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Red-billed firefinch (Lagonosticta senegala)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Estrildidae
Subfamily: Estrildidae
Genus: Lagonosticta
Cabanis, 1851
Type species
Fringilla rubricata[1]
M.H.C. Lichtenstein, 1823

11, see text

The firefinches form a genus, Lagonosticta, of small seed-eating African birds in the family Estrildidae.

The genus was introduced by the German ornithologists Jean Cabanis in 1851.[2] The type species was subsequently designated as the African firefinch.[3] The name combines the Ancient Greek words lagōn "flank" and stiktos "spotted".[4] The genus Lagonosticta is sister to the brown twinspot which is placed in its own genus Clytospiza.[5]


The genus contains 10 species:[6]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
Red-billed firefinch Lagonosticta senegala Democratic Republic of the Congo, Uganda, Kenya, Angola, Zambia, Mozambique, South Africa, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia, Cameroon, Chad, Sudan, Eritrea and Ethiopia
African firefinch Lagonosticta rubricata Senegal east to Ethiopia then south to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania south through Mozambique to the Eastern Cape province of South Africa.
Jameson's firefinch Lagonosticta rhodopareia Angola, Botswana, Chad, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Mali firefinch Lagonosticta virata Western Africa
Rock firefinch Lagonosticta sanguinodorsalis central Nigeria
Chad firefinch Lagonosticta umbrinodorsalis southwest Chad where it is fairly common and northeast Cameroon
Black-bellied firefinch Lagonosticta rara Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo and Uganda
Bar-breasted firefinch Lagonosticta rufopicta Gambia and southern Senegal east to western Uganda and eastern Kenya
Brown firefinch Lagonosticta nitidula Angola, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, southern Tanzania and northern areas of Namibia, Botswana and Zimbabwe
Black-faced firefinch Lagonosticta larvata Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Togo and Uganda


  1. ^ "Estrildidae". The Trust for Avian Systematics. Retrieved 2023-07-16.
  2. ^ Cabanis, Jean; Heine, Ferdinand (1860). Museum Heineanum : Verzeichniss der ornithologischen Sammlung des Oberamtmann Ferdinand Heine, auf Gut St. Burchard vor Halberstadt (in German and Latin). Vol. 1. Halberstadt: R. Frantz. p. 171.
  3. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1968). Check-list of birds of the world. Vol. 14. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 325.
  4. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 217. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  5. ^ Olsson, Urban; Alström, Per (2020). "A comprehensive phylogeny and taxonomic evaluation of the waxbills (Aves: Estrildidae)". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 146: 106757. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2020.106757. PMID 32028027.
  6. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (January 2023). "Waxbills, parrotfinches, munias, whydahs, Olive Warbler, accentors, pipits". IOC World Bird List Version 13.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 10 February 2023.

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