Three subspecies currently recognized:
notata, described as Carduelis notata (Du Bus 1847); type locality Mexico; Jalapa, Veracruz designated as the restricted type locality by Todd (1926)
Occurs in eastern and central Mexico, and in the highlands of Guatemala.
See Detailed Description.
forreri, described as Chrymomitris forreri (Salvin and Godman 1886); type locality near hamlet of Ciudad, Sierra Madre de Durango, Mexico
Occurs in western Mexico, from Sonora and Chihuahua south to Guerrero.
Similar to notatus, but the upperparts are more olive (less yellow), and the yellow of the rump and underparts is duller and more greenish; size larger (Ridgway 1901).
oleaceus, described as Spinus notatus oleaceus Griscom 1932; type locality Cerro Cantoral, Achaga, Honduras
Occurs in Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, and northern Nicaragua.
This subspecies is darker, both above and below, than notatus, and the sexes are almost identical. "Differing from typical [nominate] notatus DuBus of southeastern Mexico and Guatemala in being slightly smaller, with a slighter and slenderer bill; upper parts appreciably less yellowish, more olive-green; under parts strikingly dirty greenish yellow, without the rich gamboge shade of northern birds" (Griscon 1932: 62).