This order comprises the following families:

  • Rhamphastidae (toucans)
  • Semnornithidae (Pring-billed Barbet & Toucan Barbet)
  • Capitonidae (American barbets)
  • Megalaimidae (Asian barbets)
  • Lybiidae (African barbets & tinkerbirds)
  • Indicatoridae (honeyguides)
  • Picidae (woodpeckers)
  • Bucconidae (puffbirds)
  • Galbulidae (jacamars)

Timetree of Piciformes with the interfamilial relationhips and divergence times being based on Prum et al. (2015). The distribution of each family is indicated by the colour-code used throughout this website (see Distribution code). Intrafamilial relationships and divergence times for Bucconidae and Galbulidae are taken from Witt (2004) and Ferreira (2018). 


Timetree of Picidae combining the results of Dufort (2016), Shakya et al. (2017) and Navarro-Siguenza et al. (2017). The distribution of each family is indicated by the colour-code used throughout this website (see Distribution code). 


Benz, B.W., M.B. Robbins, and A.T. Peterson (2006), Evolutionary history of woodpeckers and allies (Aves: Picidae): placing key taxa on the phylogenetic

tree, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 40, 389-399. (abstract)

Benz, B.W., and M.B. Robbins (2011), Molecular phylogenetics, vocalizations, and species limits in Celeus woodpeckers (Aves: Picidae), Mol. Phylogenet.

Evol. 61, 29-44. (abstract)

Benz, B.W., M.B. Robbins, and K.J. Zimmer (2015), Phylogenetic relationships of the Helmeted Woodpecker (Dryocopus galeatus): a case of interspecific

mimicry?, Auk. 132, 938-950. (pdf)

den Tex, R.-J., and J.A. Leonard (2013), A molecular phylogeny of Asian barbets: speciation and extinction in the tropics, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 68, 1-13.


Du, C., L. Liu, Y. Liu, and Z. Fu (2020), The complete mitochondrial genome of the Eurasian wryneck Jynx torquilla (Aves: Piciformes: Picidae) and its

phylogenetic inference, Zootaxa. 4810 (2), 313-326. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4810.2.8 (abstract)

Dufort, M.J. (2016), An augmented supermatrix phylogeny of the avian family Picidae reveals uncertainty deep in the family tree, Mol. Phylogent. Evol. 94,

313-326. (abstract)

Ericson, P.G.P., C.L. Anderson, T. Britton, A. Elzanowski, U. S. Johansson, M. Kallersjo, J.I. Ohlson, T.J. Parsons, D. Zuccon, and G. Mayr (2006),

Diversification of Neoaves: Integration of molecular sequence data and fossils, Biol. Lett. 2, 543-547. (abstract)

Ferreira, M., (2018), "Filogenia e biogeografia de tres famílias de aves do Neotrópico", Ph.D. dissertation, INPA Manaus. (pdf)

Fuchs, J., and J.-M- Pons (2015), A new classification of the Pied Woodpeckers assemblage (Dendropicini, Picidae) based on a comprehensive multi-locus

phylogeny, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 88, 28-37. (abstract)

Fuchs, J., J.-M- Pons, and R.C.K. Bowie (2017), Biogeography and diversification dynamics of African woodpeckers, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 108, 88-100.


Johansson, U.S. and P.G.P. Ericson (2003), Molecular support for a sister group relationship between Pici and Galbulae (Piciformes sensu Wetmore 1960),

J. Avian Biol. 34, 185-197. (abstract)

Kuhl, H., C. Frankl-Vilches, A. Bakker, G. Mayr, G. Nikolaus, S.T. Boerno, S. Klages, B. Timmermann, and M. Gahr (2021), An unbiased molecular approach


using 3'UTRs resolves the avian family-level tree of life, Mol. Biol. Evol. 38 (1), 108-127. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msaa191. (pdf)

Lutz, H.L. and J.D. Weckstein, J.S.L. Patané, J.M. Bates, and A. Aleixo (2013), Biogeography and spatio-temporal diversification of Selenidera and Andigena

toucans (Aves: Ramphastidae), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 69, 873-883. (abstract)

Moyle, R. G. (2004), Phylogenetics of barbets (Aves: Piciformes) based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence data, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 30,

187-200. (abstract)

Navarro-Siguenza, A.G., H.. Vazquez-Miranda, G. Hernandez-Alonso, E.A. Garcia-Trejo, and L.A. Sanchez-Gonzalez (2017), Complex biogeographic

scenarios revealed in the diversification of the largest woodpecker radiation in the New World, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 112, 53-67. (abstract)

Patané, J.S.L., J.D. Weinstein, A. Aleixo, and J.M. Bates (2009), Evolutionary history of Ramphastos toucans: molecular phylogenetics, temporal

diversification, and biogeography, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 53, 923-934. (abstract)

Shakya, S.B., J. Fuchs, J.-M. Pons, and F.H. Sheldon (2017), Tapping the woodpecker tree for evolutionary insight, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 116, 182-

191. (abstract)

Tamashiro, R.A., N.E. White, M.J. Braun, B.C. Faircloth, E.L. Braun and R.E. Kimball (2019), What are the roles of taxon sampling and model fit in tests of

cyto-nuclear discordance using avian mitogenomic data?, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 130, 132-144. (pdf)

Witt, C.C. (2004), “Rates of molecular evolution and their application to neotropical avian biogeography”, Ph.D. dissertation, Louisiana State University.