Dinopium benghalense is one of the five species currently recognized in the old-world woodpecker genus Dinopium, which includes six subspecies or races. Sri Lanka had two subspecies of D. benghalense; D. b. jaffnense (Golden-back Woodpecker) and D. b. psarodes (Red-backed Woodpecker). D. b. jaffenese is distributed in northern parts while the latter was in southern parts of the island. In the current world checklist of Bird life International, the D. b. psarodes has been elevated to a full species level; D. psarodes based on its plumage. Many colour variations can be observed within these Sri Lankan forms.  Facial patterns and mantle colour are the key identification pointers, though actual intensity of the gold, yellows and red varies individually, making a detailed study of plumage an interesting undertaking for both the amateur birder and for the ornithologists alike. Here we document and validated basic plumage patterns and colour shown by the Sri Lankan Dinopium flamebacks. Seventy woodpeckers along a 430 km transect spanning across the island and 55 museum specimens were sampled. We evaluated 21 colour–based characters: Colour analyses were based on Munsell colour charts. We found scarlet, red, orange, golden yellow and olive-yellow forms in Dinopium complex in Sri Lanka. A clinal gradation is observed from North to South in these colour patterns.

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