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House Finch
House Finch
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Subfamily: Carduelinae
see article text

The rosefinches are birds in the finch family Fringillidae. Most Carpodacus species are so named, but three common North American ones are not. As the names imply, various shades of red are the characteristic plumage colours of this group.

Rose finches are found throughout the northern hemisphere, but the greatest diversity is in Asia. Most species are traditionally placed in the large genus Carpodacus.


Comparison of mtDNA cytochrome b sequences strongly indicates that the genus Carpodacus is in need of a thorough revision (Arnaiz-Villena et al., 2001). For example, the Dark-breasted Rosefinch, a species with very distinctive appearance, is also very distinct genetically and definitely belongs into another genus, which may even be placed in the chaffinch-brambling subfamily Fringillinae; all other species belong to the cardueline finch subfamily (Carduelinae).

There have been a number of rosefinch radiations. First to split off were the ancestors of the North American species, the Common Rosefinch, and the Scarlet Finch (the later is traditionally placed in its own genus, but this is almost certainly incorrect). These diverged in the Middle Miocene (about 14-12 mya) from the proto-rosefinches and should constitute the genus Carpodacus proper, which might even be limited to the European species and probably the Scarlet Finch, with the North American forms becoming a distinct genus.

The Long-tailed Rosefinch, traditionally also placed in a monotypic genus, is closely allied to the Streaked Rosefinch and possibly other species; they diverged around 11-10 mya and either might be placed in Carpodacus or united in Uragus. If the latter is adopted, the bulk of the Asian species would also have to be separated as yet another distinct genus.

Przewalski's "Rosefinch" (Urocynchramus pylzowi) has been determined to be not a rosefinch, and indeed not a true finch at all, but to constitute a monotypic family Urocynchramidae.

  • Dark-breasted Rosefinch
    • Dark-breasted Rosefinch, "Carpodacus" nipalensis
  • Carpodacus proper
    • Common Rosefinch, Carpodacus erythrinus
  • Scarlet Finch (traditionally separated as Haematospiza)
    • Scarlet Finch, Carpodacus sipahi
  • American rosefinches (possibly a distinct genus)
    • Cassin's Finch, Carpodacus cassinii
      Purple Finch, Carpodacus purpureus
      House Finch, Carpodacus mexicanus
  • Streaked rosefinches (possibly genus Uragus)
    • Streaked Rosefinch, Carpodacus rubicilloides
      Long-tailed Rosefinch, Carpodacus sibiricus
  • Asian rosefinches (possibly a distinct genus)
    • Beautiful Rosefinch, Carpodacus pulcherrimus
      White-browed Rosefinch, Carpodacus thura
      Pallas' Rosefinch, Carpodacus roseus
      Three-banded Rosefinch, Carpodacus trifasciatus
  • Unassigned (most probably belong to Asian group)
    • Blanford's Rosefinch, Carpodacus rubescens
      Pink-rumped Rosefinch, Carpodacus eos
      Pink-browed Rosefinch, Carpodacus rhodochrous
      Vinaceous Rosefinch, Carpodacus vinaceus
      Dark-rumped Rosefinch, Carpodacus edwardsii
      Pale Rosefinch, Carpodacus synoicus
      Spot-winged Rosefinch, Carpodacus rhodopeplus
      Tibetan Rosefinch, Carpodacus roborowskii
      Red-mantled Rosefinch, Carpodacus rhodochlamys
      Great Rosefinch, Carpodacus rubicilla
      Red-fronted Rosefinch, Carpodacus puniceus


  • Arnaiz-Villena, A.; Guillén, J.; Ruiz-del-Valle, V.; Lowy, E.; Zamora, J.; Varela, P.; Stefani, D. & Allende, L. M. (2001): Phylogeography of crossbills, bullfinches, grosbeaks, and rosefinches. Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences 58: 1159–1166. PDF fulltext

External links

| Up
| Carduelis
| Carpodacus
| Coccothraustes
| Eophona
| Euphoniinae
| Fringilla
| Grosbeak
| Leucosticte
| Loxia
| Pinicola
| Pyrrhula
| Rhodopechys
| Seedeater
| Serinus

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