Proposal (729) to South American Classification Committee


Reinstate genus Chloris for “Carduelischloris



Effect on SACC: This would reinstate genus Chloris to European Greenfinch, introduced species on SACC area.


Background: Our current footnote is as follows:


2. Carduelis chloris was formerly (e.g., Meyer de Schauensee 1970) placed in genus Chloris, but most recent classifications have merged this genus into Carduelis, following Howell et al. (1968). Recent genetic data (Arnaiz-Villena et al. 2007) indicate that Carduelis as currently constituted is not monophyletic and that resurrection of Chloris will be required; this treatment was adopted by Chesser et al. (2009).  SACC proposal needed to reinstate Chloris.


New information: Six recent phylogenetic studies suggest that the greenfinches (Carduelis chloris, but also including extralimital Carduelis sinica, Carduelis ambigua, Carduelis spinoides) represent a monophyletic group that is not sister to the other species currently classified in Carduelis (Arnaiz-Villena et al. 2007, 1998, van der Meij et al. 2005, Zamora et al. 2006a, 2006b, Nguembock et al. 2008).


Recommendation: I vote YES on this because the evidence for its reinstate is confirmed by fairly large dataset.


Literature Cited


ARNAIZ-VILLENA, A., M. ÁLVAREZ-TEJADO, V. RUIZ-DEL-VALLE, C. GARCIA DE-LA-TORRE, P. VARELA, M.J. RECIO, S. FERRE, AND J. MARTÍNEZ-LASO. 1998. Phylogeny and rapid Northern and Southern Hemisphere speciation of goldfinches during the Miocene and Pliocene epochs. Cellular Molecular Life Sciences 54: 1031–1041.


ARNAIZ-VILLENA, A., V. RUIZ-DEL-VALLE, J. MOSCOSO, J. I. SERRANO-VELA, AND J. ZAMORA.  2007.  MtDNA phylogeny of North American Carduelis pinus group.  Ardeola 54: 1–14.


CHESSER, R. T., R. C. BANKS, F. K. BARKER, C. CICERO, J. L. DUNN, A. W. KRATTER, I. J. LOVETTE, P. C. RASMUSSEN, J. V. REMSEN, JR., J. A. RISING, D. F. STOTZ, AND K. WINKER.  2009.  Fiftieth supplement to the American Ornithologists' Union Check-list of North American Birds.  Auk 126: 705–714.


NGUEMBOCK, B., FJELDSA, J., COULOUX, A., AND PASQUET, E. 2008. Molecular phylogeny of Carduelinae (Aves, Passeriformes, Fringillidae) proves polyphyletic origin of the genera Serinus and Carduelis and suggests redefined generic limits. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 51: 169–181.


VAN DER MEIJ, M.A.A., DE BAKKER, M.A.G., AND BOUT, R.G. 2005. Phylogenetic relationships of finches and allies based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 34: 97–105.


ZAMORA, J., LOWY, E., RUIZ-DEL-VALLE, V., MOSCOSO, J., SERRANO-VELA, J.I., RIVERO-DE-AGUILAR, J., AND ARNAIZ-VILLENA, A. 2006a. Rhodopechys obsoleta (Desert Finch): a pale ancestor of greenfinches (Carduelis spp.) according to molecular phylogeny. Journal of Ornithology 147: 448–456.


ZAMORA, J., MOSCOSO, J., RUIZ-DEL-VALLE, V., LOWY, E., SERRANO-VELA, J.I., IRA-CACHAFEIRO, J.I., AND ARNAIZ-VILLENA, A. 2006b. Conjoint mitochondrial phylogenetic trees for canaries (Serinus spp.) and goldfinches (Carduelis spp.) show several specific polytomies. Ardeola 53: 1–17.


José Fernando Pacheco, October 2016




Comments from Remsen:  “YES.  Data overwhelmingly support this, or at least a return to traditional generic limits (vs. a broadly defined Carduelis) until there are better data.  Overdue (neglected mainly because this is an introduced species to SACC area).  Dickinson & Christidis (2014) already restored Chloris.”


Comments from Stiles: “YES, based upon conclusive genetic evidence.”


Comments from Zimmer: “YES, based upon strong genetic evidence.”


Comments from Areta: “YES. A solid taxonomic change in the siskin clade.”


Comments from Claramunt: “Abstain. There are numerous papers each with multiple trees but the evidence is weak. Although the Chloris clade seems far apart from Carduelis carduelis (the type species of Carduelis), they are separated by very few nodes with no statistical support. Reinstating Chloris may be ultimately correct, but I think a decision of this kind should be made with a stronger empirical grounding.”


Comments from Jaramillo: “YES – It seems to jive to me also based on vocalizations, and morphology. Greenfinches are not particularly like the European goldfinch group in any way really.”