Dendrocopos is a widespread genus of woodpeckers from Asia and Europe and Northern Africa. The species range from the Philippines to the British Isles.

Dendrocopos leucotos 2.jpg
White-backed woodpecker (Dendrocopos leucotos)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Tribe: Melanerpini
Genus: Dendrocopos
Koch, 1816

See text


The genus was introduced by the German naturalist Carl Ludwig Koch in 1816.[1] The name Dendrocopus combines the Greek words dendron meaning "tree" and kopos meaning "striking".[2] The type species was designated as the great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) by the Scottish ornithologist Edward Hargitt in 1890 in his catalogue of woodpeckers in the collection of the British Museum.[3][4]

The genus Dendrocopos at one time contained around 25 species. A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the pied woodpeckers published in 2015 found that Dendrocopos was polyphyletic. In the rearranged genera the number of species in Dendrocopos was reduced to 12 as listed below.[5][6]


Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
  Dendrocopos hyperythrus Rufous-bellied woodpecker Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, ranging across Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Hong Kong, India, North Korea, South Korea, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam
  Dendrocopos macei Fulvous-breasted woodpecker Bangladesh, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Myanmar
  Dendrocopos analis Freckle-breasted woodpecker Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  Dendrocopos atratus Stripe-breasted woodpecker India to Vietnam and the province of Yunnan in southwestern China
  Dendrocopos darjellensis Darjeeling woodpecker Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal and Tibet
  Dendrocopos himalayensis Himalayan woodpecker Afghanistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan and Pakistan.
Dendrocopos assimilis Sind woodpecker India, Iran, and Pakistan
  Dendrocopos syriacus Syrian woodpecker southeastern Europe east to Iran
  Dendrocopos leucopterus White-winged woodpecker Afghanistan, China, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
  Dendrocopos major Great spotted woodpecker British Isles to Japan, and in North Africa from Morocco to Tunisia
Dendrocopos noguchii Okinawa woodpecker Okinawa in Japan
  Dendrocopos leucotos White-backed woodpecker Eastern Europe across the Palearctic to Japan


  1. ^ Koch, C.L. (1816). System der baierischen Zoologie (in German). Volume 1. Nürnberg: Stein. pp. xxvii, 72.
  2. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  3. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1948). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 6. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 180.
  4. ^ Hargitt, E. (1890). Volume 18: Catalogue of the Picariae in the collection of the British Museum. Catalogue of Birds in the British Museum. London: British Museum. p. 201.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Woodpeckers". World Bird List Version 6.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 May 2016.

Further readingEdit