Babblers (Timaliidae)

Drakensberg Rockjumper (Chaetops aurantius) - HBW 12, p. 291

French: Chétopse doré German: Orangebrust-Felsenspringer Spanish: Saltarrocas del Drakensberg
Other common names: Buffy/Orange-breasted Rockjumper

Taxonomy: Chaetops aurantius E. L. Layard, 1867, near Graaff-Reinet, west Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Affinities uncertain. Recent biomolecular evidence suggests that this genus, rather than being included in present family, is more closely related to the picathartes (Picathartidae), but sufficiently distinct in structure, behaviour and breeding biology to merit placement in its own separate family, Chaetopidae. Further research needed. Commonly treated as conspecific with C. frenatus, but differs significantly in size, colour of underparts and extent of male’s black upper breast; the two species approach each other geographically to within 100-150 km. Birds in Lesotho reportedly pal.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Chaetops aurantius E. L. Layard, 1867, near Graaff-Reinet, west Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Affinities uncertain. Recent biomolecular evidence suggests that this genus, rather than being included in present family, is more closely related to the picathartes (Picathartidae), but sufficiently distinct in structure, behaviour and breeding biology to merit placement in its own separate family, Chaetopidae. Further research needed. Commonly treated as conspecific with C. frenatus, but differs significantly in size, colour of underparts and extent of male’s black upper breast; the two species approach each other geographically to within 100-150 km. Birds in Lesotho reportedly paler below than those in rest of range, but no subspecies described. Monotypic.

Distribution: Lesotho highlands and adjacent South Africa in montane Free State, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape.

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