Crimson-breasted woodpecker

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Crimson-breasted woodpecker
Crimson-breasted Woodpecker - Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary - Arunachal Pradesh, India.jpg
From Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, Arunachal Pradesh, India.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Dryobates
Species: D. cathpharius
Binomial name
Dryobates cathpharius
(Blyth, 1843)

Dendrocopos cathpharius

The crimson-breasted woodpecker or scarlet-breasted woodpecker (Dryobates cathpharius) is a species of bird in the family Picidae. It is found in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. Some taxonomic authorities continue to place this species in the genus Dendrocopos. The scarlet-breasted woodpecker (Dryobates cathpharius pernii), is considered to be distinct by some authorities, but others consider it to be conspecific.


The taxonomy of this species is somewhat confused. D. cathpharius is sometimes included with Dendrocopos pernyii as a single species, but the two have various amounts of red on head and breast and other distinguishing features, including size. In their Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive, del Hoyo, J. et al recognises them as separate species. Molecular analysis puts both close to D. minor and D. pubescens. There are three subspecies; D. c. cathpharius from western and central Nepal to Arunachal Pradesh in northeastern India; D. c. ludlowi from southeastern Tibet; and D. c. pyrrhothorax from Meghalaya, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram and western Myanmar. [2]


The mantle, back and wings are black, with some white spotting and light barring on the wings and one larger white patch. The upper side of the tail is black with white barring on the outer feathers, and the underside is barred in black and white. The chin and throat are white, the central breast is red and the rest of the breast and belly are white or buff streaked with black, with a varying amount of red or pink near the vent. The forehead is white and the crown black, and the male has a red patch on the nape. A black streak extends from the malar region to the nape before continuing to the sides of the chest.[3]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2016). "Dryobates cathpharius". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016.3. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 1 April 2017. 
  2. ^ Winkler, H.; Christie, D.A. (2017). "Scarlet-breasted woodpecker (Dryobates cathpharius)". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. Retrieved 11 May 2017. 
  3. ^ Gorman, Gerard (2014). Woodpeckers of the World: A Photographic Guide. Firefly Books. pp. 246–247. ISBN 177085309X.