Neotropical Birds logo
Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Fine-barred Piculet Picumnus subtilis

Thomas S. Schulenberg and Guy M. Kirwan
Version: 1.0 — Published May 4, 2012


Geographic Variation



Related Species

Picumnus subtilis first was collected in 1913 (Schifter 2000), but specimens were misidentified as Picumnus castelnau (Plain-breasted Piculet), until Stager (1968) recognized the distinctions from castelnau and described subtilis as a new species. The species takes the name subtilis in recognition of "the subtle yet distinct differences" from castelnau (Stager 1968: 3).

The affinities of subtilis are not known. This species usually is placed next to castelnau in linear classifications (e.g., Winkler et al. 1995, Winkler and Christie 2002, implying a close relationship. Stager (1968) suggested, however, that subtilis may be more closely related to the "spot-crowned piculets" than to castelnau. On the other hand, one specimen from the upper Río Ucayali that was identified by Stager (1968) as a male subtilis was believed by Short (1982: 93) to be a hybrid between the two ("if not an aberrant castelnau"). There are other specimens of undoubted subtilis from this site (Santa Rosa), although no specimens of undoubted castelnau have been collected there.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. and G. M. Kirwan (2012). Fine-barred Piculet (Picumnus subtilis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.fibpic1.01