"Chloris (bird)" redirects here. The name Chloris was also invalidly used for the bird genus Parula.
The European Goldfinch belongs to a group of red- or yellow-faced species.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Genus: Carduelis (but see article text)
Brisson, 1760

Many, see text


Acanthis Borkhausen, 1797 (but see text)
Acanthis Bechstein, 1802 (non Borkhausen, 1797: preoccupied)
Acanthis Dumont, 1816 (non Borkhausen, 1797: preoccupied)
Cannabis Blyth, 1850
Chloris Cuvier, 1800 (but see text)
Chloris C.L.Brehm, 1856 (non Cuvier, 1800: preoccupied)
Chloris A.E.Brehm, 1857 (non Cuvier, 1800: preoccupied)
Linaria Bechstein, 1802 (non Bartram, 1791: preoccupied)

The genus Carduelis[1][2] is a large group of birds in the finch family Fringillidae. It includes the greenfinches, redpolls, goldfinches, linnets, the twite, and the non-African siskins. No species of this group ranges far into Africa (where they are replaced by the related genus Serinus), and the centers of evolution were probably Eurasia and North America, with a secondary radiation in the Neotropics.

The interrelationship of these species is complex and contentious. It is fairly certainTemplate:Vague that the crossbills are actually derived from proto-redpoll ancestors quite recently, and it was suggested that they should be placed in the same genus, for which the name Loxia would then have priority. On the other hand, the greenfinches (which are apparently the most distinct group) and the redpolls have themselves been separated in distinct genera which might be the best way to express both the actual evolutionary relationships and the evolutionarily significant distinctiveness of the crossbills. The molecular data indicates that the major lineages split in the Late Miocene (Tortonian, roughly 9-7 mya), but it is unable to suggest any one robust arrangement either of the major groups among each other, among the lineages of Carduelis sensu stricto, or indeed among two separate Serinus lineages (Ryan et al., 2004). As only the mitochondrial cytochrome b sequence has hitherto been studied (Arnaiz-Villena et al., 1998), more data is clearly necessary.

Here, the species of Carduelis sensu lato are listed according to current knowledge. The genus Carduelis sensu stricto could conceivably be split further, and in this case only the European Goldfinch and the Citril and Corsican Finch (newly placed in this genus) would remain in Carduelis.

Carduelis sensu stricto

Carduelis group

In other genera

Genus Rhodospiza

  • The Desert Finch, Rhodospiza obsoleta, has recently turned out be a primitive form in this group (Zamora et al., 2006).

Genus Chloris

Genus Acanthis

Genus Loxia

The taxonomy of Loxia is complicated, and the (sub)genus may consist of as few as three species or possibly dozens. The species given below are only those at least provisionally accepted by most scientists.

Spinus group - American goldfinches and siskins

Genus Linaria

Genus Astragalinus

American goldfinches

Genus Spinus

Northern siskins

Genus Sporagra

Neotropical siskins

Fossil species

File:Carduelis aurelioi.jpg

Possible Carduelis species

These species may be related to various groups or subgenera currently classified as members of Carduelis but have yet to be studied biochemically:

  • Mountain Serin, Serinus estherae - (Relationships obscure).
  • Tibetan Serin, Serinus thibetanus - (Sometimes Tibetan Siskin, Carduelis thibetana is used as in Grimmett et al. 1999).
  • Ankober Serin, Serinus ankoberensis - (Carduelis ankoberensis on the African Bird Club list).
  • the golden-winged grosbeaks, Rhynchostruthus sp. - (Relationship with Carduelis discussed in Fry et al. 2004 and Martins 1987)

Recent taxonomical changes

On December 18, 2009, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in its authority as custodian of the Clement's Checklist, made the following statement: "In accord with NACC, here we split the genus Carduelis into four genera: Carduelis (linnets and twites), Spinus (siskins), Acanthis (redpolls), and Chloris (greenfinches). Similar revisions will need to be made with respect to Carpodacus and Serinus, but we defer making those changes until a later date.".[3] This follows a similar change that was published in the 50th supplement to the AOU Checklist of American Birds, " The subgenera Acanthis and Spinus are elevated to genera, and the genus Chloris is split from the genus Carduelis."[4]


  1. ^ From Latin carduus, "thistle". Thistle seeds are a favorite food of many species.
  2. ^ Arnaiz-Villena, Antonio; Gomez-Prieto, Pablo; Ruiz-del-Valle, Valentín (2010). "El género Carduelis" (PDF). Ornitología Práctica. 42.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help) (in Spanish)
  3. ^
  4. ^
  • Alcover, J. A.; Florit, F. 1987. Una nueva especie de Carduelis (Fringillidae) de La Palma. Vieraea 17 : 75-86
  • Fry, H.; Keith, S.; Urban, E. & Woodcock, M. 2004. The Birds of Africa, Volume 7. Christopher Helm
  • Grimmett, R.; Inskipp,C. & Inskipp, T. 1999. Birds of the Indian Subcontinent . Princeton University Press
  • Martins, R.P. 1987. The Golden-winged Grosbeak in North Yemen. Sandgrouse 9: 106-110
  • Ryan, P.G.; Wright, D.; Oatley, G.; Wakeling, J.; Cohen, C.; Nowell, T.L.; Bowie, R.C.K.; Ward, V. & Crowe, T.M. 2004. Systematics of Serinus canaries and the status of Cape and Yellow-crowned Canaries inferred from mtDNA and morphology. Ostrich 75:288-294.
  • Van der Meij, M.A.A.; de Bakker, M.A.G. & Bout, R.G. A phylogeny of finches and their relatives based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA.


  1. ^ From Latin carduus, "thistle". Thistle seeds are a favorite food of many species.
  2. ^ Arnaiz-Villena, Antonio; Gomez-Prieto, Pablo; Ruiz-del-Valle, Valentín (2010). "El género Carduelis" (PDF). Ornitología Práctica. 42.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help) (in Spanish)
  3. ^
  4. ^

External links

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