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Version 1.0

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Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus

I. S. Malekan
Version: 1.0 — Published February 4, 2011


Geographic Variation

Five subspecies of Dryocopus lineatus are recognized (Short 1982, Winkler et al. 1995):

D. l. scapularis (Vigors, 1829) - western Mexico (Sonora south to Guerrero). The white stripe on the sides of the face is reduced or lacking; also smaller than similis and nominate lineatus. Bill pale, pale horn, dull white, or bluish white.

D. l. similis (Lesson, 1847) - Eastern and southern Mexico south to northwestern Costa Rica. Bill pale, pale horn, dull white, or bluish white. Underparts buffy.

D. l. lineatus (Linnaeus, 1766) - Eastern and southern Costa Rica south to western Colombia and east to Trinidad, the Guianas and northeastern and eastern Brazil (Maranhão, Bahia), and south to eastern Peru, northern Paraguay and south central Brazil (São Paulo). Bill dark. See Detailed description.

D. l. fuscipennis (P. L. Sclater, 1860) - western Ecuador and northwestern Peru. Bill dark. Smaller than nominate lineatus. Plumage browner, less black.

D. l. erythrops (Valenciennes, 1826) - eastern Paraguay, northern and northeastern Argentina (eastern Salta, Misiones, Corrientes) and southeastern Brazil (Espírito Santo and São Paulo south to Rio Grande do Sul). Bill dark. White scapular lines often reduced; generally the scapular lines are absent in southern populations, but the "proportion of individuals with scapular lines increases towards range of nominate lineatus" (Winkler et al. 1995). Note, however, that "there are [only] a few cases of intermediacy in the scapular mark ... generally it is present fully or is absent" (Short 1982).



Dryocopus lineatus [lineatus Group]


Dryocopus lineatus fuscipennis

Related Species

Lineated Woodpecker forms a superspecies with Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) of North America and with Black-bodied Woodpecker (Dryocopus schulzi) of south central South America; has hybridized with schulzi (Short 1982). Phylogenetic analysis of DNA sequence data indicate that Dryocopus is monophyletic and that D. lineatus is separated from D. pileatus by 6.6% (ND2 uncorrected p-distance) sequence divergence (Benz et al. 2006).

Recommended Citation

Malekan, I. S. (2011). Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.linwoo1.01