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Related subjects: Birds

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European Stonechat, Saxicola rubicola
From front to back: Male, female, young
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Saxicola
Bechstein, 1802

See text.

The genus Saxicola, the stonechats or chats, is a genus of 14 species of small passerine birds restricted to the Old World. They are insectivores of open scrubland and grassland with scattered small shrubs.

Saxicola torquata was at one time used for the supposed taxon "Common Stonechat". With addition of mtDNA cytochrome b sequence and nDNA fingerprinting data (Urquhart & Bowley 2002, Wink et al. 2002), it was confirmed that not only the Fuerteventura and Réunion Stonechats are distinct species. In addition, the African, European and Siberian Stonechats needed to be separated too. Due to confusion of subspecies allocation, the name S. torquata was briefly used for the European species, the African Stonechat being S. axillaris.

Species list:

  • Whinchat, Saxicola rubetra
  • Stoliczka's Bushchat or White-browed Bushchat, Saxicola macrorhyncha
  • Hodgson's Bushchat or White-throated Bushchat, Saxicola insignis
  • Fuerteventura Chat or Canary Island Stonechat, Saxicola dacotiae
    • Chinijo Chat, Saxicola dacotiae murielae - extinct (early 20th century)
  • European Stonechat, Saxicola rubicola (previously S. torquata rubicola)
  • Siberian Stonechat or Asian Stonechat, Saxicola maura (previously S. torquata maura)
  • African Stonechat, Saxicola torquata
  • Reunion Stonechat, Saxicola tectes
  • White-tailed Stonechat, Saxicola leucura
  • Pied Bushchat, Saxicola caprata
  • Jerdon's Bushchat, Saxicola jerdoni
  • Grey Bushchat, Saxicola ferrea
  • White-bellied Bushchat or Timor Bushchat, Saxicola gutturalis
  • Buff-streaked Bushchat, Saxicola bifasciata
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