The Greater Flameback (Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus ) also known as Greater Goldenback, Large Golden-backed Woodpecker or Malherbe's Golden-backed Woodpecker, is a woodpeckerspecies. It occurs widely in the Indian subcontinent, eastwards to southern China, the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, western and central Java and northeast Borneo.
The Greater Flameback is a large woodpecker, at 33 cm in length. It is of typical woodpecker shape, has an erect crest and a long neck. Coloration is highly variable between subspecies; it always has unmarked golden-yellow to dark brown back and wings. The rump is red and the tail is black. The underparts are white with dark markings (chevrons, stripes, or bands), or light brown. The head is whitish with a black pattern, or it is yellow, brown or red. The straight pointed bill is long (longer than the head) and – like the legs and four-toed zygodactyl feet (two toes pointing forward, two backward) – lead-grey. The eyes' irides are whitish to yellow.
Male Greater Goldenback near Kothagiri, India
The adult male Greater Flameback always has a red crown. Females have a crown color varying between subspecies, such as black spotted with white, yellow, or brown with lighter dots. Young birds are like the female, but duller, with brown irides.