Galapagos Species Database

The Galapagos Species Database shares the information about the species from our Natural History Collections.

Geospiza scandens (Gould, 1837)

Pinzón Cactero Común (, Pinzón de cactus común, Common Cactus Finch

Male Common Cactus Finch, in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Photo: CDF Archive.
Male Common Cactus Finch, in Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos. Photo: CDF Archive.

Threats The species is increasingly affected by avian pox, although no evaluation of the impact on population exists. It is also affected by the parasitic fly Philornis downsi, but little data is available.










Taxon category: Accepted

Syn.: Geospiza scandens abingdoni (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1870); Geospiza scandens intermedia Ridgway, 1894; Geospiza scandens rothschildi Heller & Snodgrass, 1901; Geospiza scandens scandens (Gould, 1837); Cactornis scandens Gould, 1837; Cactornis assimilis Gould, 1837; Cactornis abingdoni (Sclater & Salvin, 1870).

Taxon origin: Endemic


Least concern


Preference for an altitude zone in Galapagos: Coastal zone - dry zone

Habitat preferences: Prefers dry shrub and woodlands with large Opuntia populations.

Feeding type: Polyphagous

Flowers and nectar of Opuntia, pollen, seeds and insects

Feeding preferences: Opuntia specialist, exploits flowers, nectar, pollen, seeds, and insects and larvae from rotting pads. Also feeds on other seeds.

Trophic role: Omnivorous

Reproduction mode: Exclusively sexual

Reproductive biology: Male displays in front of a dome shape nest built in an Opuntia cactus pad. Only females incubate (three to five eggs), both feed the chicks. May start breeding slightly earlier than other finches and particularly before the onset of the rain. Always build nests between pads of Opuntia.


Map of specimen collection localities or observation records for this species in our collections database.

Distribution: Found on main islands except Fernandina and Pinzón (extinct ??).


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You are welcome to download and use the information found in this page, acknowledging the origin of the data.
This page should be cited as follows:
"Galapagos Species Database, Geospiza scandens", dataZone. Charles Darwin Foundation, Accessed 21 July 2024.