats while flicking their wings, in order deter intruders in their nests, which is usually the West Indian Woodpecker (Melanerpes superciliaris). [4][5]

Similarly to all other woodpeckers, its flight is undulating.[4]
Calls and Songs

The Cuban Green Woodpecker’s call is a short, harsh "jhhhorr, jhhhorr, jhhhorr," as well as a higher pitched "yeh-yeh-yeh." [4][5] The call is usually single noted with double notes occasionally being uttered.

It may sometimes produce a slurred, two-note call “ta-ha”, which is similar to the Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius)'s call. It will use its call mostly while protecting nest and chicks from intruder.[5][8][14]
Cordia Sebestena

The Cuban Green Woodpecker's is primarily an insectivore, focusing on large insects, but will also consume fruits and small frogs occasionally.[5][4][8][13] It has also been documented taking eggs of other birds such as herons nesting in mangroves.[4][5] It will also feed on flower nectar, especially Cordia Sebestena.[16][5] While perching itself on the plant or on a nearby branch to reach the flowers, it will insert its bill into the floral tube to drink the nectar for a few seconds, by doing so its bill will come into contact with anthers and stigma inside the floral tube, making the bird then act as a pollinator.[16]
A male excavating a nest from an arboreal termite nest

Males and females utilize different ways to exploit food sources, as the male is larger than the female.[4]

There is very little known about the courtship of the Cuban green woodpecker. Usually, woodpeckers perform flutter-aerial-display including a gliding flight with wings held well above the back, accompanied by calls.[4][17] Courtship feeding by male to female most likely occurs as well.[4] They are probably monogamous.[4]
Breeding Season, Nesting and Hatching

Cuban green woodpeckers will nest in the cavities of tree, alive or dead, often 4-5 metres above the ground.[5][4] The male will usually do most of the excavation for the nest-hole, and will endure the nesting duties with a relatively high contribution.[4] The breeding season takes place between February and August, with peak in May-June, probably associated with rains.[18][5] [4] The female will lay 3-4 white eggs and both adults share the incubation, which is presumed to be between 9 to 14 days, however more information is currently lacking, and feed the chicks, with the females feeding the nestlings at a higher rate.[4] [18] [5] The chicks are hatched completely naked and stay in the nest for about 3-4 weeks.[18] They are sexually mature in the first year of life.[18]


BirdLife International (2016). "Xiphidiopicus percussus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22680880A92884382. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22680880A92884382.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
"Birds of Cuba – An Internet Field Guide to Rare Cuban Birds". Retrieved 2021-11-16.
Shakya, Subir B.; Fuchs, Jérôme; Pons, Jean-Marc; Sheldon, Frederick H. (2017-11). "Tapping the woodpecker tree for evolutionary insight". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 116: 182–191. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2017.09.005. Check date values in: |date= (help)
"Cuban Green Woodpecker". Retrieved 2021-11-09.
Farnsworth, Andrew (2020-03-04). "Cuban Green Woodpecker (Xiphidiopicus percussus)". Birds of the World.
"Xiphidiopicus percussus (Cuban Green Woodpecker) - Avibase". Retrieved 2021-11-16.
"Xiphidiopicus percussus (Cuban Green Woodpecker) - Avibase". Retrieved 2021-11-16.
Handbook of the birds of the world. Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott, Jordi Sargatal, José. Cabot. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ©1992-©2013. ISBN 84-87334-10-5. OCLC 861071869. Check date values in: |date= (help)
Voss, Margaret A. (2012-06). "Ornithological Literature". The Wilson Journal of Ornithology. 124 (2): 420–427. doi:10.1676/1559-4491-124.2.420. ISSN 1559-4491. Check date values in: |date= (help)
Birds of the West Indies. Herbert A. Raffaele, Tracy Pedersen, Kristin Williams. London: C. Helm. 1998. ISBN 0-7136-4905-4. OCLC 44579236.
Koenig, Walter D. (1996-07). "Woodpeckers: An Identification Guide to the Woodpeckers of the World Hans Winkler David A. Christie David Nurney". The Auk. 113 (3): 726–727. doi:10.2307/4089007. ISSN 0004-8038. Check date values in: |date= (help)
Overton, Lowell C.; Rhoads, Douglas D. (2006-11). "Molecular phylogenetic relationships of Xiphidiopicus percussus, Melanerpes, and Sphyrapicus (Aves: Picidae) based on cytochrome b sequence". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 41 (2): 288–294. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.05.014. ISSN 1055-7903. Check date values in: |date= (help)
"Bangs and Zappey's 'Birds of the Isle of Pines' Birds of the Isle of Pines Outram Bangs". The Auk. 22 (3): 329–329. 1905-07. doi:10.2307/4070184. ISSN 0004-8038. Check date values in: |date= (help)
Rodríguez-Cabrera, Tomás M. (2017-08-01). "Predation by a Cuban Racer, Cubophis cantherigerus pepei (Squamata: Dipsadidae) on an endemic Cuban Green Woodpecker, Xiphidiopicus percussus percussus (Piciformes: Picidae)". Reptiles & Amphibians. 24 (2): 120–123. doi:10.17161/randa.v24i2.14164. ISSN 2332-4961.
Nuttall Ornithological Club.; Club, Nuttall Ornithological (1943). Memoirs of the Nuttall Ornithological Club. Cambridge, Mass. :: The Club,.
Dalsgaard, B. (2011). Nectar-feeding and pollination by the Cuban Green Woodpecker (Xiphidiopicus percussus) in the West Indies. Ornitología Neotropical, 22, 447-451.
KELLAM, JAMES S. (2003-06). "PAIR BOND MAINTENANCE IN PILEATED WOODPECKERS AT ROOST SITES DURING AUTUMN". The Wilson Bulletin. 115 (2): 186–192. doi:10.1676/02-098. ISSN 0043-5643. Check date values in: |date= (help)
Kirkconnell, A. (2000). Variación morfológica del Carpintero Verde Xiphidiopicus percussus en Cuba. Cotinga. 14: 94–98.

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