Emu Emu Society
Journal of BirdLife Australia

Comments on the Subspecies of Australian Native and Introduced Finches

WE Boles

Emu 88(1) 20 - 24
Published: 1988


Finches of the families Passeridae (Estrildinae; Passerinae: Ploceini, Passerini) and Fringillidae (Fringillinae: Fringillini, Carduelini; Emberizinae) are represented in Australia and its island dependencies by 18 native and 12 introduced species. Subspecies recognised in recent years have been largely confirmed; changes proposed here are the merger of Neochmia phaeton albiventer with N. p. evangelinae; N. p. iredalei with N. p. phaeton; and Lonchura castaneothorar assimilis with L. c. custaneothorax. The subspecific status of Poephila cincta nigrotecta and P. acuticauda hecki is supported. Seven species are monotypic and three polytypic species have only one Australian subspecies. Introduced species are mainly either the result of acclirnatisation societies or presumably of self-colonisation from New Zealand; the latter have been recorded only from island territories and are assumed to belong to the subspecies found in New Zealand. Subspecific assignment has not been made for Passer rnontanus on Christmas Island.


© Royal Australian Ornithologists Union 1988

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