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Puerto Rican Woodpecker Melanerpes portoricensis

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Judith D. Toms


Geographic Variation

None reported.

Related Species

The Cuban Green Woodpecker (Xiphidiopicus percusses) is the sister taxon to Melanerpes woodpeckers, based on a phylogeny of cytochrome b sequences (Overton and Rhoads 2006). However, the relationships within Melanerpes have not been clearly identified. Overton and Rhoads (2006) found that the Puerto Rican Woodpecker (M. portoricensis) was more closely related to the Hispaniolan Woodpecker (M. striatus) than to the Red-bellied Woodpecker (M. carolinus) or West Indian Woodpecker (M. superciliaris); however, other Melanerpes species were not included in the study and the Hispaniolan Woodpecker may not be the most closely related species to the Puerto Rican Woodpecker. An older classification (Sibley and Monroe 1990) suggests that they are most closely related to the Red-headed Woodpecker (M. erythrocephalus) and the Guadeloupe Woodpecker (M. herminieri).

Recommended Citation

Toms, J. D. (2010). Puerto Rican Woodpecker (Melanerpes portoricensis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.