South Carolina, USA.
Has in the past been placed in a separate genus, Richmondena. Relationship of this species and C. phoeniceus to C. sinuatus the subject of varying opinions. One documented example of a wild-bred hybrid between present species and C. sinuatus, and hybridization in captivity reported. In captivity has hybridized also with Paroaria coronata and Gubernatrix cristata, both of which are currently placed in family Thraupidae. Races fall into two groups based largely on colour of face mask of females, namely “cardinalis group” (comprising 18 races) and single-taxon “carneus group”, although a phylogeographic study identified six lineages within the species#R. In E Mexico, race coccineus intergrades with canicaudus in N coastal Veracruz and yucatanicus intergrades with phillipsi in S Yucatán Peninsula. Race carneus sometimes treated as a full species; conversely, sinaloensis treated by many authors as synonym of affinis, and floridanus sometimes subsumed into nominate. S USA populations in C Oklahoma, S Arkansas, SC Texas, all of Louisiana and SW Mississippi included in magnirostris, but some may belong with another race or represent as yet undescribed race(s). Nineteen subspecies recognized.
Introduced to Bermuda (probably nominate) and Hawaii (canicaudus); also Los Angeles, on coast of S California (probably superbus or canicaudus).
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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