The genus Carduelis 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 certain 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 his genus) would remain in Carduelis.
Linaria group - linnets and Twite
Spinus group - American goldfinches and siskins
Diet of nestling Linnets Carduelis cannabina on lowland farmland before and after agricultural intensification
Jul 01, 2006; Capsule Between the 1960s and 1990s, nestling diet has changed in ways consistent with the impact of agricultural intensification...
Microhabitat use and social structure in Linnet Carduelis cannabina and Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra at a winter roost in central Spain
Nov 01, 2005; Capsule Both species selected particular patches for roosting, and Linnets but not Corn Buntings showed a social structure with...
Importance of Sitka Spruce Picea sitchensis seed and garden bird-feeders for Siskins Carduelis spinus and Coal Tits Periparus ater
Jul 01, 2007; Capsule Siskins and Coal Tits were present in gardens more often in years of poor Sitka Spruce cone crops, with synchrony across...
New record of Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis) parasitism of Black-chinned Siskins (Carduelis barbata).
Jun 01, 2003; Brood parasitism is a breeding strategy in which parasites lay eggs in the nests of other species (hosts) which incubate eggs and...