Iberian green woodpecker

The Iberian green woodpecker (Picus sharpei) is a medium-sized woodpecker endemic to the Iberian peninsula. It was formerly considered as a subspecies of the European green woodpecker but differs in having little black on the head and a dusky rather than a black ring around each eye.

Iberian green woodpecker
Picus viridis sharpei 033.jpg
Picus viridis sharpei 080.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Picus
P. sharpei
Binomial name
Picus sharpei
(Saunders, 1872)
Picus sharpei. Distribucion.png
  • Picus viridis sharpei
  • Gecinus sharpei


The Iberian green woodpecker was described by Howard Saunders in 1872 and given the binomial name Gecinus sharpei. He chose the specific epithet to honour his friend, the English zoologist Richard Bowdler Sharpe, who he credited with first distinguishing it from the European green woodpecker (Picus viridis) and Levaillant's woodpecker (Picus vaillantii).[2] The Iberian green woodpecker was usually treated as a subspecies of the European green woodpecker but two separate studies published in 2011 found that there were significant differences in both mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences between the two populations.[3][4] Based on these results the Iberian green woodpecker is now considered as a separate species.[5] The species is monotypic: no subspecies are recognised.[5]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2020). "Picus sharpei". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  2. ^ Saunders, Howard (1872). "On a new species of Green Woodpecker from Southern Europe". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London (Part 1): 153–154.
  3. ^ Pons, J.-M.; Olioso, G.; Cruaud, C.; Fuchs, J. (2011). "Phylogeography of the Eurasian green woodpecker (Picus viridis)". Journal of Biogeography. 38 (2): 311–325. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2699.2010.02401.x.
  4. ^ Perktas, U.; Barrowclough, G.F.; Groth, J.G. (2011). "Phylogeography and species limits in the green woodpecker complex (Aves: Picidae): multiple Pleistocene refugia and range expansion across Europe and the Near East". Biological Journal of the Linnean Society. 104 (3): 710–723. doi:10.1111/j.1095-8312.2011.01750.x.
  5. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (2020). "Woodpeckers". IOC World Bird List Version 10.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 18 May 2020.

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