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The Linnet (Linaria cannabina) or Common Linnet is of the family Fringillidae which is in the genus Linaria.
It derives its name from its fondness for the seeds of the flax plant which is used to make linen. This small finch occurs in Europe as well as Western Asia but is absent from northern latitudes and has a limited distribution in North West Africa and the Middle East.
There are seven subspecies :
- Linaria c. autochthona - occurs in Scotland
- L. c. cannabina - occurs in the rest of Britain, Ireland also northern Europe, eastwards to central Siberia. It is a partial migrant, wintering in north Africa and southwest Asia
- L. c. bella - occurs in Middle East, eastwards to Mongolia and northwestern China
- L. c. mediterranea - occurs on the Iberian Peninsula, Italy, Greece, northwest Africa and on the Mediterranean islands
- L. c. guentheri - occurs on Madeira Island
- L. c. meadewaldoi - occurs on the Western Canary Islands (El Hierro, La Gomera, La Palma, Tenerife and Gran Canaria)
- L. c. harterti - occurs on the Eastern Canary Islands (Lanzarote and Fuerteventura)