|Adult male rufous-winged woodpecker (Piculus simplex)|
The genus was introduced by the German naturalist Johann Baptist von Spix in 1824. The type species was subsequently designated as the golden-green woodpecker (Piculus chrysochloros) by the American ornithologist Harry C. Oberholser in 1923. The generic name is a diminutive of the Latin word Picus meaning "woodpecker".
The genus forms part of the woodpecker subfamily Picinae and has a sister relationship to the genus Dryocopus whose species are found in Eurasia and the Americas. The genus Piculus is a member of the tribe Picini and belongs to a clade that contains five genera: Colaptes, Piculus, Mulleripicus, Dryocopus and Celeus.
The genus contains seven species:
|Image||Scientific name||Common Name||Distribution|
|Piculus simplex||Rufous-winged woodpecker||Costa Rica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama. Formerly considered to be a subspecies of the white-throated woodpecker.|
|Piculus callopterus||Stripe-cheeked woodpecker||Panama. Formerly considered to be a subspecies of the white-throated woodpecker.|
|Piculus litae||Lita woodpecker||western Colombia and northwestern Ecuador|
|Piculus leucolaemus||White-throated woodpecker||The Amazon Basin, Brazil, mainly in Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia|
|Piculus flavigula||Yellow-throated woodpecker||Brazil and the entire Amazon Basin; also in the Guianas, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela|
|Piculus chrysochloros||Golden-green woodpecker||The Amazon Basin in the countries of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru and Suriname|
|Piculus aurulentus||Yellow-browed woodpecker||Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.|
Five other species, formerly placed here, are now in Colaptes.
- von Spix, Johann Baptist (1824). Avium species novae, quas in itinere per Brasiliam annis MDCCCXVII-MDCCCXX (in Latin). Monachii [München]: Typis Franc. Seraph. Hübschmanni. Index p. 3. The link is to a scan of the 2nd edition published in 1838–1839.
- Oberholser, Harry C. (1923). "Chloronerpes Swainson versus Piculus Spix". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 36: 201–202.
- Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 306. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
- Shakya, S.B.; Fuchs, J.; Pons, J.M.; Sheldon, F.H. (2017). "Tapping the woodpecker tree for evolutionary insight". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 116: 182–191. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2017.09.005.
- Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "Woodpeckers". World Bird List Version 9.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 6 August 2019.
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