|A male golden-tailed woodpecker (C. abingoni) in northern Namibia|
G.R. Gray, 1841
Campethera is a genus of bird in the family Picidae, or woodpeckers, that are native to sub-Saharan Africa. Most species are native to woodland and savanna rather than deep forest, and multiple species exhibit either arboreal or terrestrial foraging strategies. Its nearest relative is the monotypic genus Geocolaptes of southern Africa, which employs terrestrial foraging and breeding strategies. They are however not close relatives of similar-looking woodpeckers in the "Dendropicos clade".
They are small to medium-sized woodpeckers. The sexes are fairly similar, but males of most species have the crown and nape bright red, while in females this is restricted to the nape. Colour of the malar plumage is also useful in sexing.
Their plumage pattern is fairly uniform, and some species are only distinguishable by careful observation. The mantle, back and wings are olive-greenish, and usually spotted or barred in buffy to golden yellow. The shafts of the remiges and rectrices are yellow to golden yellow. The underpart plumage is spotted black to a lesser or greater degree.
Some species include drumming on dead wood as a means of non-vocal signaling. Most species are poor drummers however, and some species may not drum at all.
Their rectrices are only partially stiffened (for arboreal support), and they readily take to terrestrial foraging. Ants and termites form important components of their diet. These are lapped up with a flexible and sticky tongue.
Species diversity in the "Campethera clade" is believed to be understated, and up to 18 species may be involved. The following species are currently recognized:
- Fine-spotted woodpecker (Campethera punctuligera)
- Bennett's woodpecker (Campethera bennettii)
- Speckle-throated woodpecker (Campethera scriptoricauda)
- Nubian woodpecker (Campethera nubica)
- Golden-tailed woodpecker (Campethera abingoni)
- Mombasa woodpecker (Campethera mombassica)
- Knysna woodpecker (Campethera notata)
- Green-backed woodpecker (Campethera cailliautii)
- Little green woodpecker (Campethera maculosa)
- Tullberg's woodpecker (Campethera tullbergi)
- Buff-spotted woodpecker (Campethera nivosa)
- Brown-eared woodpecker (Campethera caroli)
C. abingoni juvenile peeking from nest Yellow remige and rectrice shafts in C. bennettii (male) Terrestrial foraging in C. bennettii (male) Arboreal foraging in C. nubica (female)
- Fuchs, Jérôme; Pons, Jean-Marc; Bowie, Rauri C.K. (March 2017). "Biogeography and diversification dynamics of the African woodpeckers". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 108: 88–100. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2017.01.007.
- Gorman, Gerard (2014). Woodpeckers of the World: The Complete Guide (Helm Photographic Guides). London: Bloomsbury. p. 165. ISBN 1408147157.
|This Piciformes-related article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|