The little woodpecker (Veniliornis passerinus) is a species of bird in the family Picidae, the woodpeckers, piculets, and wrynecks. It is found in a wide range of wooded habitats in a large part of South America east of the Andes, and generally common. Unlike other similar and comparably sized members of the genus Veniliornis, the little woodpecker lacks a contrasting yellow nape.
Picus passerinus Linnaeus, 1766
In 1760 the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson included a description of the little woodpecker in his Ornithologie based on a specimen collected in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). He used the French name Le petit pic de S. Domingue and the Latin name Picus dominicensis minor. Although Brisson coined Latin names, these do not conform to the binomial system and are not recognised by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. When in 1766 the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus updated his Systema Naturae for the twelfth edition he added 240 species that had been previously described by Brisson. One of these was the little woodpecker. Linnaeus included a terse description, coined the binomial name Picus passerinus and cited Brisson's work. Linnaeus mistakenly specified the type location as Dominica. This has been corrected to Cayenne in French Guiana. The specific name passerinus is from Latin and means "sparrow like". This species is now placed in the genus Veniliornis that was introduced by the French ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1854.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Veniliornis passerinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2013.old-form url
- Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode contenant la division des oiseaux en ordres, sections, genres, especes & leurs variétés (in French and Latin). Volume 4. Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. pp. 75–77, Plate 4 fig 2.
|volume=has extra text (help) The two stars (**) at the start of the paragraph indicates that Brisson based his description on the examination of a specimen.
- Allen, J.A. (1910). "Collation of Brisson's genera of birds with those of Linnaeus". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 28: 317–335. hdl:2246/678.
- Linnaeus, Carl (1766). Systema naturae : per regna tria natura, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Volume 1, Part 1 (12th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 174.
|volume=has extra text (help)
- Peters, James Lee, ed. (1948). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 6. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 172.
|volume=has extra text (help)
- Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology: passerinum / passerinus". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
- Bonaparte, Charles Lucien (1854). "Quadro dei volucri zigodattili, ossia passeri a piedi scansori". L'Ateneo Italiano Raccolta di Documenti e Memorie Relative al Progresso delle Scienze Fisiche (in Italian and Latin). 2: 116–129 .
- Little woodpecker videos on the Internet Bird Collection
- Little woodpecker photo gallery VIREO Photo-High Res--(Close-up)
- Photo-High Res; Article www.ib.usp.br–"Picidae"