Rufous woodpecker

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Rufous woodpecker
Celeus brachyurus.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Micropternus
Blyth, 1845
M. brachyurus
Binomial name
Micropternus brachyurus
(Vieillot, 1818)

Celeus brachyurus (Vieillot, 1818)

Pair of Rufous woodpeckers.

The rufous woodpecker, (Micropternus brachyurus) is a brown woodpecker found in southern, eastern and northern India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, southern China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia (Sumatra, Borneo and western Java). Its genus, Micropternus, is monotypic.

It builds its nest within the nest of acrobat ants (Crematogaster). This bird is not considered threatened by the IUCN.

Description and systematics[edit]

It is a medium-sized, rufous-coloured woodpecker with a short crest and a short, weak and slightly curved black bill. It has black vermiculations on its rufous body and a dark eye stripe. The upperparts are finely barred black. The male has small red patches at the eyes.

This singular species was formerly placed in the South American genus Celeus simply due to its somewhat similar appearance and for lack of a better alternative, but it differed from these species in many aspects. DNA sequence analyses have confirmed that the rufous woodpecker should be placed in the monotypic genus Micropternus. Its closest relatives seem to be the enigmatic woodpeckers of the genus Meiglyptes and possibly Hemicircus.[2]



  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Micropternus brachyurus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ Benz et al. (2006)