Comments: Prior to 1983, North American rosy-finches were regarded as three species (L. atrata, L. australis, and L. tephrocotis). AOU (1983) lumped these together with Asian species as L. arctoa. Subsequently, Sibley and Monroe (1990, who cited unpublished genetic, biochemical, and morphological data by French and Loskot) and AOU (1993, who stated that the 1983 merger was based on insufficient new information) again recognized three species of rosy-finches in North America, distinct from Old World L L. arctoa. Zink et al. (1995) concluded from limited mtDNA data that L. tephrocotis likely is specifically distinct from Old World L. arctoa.
The three North American species sometimes have been merged as L. tephrocotis, American rosy-finch. Unpublished work by Johnson (1972) recognized a fourth North American species (L. griseonucha, comprising nominal subspecies griseonucha and umbrina of the Pribilof and Aleutian islands), but this taxon has not been accepted as a full species in subsequent checklists. Nominal subspecies of L. tephrocotis generally have not been recognized in recent literature.