Crithagra is a genus of small passerine birds in the finch family (Fringillidae). They live in Africa and Arabia.

Brimstone Canary RWD1.jpg
Male brimstone canary (Crithagra sulphurata sharpii)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Subfamily: Carduelinae
Genus: Crithagra
Swainson, 1827

See text

The species in this genus were formerly assigned to the genus Serinus, but phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences found that the genus was polyphyletic.[1] It was therefore split into two monophyletic genera. Eight species, including the European serin (Serinus serinus), were retained in Serinus, while the other species were assigned to the resurrected genus Crithagra.[2]

The genus was introduced in 1827 by the English ornithologist William John Swainson.[3] The type species was subsequently designated as the brimstone canary.[4] The name comes from the classical Greek krithē for "barley" and agra for "hunting".[5]

The genus contains 37 species:[2]


  1. ^ Zuccon, Dario; Prŷs-Jones, Robert; Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Ericson, Per G.P. (2012). "The phylogenetic relationships and generic limits of finches (Fringillidae)" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 62 (2): 581–596. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2011.10.002. PMID 22023825.
  2. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Finches, euphonias". World Bird List Version 5.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  3. ^ Swainson, William (1827). "On several forms in ornithology not hitherto defined". Zoological Journal. 3: 348.
  4. ^ Dickinson, E.C.; Christidis, L., eds. (2014). The Howard & Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. Vol. 2: Passerines (4th ed.). Eastbourne, UK: Aves Press. p. 329. ISBN 978-0-9568611-2-2.
  5. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 122. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  6. ^ "Species Updates – IOC World Bird List". Retrieved 2021-06-18.