It measures 8 to 10 cm and weighs 12 to 13 g. It has a short black bill with a curved top, brown irises and gray-blue orbital skin. The male is black from the forehead to the nape with yellow dots on the crown and white behind. It has a white loreal region, chestnut brown ear coverts sometimes streaked with white, a grayish-brown neck, grayish-brown occiput and olive-stained upper parts. Its coverts have yellowish-green margins, the upper surface of its tail is dark brown and in the central pair of feathers it has striations on the internal margins. Malar region, cheeks, chin and throat whitish with black dots. The rest of its lower parts are whitish at times with very fine greyish striations. The female is distinguished because she has white dots on the head. Young people are more opaque and darker than adults.
It could be confused with the Olivaceus Piculet (Picumnus olivaceus) but it is distinguished from this because it is less olive above and with the paler lower parts.
Two subspecies P. g. antioquensis and P. g. granadensis. The antioquensis subspecies has more grayish upper parts and a more noticeable gray striatum on the belly and flanks.
This species is ENDEMIC of Colombia and is found from 800 to 2100 m above the level in lowlands from the middle valley of the Cauca river south to the upper part of the Patía river valley. It is also found on the western slope of the Cordillera Occidental from southern Antioquia to the upper reaches of the San Juan River. As limits to the north of the country, the municipality of Támesis has been established on the eastern slope of the Cordillera Occidental, the municipality of Amagá on the eastern slope of the Cordillera Central, and the municipalities of Chinchiná and Buenavista on the western slope of the Cordillera Central.
It inhabits dry to moderately humid forest edges, secondary growth forests, thickets, and coffee plantations with shady.
Individuals have been recorded copulating in January above Cali, a couple feeding young in February in the Pichindé valley and a young male in late June near Cali. Nests in cavities of dead tree trunks Other aspects of its reproductive biology are unknown.
He remains alone, in pairs or family groups and ocasionally joins mixed flocks. it forages mainly at low or medium heights and is frequently observed rummaging through twigs and vines while moving up and down. Drill small holes in serch of insects and capture pray in large leaf petioles, including dead leaves hanging from branches and lianas.
Map and sounds