Linaria (bird)

Linaria is a genus of small passerine birds in the finch family (Fringillidae) that contains the twite and the linnets. The genus name linaria is the Latin for a linen-weaver, from linum, "flax".[1]

Carduelis cannabina -England -male-8.jpg
Male common linnet (Linaria cannabina) in breeding plumage
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Fringillidae
Subfamily: Carduelinae
Genus: Linaria
Bechstein, 1802

See text

The species were formerly included in the genus Carduelis. A molecular phylogenetic study using mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences published in 2012 found that the genus was polyphyletic.[2] It was therefore split into monophyletic genera and the twite and the linnets moved to the resurrected genus Linaria.[3] The name had originally been introduced in 1802 by the German naturalist Johann Matthäus Bechstein.[4]


The genus contains four species:[3]

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
  Linaria flavirostris Twite northern Europe and across central Asia
  Linaria cannabina Common linnet Europe, western Asia and north Africa
Linaria yemenensis Yemen linnet Saudi Arabia and Yemen
Linaria johannis Warsangli linnet Somalia


  1. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London, United Kingdom: Christopher Helm. p. 227. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David (eds.). "Finches, euphonias". World Bird List Version 5.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  4. ^ Bechstein, Johann Matthäus (1803). Ornithologisches Taschenbuch von und für Deutschland, oder, Kurze Beschreibung aller Vögel Deutschlands für Liebhaber dieses Theils der Naturgeschichte (in German). Leipzig: Carl Friedrich Enoch Richter. p. 121.