Spinus (genus)

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Male American Goldfinch in Lodi CA.JPG
American goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Subfamily: Carduelinae
Genus: Spinus
Koch, 1816

See text

Spinus is a genus of passerine birds in the finch family. It contains the North and South American siskins and goldfinches. The genus name is from the Ancient Greek spinos, a name for a now-unidentifiable bird.[1]

All of the species in the genus other than the Tibetan serin were formerly included in the genus Carduelis. They were moved to the resurrected genus Spinus based on phylogenetic studies of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences.[2][3][4] The Tibetan serin was formerly placed in the genus Serinus. The Eurasian siskin and the Tibetan serin are the only species from the Old World included in the group.[2]

The name Spinus was introduced in 1816 by the German naturalist Carl Ludwig Koch.[5]


The genus contains 20 species:[2]


  1. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. p. 362. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  2. ^ a b c Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Finches, euphonias". World Bird List Version 5.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  3. ^ Zuccon, Dario; Prŷs-Jones, Robert; Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Ericson, Per G.P. (2012). "The phylogenetic relationships and generic limits of finches (Fringillidae)" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 62 (2): 581–596. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.10.002. PMID 22023825.
  4. ^ Nguembock, B.; Fjeldså, J.; Couloux, A.; Pasquet, E. (2009). "Molecular phylogeny of Carduelinae (Aves, Passeriformes, Fringillidae) proves polyphyletic origin of the genera Serinus and Carduelis and suggests redefined generic limits". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 51 (2): 169–181. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2008.10.022. PMID 19027082.
  5. ^ Koch, Carl Ludwig (1816). System der baierischen Zoologie, Volume 1 (in German). Nürnberg. p. 232.