Statius Müller, 1776,
Valley of Mexico, Mexico.
Geographical variation complex, and considerable variation in body size, bill size and shape, and wing, tail and tarsus lengths; also, degree of saturation of red in male plumage (largely derived from access to carotenoid pigments in food) highly variable both within and among populations (in parts of Hawaiian Is, where introduced, males lack red); in addition, some populations poorly known and range of variation undescribed. Large races †mcgregori and amplus sometimes considered to represent one or perhaps two separate species. Conversely, in SW USA, proposed races grinnelli (described from Scott R, NW of Callahan, in California), solitudinus (Fallon, in Nevada), smithi (near Aurora, in NC Colorado) and anconophila (Chinati Mts, Presidio County, in SW Texas) all commonly synonymized with frontalis. Race rhodopnus has been subsumed into sonoriensis, and proposed race altitudinis (Chihuahua–Sinaloa state border) is here synonymized with sonoriensis. Present division of races, based on male plumage and morphological features, may not be sustainable, and entire range of variation within the species requires further research. Twelve extant subspecies recognized.
Introduced (frontalis) to E North America and (nominate) Hawaiian Is; also to Chiapas, S Mexico.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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