ACANTHIS

(Fringillidae; Ϯ Redpoll A. flammea) L. acanthis  small bird, probably a finch  < Gr. ακανθις akanthis  small unidentified bird mentioned by Aristotle and other authors, probably the Common Linnet. In ornithology usually identified with some sort of finch (cf. myth. Acanthis, daughter of Autonous, was metamorphosed into a type of finch. Her brother, Acanthus, was changed into an unidentified bird); "XIX. Gattung, Zeisig, Acanthis.  Schnabel kegelförmig, von benden Seiten zusammengedrückt und scharf zugespitzt.  Die Vögel dieser Gattung (die in Deutschland einheimischen wenigstens) nähren sich bloß von Sämerenen, und füttern ihre Jungen aus dem Kropfe." (Borkhausen 1797 (where no fewer than twenty-nine species and varieties are listed)); "Acanthis Borkhausen, 1797, Deutsche Fauna, 1, p. 248. Type, by subsequent designation (Stejneger, 1884, Auk, 1, p. 145), Fringilla linaria Linnaeus = Fringilla flammea Linnaeus." (Howell et al. in Peters 1968, XIV, 250). Recent genetic work has shown that the various Holarctic Redpolls formerly treated as distinct species are too closely related to be so considered, representing but arbitrary divisions of a continuum of morphological characters. Doubtless, in the fullness of time, further research will reveal that such divisions are evidence of on-going speciation and that they should be separated again.
Synon. Aegiothus, Cannabis, Linacanthis, Rubricapilla.
● (syn. Linaria Ϯ Twite L. flavirostris) "Arktischer Fink (F. flavirostris, Linn.)  ...  Mit einem dünnern, an den Seiten etwas zusammengedrückten, und scharf und lang zugespitzten Schnabel. Die Nahrung besteht aus bloßen öhligen Sämereyen.  (Acanthis)" (Bechstein 1802). 
● (syn. Spinus Ϯ Eurasian Siskin S. spinus) "ACANTHIS. (Ornith.) Un des noms latins du tarin, fringilla spinus. Certains auteurs le nomment aussi acanthus et acanthilis" (Dumont 1816).  Var. Acanthus.

Search for more names on the Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology by James A. Jobling.
Recommended citation
Jobling, J. A. (2019). Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology. In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.) (2019). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from www.hbw.com on 24 January 2019).