Three species of Rock-jumpers. The genus is endemic to southern Africa.
Chaetops is a genus in the Family Chaetopidae.
The Clements Checklist2 formerly placed Chaetops in the family Timaliidae. However, C. frenatus and C. aurantius are now considered to be more closely related to the rockfowl (genus Picathartes), and have been placed in the monogeneric family Chaetopidae. Molecular evidence indicates that this family diverged from the main Passerine tree about 45 million years ago, before the divergence of the Passerida into the superfamilies Muscicapoidea, Sylvioidea and Passeroidea1,3.
On the other hand, despite structral similarities, molecular evidence showed that the Damara Rock-jumper or Rockrunner is not closely related to the Cape Rockjumper and Drakensberg Rockjumper, but is related to the Cape Grassbird Sphenoeacus afer in the Sylviidae1,3. It's therefore also placed in its own genus Achaetops.
|C. frenatus||Cape Rockjumper|
|C. aurantius||Drakensberg Rockjumper|
- Beresford P, Barker FK, Ryan PG & Crowe TM. 2005. African endemics span the tree of songbirds (Passeri): molecular systematics of several evolutionary ‘enigmas’. Proc. R. Soc. B 272, 849–858.
- Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
- Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ & Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Robert's Birds of Southern Africa, 7th edition. John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town, South Africa. ISBN 0620340533