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"Serin" redirects here. For the similarly-sounding nerve agent, see Sarin. For the village in Iran, see Serin, Iran. For the district in Spain, see Serín.
Rune i bokhyllan 6.JPG
A domesticated S. canaria
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Genus: Serinus
Koch, 1816

See text.

The genus Serinus is a large genus of birds in the finch family Fringillidae found mostly in the Afrotropical region with some outlying species in Europe and Asia. The genus contains several species groups including canaries, seedeaters and the African siskins. The majority of species are small to medium-sized birds with green and yellow, often streaky plumage though there are a few notable exceptions.

The treatment of the Canary group as a single genus has been subject to much debate, with behavioural and vocal characters being used to divide it into seven or more genera. Recent investigations using part of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene have suggested the genus consists of two main clades (Serinus sensu stricto and Crithagra) separated by certain members of the genus Carduelis, and these may be better treated as two separate genera. Species in the Crithagra clade could conceivably be split further into several more (sub)genera and may well be once relationships within the clade are better resolved. In the list below they are arranged in the groups as suggested in various publications e.g.(Elzen et al.) and (Ryan et al.).

Serinus sensu stricto[edit]

(Sub)Genus: Crithagra[edit]

Dendrospiza group[edit]

Ochrospiza group[edit]

Crithagra group[edit]

Poliospiza group[edit]

Pseudochloroptila group[edit]

Group uncertain[edit]

The citril finch and the Corsican finch are now placed in the genus Carduelis as Carduelis citrinella and Carduelis corsicana (Arnaiz-Villena et al., 1998).


  • Arnaiz-Villena A.; Alvarez-Tejado M.; Ruiz-del-Valle V.; García-de-la-Torre C.; Varela P.; Recio M. J.; Ferre S.; Martinez-Laso J. (1999)."Rapid Radiation of Canaries (Genus Serinus)"(PDF). Mol. Biol. Evol. 16:2–11.
  • Arnaiz-Villena, A.; Ruiz-del-Valle V.; Areces C. (mayo de 2012). «El Origen de los Canarios». Ornitología Práctica 53: pp. 3–11. (Divulgation in Spanish).
  • Elzen, R. van den & H. Nemeschkal (1991): Radiation in African canaries (Carduelidae): A comparison of different classificatory approaches. - Acta XX. Congr. Intern. Orn., Christchurch 1990: 459 - 467.
  • 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.

External links[edit]