Has hybridized with F. montifringilla. Geographical variation complex. Races commonly considered to form three groups, “coelebs group” (European and Asian races), “spodiogenys group” (also including africana, harterti, moreletti and maderensis), and “canariensis group” (also including ombriosa and palmae), with Canarian taxa appearing dramatically different from those in mainland Europe, but African and Madeiran taxa intermediate (and sometimes further subdivided into two separate groups, as here); in genetic studies, large differences between “coelebs group” and “canariensis group”, but less clearly so between “spodiogenys group” and “coelebs group”, with nominate and africana evidently closely related; further study required. Nevertheless, some authorities have treated Atlantic Is taxa as forming three species#R. Considerable variation within races, especially nominate, and wide degree of intermediates. Nominate race varies clinally; races sarda, syriaca, solomkoi and alexandrovi possibly represent extreme limit of variation of nominate, but further research required; proposed races hortensis (from Anhalt, in C Germany), balearica (Mallorca), tyrrhenica (Corsica), schiebeli (Crete), caucasica (S Caucasus region) and wolfgangi (Tomsk, in W Siberia) all considered to fall within range of variation of nominate. Additional races are scotica (described from Carmunnock, in SW Scotland) and hibernicus (Glengariff, in SW Ireland), both synonymized with gengleri, and tintillon (Tenerife), treated as a synonym of canariensis. Race transcaspia sometimes misspelt “transcaspica”. Fifteen subspecies currently recognized.
Introduced (nominate race or gengleri) in S South Africa (Cape Town area) and New Zealand.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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