Dendropicos Griseocephalus
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Dendropicos Griseocephalus

Olive woodpecker
Olive Woodpecker, Sakania, DRC (12404103034), crop.jpg
D. g. subsp. persimilis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Dendropicos
D. griseocephalus
Binomial name
Dendropicos griseocephalus
(Boddaert, 1783)
Olive woodpecker distribution map.svg
Geographic distribution shown in green

Chloropicus griseocephalus

The olive woodpecker (Dendropicos griseocephalus) is a species of bird in the woodpecker family Picidae.[2]


The olive woodpecker was described by the French polymath Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon in 1780 in his Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux from a specimen obtained from the Cape of Good Hope area of South Africa.[3] The bird was also illustrated in a hand-coloured plate engraved by François-Nicolas Martinet in the Planches Enluminées D'Histoire Naturelle which was produced under the supervision of Edme-Louis Daubenton to accompany Buffon's text.[4] Neither the plate caption nor Buffon's description included a scientific name but in 1783 the Dutch naturalist Pieter Boddaert coined the binomial name Picus griseocephalus in his catalogue of the Planches Enluminées.[5] The olive woodpecker is now placed in the genus Dendropicos that was introduced by the French ornithologist Alfred Malherbe in 1849.[6] The generic name is from the Ancient Greek dendron meaning tree and pikos for woodpecker. The specific epithet griseocephalus combines the Medieval Latin griseus meaning "grey" and the Ancient Greek -kephalos meaning "-headed".[7]

Three subspecies are recognised:[8]

  • D. g. ruwenzori (Sharpe, 1902) - Angola, north Zambia, north Malawi and central Tanzania to southeast DR Congo and southwest Uganda
  • D. g. kilimensis (Neumann, 1926) - north and east Tanzania
  • D. g. griseocephalus (Boddaert, 1783) - south Mozambique to South Africa

Distribution and habitat

The olive woodpecker is native to central, east and southern Africa, from the Ruwenzori Mountains to the Western Cape. It is found in Angola, Burundi, DRC, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The species occupies a range of wooded and forested habitats from 450-3,700 m (1,480-12,140 ft).


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Dendropicos griseocephalus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2012. Retrieved 2013.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Buffon, Georges-Louis Leclerc de (1780). "Pie a tête gris du Cap de Bonne-Espérance". Histoire Naturelle des Oiseaux (in French). Volume 13. Paris: De L'Imprimerie Royale. p. 38.
  4. ^ Buffon, Georges-Louis Leclerc de; Martinet, François-Nicolas; Daubenton, Edme-Louis; Daubenton, Louis-Jean-Marie (1765-1783). "Pie à tête gris, du Cap de Bonne-Esperance". Planches Enluminées D'Histoire Naturelle. Volume 8. Paris: De L'Imprimerie Royale. Plate 786 Fig. 2.
  5. ^ Boddaert, Pieter (1783). Table des planches enluminéez d'histoire naturelle de M. D'Aubenton : avec les denominations de M.M. de Buffon, Brisson, Edwards, Linnaeus et Latham, precedé d'une notice des principaux ouvrages zoologiques enluminés (in French). Utrecht. p. 49, Number 786 Fig. 2.
  6. ^ Malherbe, Alfred (1849). "Nouvelle classification des picinée ou pics". Mémoires de l'Académie nationale de Metz (in French). 30: 316, 338.
  7. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 133, 179. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  8. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "Woodpeckers". World Bird List Version 9.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 2019.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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