Euphonias are members of the genus Euphonia, a group of Neotropical birds in the finch family. They and the chlorophonias comprise the subfamily Euphoniinae.

Violaceous euphonia, Euphonia violacea
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Subfamily: Euphoniinae
Genus: Euphonia
Desmarest, 1806

See text.

The genus name is of Greek origin and refers to the birds' pleasing song, meaning "sweet-voiced" (εὖ eu means "well" or "good" and φωνή phōnē means "sound", hence "of good sound").

Most male euphonias are dark metallic blue above and bright yellow below. Many have contrasting pale foreheads and white undertails. Some have light blue patches on the head and/or orangish underparts. Females much more plain, predominantly olive-green all over. They range in overall length from 9 to 11 cm (3+12 to 4+12 in). They eat small fruit and berries, particularly mistletoe (Loranthaceae). Some species may also eat some insects.[1]

Euphonias were once considered members of the tanager family, Thraupidae.[2] A molecular phylogenetic study of the finch family Fringillidae published in 2012 included 9 species from the genus Euphonia and a single species from the genus Chlorophonia, the blue-naped chlorophonia. The resulting cladogram showed the blue-naped chlorophonia nested within the Euphonia clade implying that the genus Euphonia is paraphyletic.[3] The genus was introduced in 1806 by the French zoologist Anselme Gaëtan Desmarest in his Histoire naturelle des tangaras, des manakins et des todiers with the white-vented euphonia as the type species.[4][5]

A taxonomic analysis published in 2020 found that the genus Euphonia was paraphyletic with respect to Chlorophonia. To resolve the paraphyly the authors of the study proposed the resurrection of the genus Cyanophonia that had been introduced in 1851 by Charles Lucien Bonaparte. They suggested that the Antillean euphonia (Cyanophonia musica) should be the type species. The proposed genus would contain three species: the Antillean euphonia, the golden-rumped euphonia and the elegant euphonia. An alternative and simpler way to resolve the paraphyly would be move the three species from Euphonia into Chlorophonia, which has been followed by the IOC.[6]

Species listEdit

The genus contains 24 species:[7]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
  Jamaican euphonia Euphonia jamaica Jamaica
  Orange-crowned euphonia Euphonia saturata Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru
  Plumbeous euphonia Euphonia plumbea Brazil, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
  Purple-throated euphonia Euphonia chlorotica Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
  Finsch's euphonia Euphonia finschi Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and eastern Venezuela.
  Velvet-fronted euphonia Euphonia concinna Colombia
  Trinidad euphonia Euphonia trinitatis Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela.
  West Mexican euphonia Euphonia godmani Mexico
  Scrub euphonia Euphonia affinis Belize, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua and along the Atlantic coastal lowlands in Costa Rica.
  Yellow-crowned euphonia Euphonia luteicapilla Costa Rica, Nicaragua, and Panama
  White-lored euphonia Euphonia chrysopasta Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
  White-vented euphonia Euphonia minuta southern Mexico south along the Pacific coast to northwestern Ecuador, the second across northern South America from the eastern Andean foothills as far east as the state of Pará in Brazil, and south to northern Bolivia.
  Green-chinned euphonia Euphonia chalybea northeastern Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.
  Violaceous euphonia Euphonia violacea Trinidad, Tobago and eastern Venezuela south to Paraguay and northeastern Argentina.
  Yellow-throated euphonia Euphonia hirundinacea from Belize south to western Panama
  Thick-billed euphonia Euphonia laniirostris Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
  Spot-crowned euphonia Euphonia imitans Costa Rica and Panama.
  Olive-backed euphonia Euphonia gouldi southern Mexico to western Panama.
  Fulvous-vented euphonia Euphonia fulvicrissa Colombia
  Tawny-capped euphonia Euphonia anneae Colombia, Costa Rica, and Panama.
  Orange-bellied euphonia Euphonia xanthogaster Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.
  Bronze-green euphonia Euphonia mesochrysa Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru.
  Golden-sided euphonia Euphonia cayennensis Brazil, French Guiana, Guyana, Suriname and eastern Venezuela.
  Rufous-bellied euphonia Euphonia rufiventris Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
  Chestnut-bellied euphonia Euphonia pectoralis Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay.

The black-throated euphonia ("Euphonia vittata") is now thought to be a hybrid between the chestnut-bellied euphonia and the orange-bellied euphonia.


  1. ^ del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive". Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 15 July 2015.(subscription required)
  2. ^ Banks, Richard C.; Cicero, Carla; Dunn, Jon L.; Kratter, Andrew W.; Rasmussen, Pamela C.; Remsen, J.V. Jr.; Rising, James D.; Stotz, Douglas F. (2003). "Forty-fourth supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-List of North American Birds". The Auk. 120 (3): 923–931. doi:10.1642/0004-8038(2003)120[0923:FSTTAO]2.0.CO;2.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ Desmarest, Anselme Gaëtan (1806). Histoire naturelle des tangaras, des manakins et des todiers (in French). Paris: Garnery. p. 35 and plate 27 (pages and plates are not numbered).
  5. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1970). Check-list of Birds of the World. Vol. 13. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 340.
  6. ^ Imfeld, Tyler S.; Barker, F. Keith; Brumfield, Robb T. (2020). "Mitochondrial genomes and thousands of ultraconserved elements resolve the taxonomy and historical biogeography of the Euphonia and Chlorophonia finches (Passeriformes: Fringillidae)". The Auk. doi:10.1093/auk/ukaa016.
  7. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Finches, euphonias". World Bird List Version 5.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 June 2015.

External linksEdit