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Patagonian sierra finch (Phrygilus patagonicus)
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Thraupidae
Genus: Phrygilus
Cabanis, 1844
Type species
Fringilla gayi
Gervais, 1834

See text

Phrygilus is a genus of mainly Andean seed-eating tanagers commonly known as sierra finches. Phrygilos means finch in Ancient Greek. Traditionally classified in the bunting and American sparrow family Emberizidae, more recent studies have shown them to belong in the Thraupidae.[1]

Taxonomy and species list

The genus Phrygilus was introduced in 1844 by the German ornithologist Jean Cabanis with the grey-hooded sierra finch as the type species.[2][3] The name is from the Ancient Greek phrugilos, an unidentified bird mentioned by Aristophanes.[4][5]

The genus formerly included additional species. A molecular phylogenetic study published in 2014 found that the genus was highly polyphyletic and in the resulting reorganization members of the genus were moved to Geospizopsis, Rhopospina, Porphyrospiza and Idiopsar.[6][7] The genus now contains four species.[5]

Image Common Name Scientific name Distribution
Black-hooded sierra finch Phrygilus atriceps Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, and Peru.
Peruvian sierra finch Phrygilus punensis Bolivia and Peru
Grey-hooded sierra finch Phrygilus gayi Argentina and Chile
Patagonian sierra finch Phrygilus patagonicus Argentina and Chile.


  1. ^ See Burns et al. (2003) & Klicka et al. (2007)
  2. ^ von Tschudi, Johann Jakob; Cabanis, Jean (1844). "Avium conspectus quae in Republica Peruana reperiuntur et pleraeque observatae vel collectae sunt in itinere". Archiv für Naturgeschichte (in Latin). 10 (1): 262–317 [289–290].
  3. ^ Paynter, Raymond A. Jr, ed. (1970). Check-List of Birds of the World. Vol. 13. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 103.
  4. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 305. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  5. ^ a b Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (July 2020). "Tanagers and allies". IOC World Bird List Version 10.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
  6. ^ Burns, K.J.; Shultz, A.J.; Title, P.O.; Mason, N.A.; Barker, F.K.; Klicka, J.; Lanyon, S.M.; Lovette, I.J. (2014). "Phylogenetics and diversification of tanagers (Passeriformes: Thraupidae), the largest radiation of Neotropical songbirds". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 75: 41–77. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2014.02.006. PMID 24583021.
  7. ^ Burns, K.J.; Unitt, P.; Mason, N.A. (2016). "A genus-level classification of the family Thraupidae (Class Aves: Order Passeriformes)". Zootaxa. 4088 (3): 329–354. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.4088.3.2. PMID 27394344.

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