Kinglets and Firecrests (Regulidae)

Goldcrest (Regulus regulus) - HBW 11, p. 347

French: Roitelet huppé German: Wintergoldhähnchen Spanish: Reyezuelo Sencillo
Other common names: European/Common Goldcrest; Tenerife Goldcrest/Kinglet (teneriffae)

Taxonomy: Motacilla Regulus Linnaeus, 1758, Europe = Sweden.
Canary Is race teneriffae (with, by implication, newly described race ellenthalerae) has been treated variously as a race of R. ignicapilla or as a separate species, but acoustic and molecular markers indicate that Canarian populations belong with W Palearctic complex of races of present species that also includes nominate and the three Azores races (inermis, azoricus, sanctaemarie). These W races are opposed to an E complex of Asian races, and acoustic and genetic divergence between these two groups is evidently high. Further, on Azores, race azor.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Motacilla Regulus Linnaeus, 1758, Europe = Sweden.
Canary Is race teneriffae (with, by implication, newly described race ellenthalerae) has been treated variously as a race of R. ignicapilla or as a separate species, but acoustic and molecular markers indicate that Canarian populations belong with W Palearctic complex of races of present species that also includes nominate and the three Azores races (inermis, azoricus, sanctaemarie). These W races are opposed to an E complex of Asian races, and acoustic and genetic divergence between these two groups is evidently high. Further, on Azores, race azoricus (from São Miguel) apparently does not represent a monophyletic taxon but is evidently separated into an E group, with affiliation to sanctaemariae (from Santa Maria), and a W population which genetically belongs to inermis (W islands of Azores). In addition, geographical variation partly clinal, birds becoming darker and slightly larger from W to E in Palearctic; buturlini and hyrcanus possibly not properly separable. Another morphological cline in S Asia, from dark greyish plumage in Himalayan himalayensis towards more brightly coloured plumage in Chinese sikkimensis and yunnanensis; these three taxa not vocally or genetically differentiated, either, and subspecific separation possibly unreliable. Taxonomy of this species clearly in need of revision, but this should be based on thorough revision of genus. Otherwise, proposed races anglorum (from Britain) and interni (from Corsica) synonymized with nominate, although latter, at least, exhibits slight acoustic differentiation from neighbouring continental populations. Fourteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • regulus (Linnaeus, 1758) - Europe and W Siberia.
  • coatsi Sushkin, 1904 - C Siberia (E to Altai and L Baikal area).
  • inermis Murphy & Chapin, 1929 - W & C Azores (Flores, Faial, São Jorge, Pico, Terceira).

     See all 14 subspecies
  • regulus (Linnaeus, 1758) - Europe and W Siberia.
  • coatsi Sushkin, 1904 - C Siberia (E to Altai and L Baikal area).
  • inermis Murphy & Chapin, 1929 - W & C Azores (Flores, Faial, São Jorge, Pico, Terceira).
  • azoricus Seebohm, 1883 - São Miguel, in E Azores.
  • sanctaemariae Vaurie, 1954 - Santa Maria, in SE Azores.
  • ellenthalerae Päckert, 2006 - W Canary Is (La Palma, El Hierro).
  • teneriffae Seebohm, 1883 - WC Canary Is (La Gomera, Tenerife).
  • buturlini Loudon, 1911 - Crimea, Asia Minor and Caucasus.
  • hyrcanus Zarudny, 1910 - N Iran.
  • tristis Pleske, 1892 - Tien Shan Mts.
  • himalayensis Bonaparte, 1856 - E Afghanistan E to W Himalayas.
  • sikkimensis R. Meinertzhagen & A. Meinertzhagen, 1926 - E Nepal and E Himalayas E to NC China (NE Qinghai E to SW Gansu).
  • yunnanensis Rippon, 1906 - C China (S Shaanxi and Sichuan S to SE Xizang and N Yunnan) and NE Myanmar.
  • japonensis Blakiston, 1862 - SE Siberia (Amur-Ussuri region), Sakhalin I, Kuril Is and Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu).