The flamebacks are large woodpeckers which are resident breeders in tropical southern Asia. They derive their English names from their golden or crimson backs.
In fact, the two genera (Dinopium and Chrysocolaptes) are not closely related at all. The former are closely related to the enigmatic Meiglyptes and possibly Hemicircus woodpeckers and the recently-reclassified Rufous Woodpecker. The latter genus appears to be a rather close relative of Campephilus, the genus containing the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Benz et al., 2006).
The distinctive Sri Lankan subspecies of Black-rumped Flameback, D. b. psarodes, and several subspecies of the Greater Flameback are sometimes considered to be separate species.
- Benz, Brett W.; Robbins, Mark B. & Peterson, A. Townsend (2006): Evolutionary history of woodpeckers and allies (Aves: Picidae): Placing key taxa on the phylogenetic tree. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 40: 389–399.