Helmeted Woodpecker Celeus galeatus

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Martjan Lammertink, Kristina L. Cockle, Alejandro Bodrati, and Raphael E. F. Santos


Geographic Variation

Monotypic, no variation in its small global range.

Related Species

Figure 1.  First illustration of Helmeted Woodpecker in Temminck (1822), who described the species. Courtesy of Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University Library.The type specimen is of a male in the Natural History Museum in Vienna collected in Brazil by Johann Natterer (Temminck 1822, Figure 1). It was collected on 10 April 1819 in Ypema, now spelled Ipema, in São Paulo state, and Natterer collected an additional three specimens there between May and December of 1819 (Schifter et al. 2007). First described as Picus galeatus (Temminck 1822), and first placed in the genus Dryocopus by Gray (1845). It has also been placed by various authors in the genera Driopicus, Campephilus, Dryopicus, and Ceophloeus (Giebel 1877), and was mentioned as Campephilus rufifrons by Bertoni (1901, in Peters 1948).

Based on plumage patterns, bill shape, and exposed nostrils, Short (1982) considered Helmeted Woodpecker to be an intermediate between the genera Celeus and Dryocopus. Recent molecular phylogenies show the genera Celeus and Dryocopus to belong to the same clade or tribe within the Picidae, but these phylogenies also show that Celeus and Dryocopus are not sister groups; instead, Celeus is sister to the Colaptes/Piculus clade (Webb and Moore 2005, Benz et al. 2006, Fuchs et al. 2007). Hence the similarities between D. galeatus and Celeus probably result from convergence rather than phylogenetic affinity. No molecular sequencing of D. galeatus has been done yet. Perhaps D. galeatus is most closely related to D. lineatus and D. schulzi (Short 1982).

Recommended Citation

Lammertink, M., K. L. Cockle, A. Bodrati, and R. E. F. Santos (2012). Helmeted Woodpecker (Celeus galeatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.helwoo1.01