Common stonechat is the name used for the Saxicola species Saxicola torquatus when this is treated in its broad sense.
It is, however, now more widely considered to be a superspecies consisting of several related but distinct species, which are outwardly fairly similar but genetically distinct and replacing each other geographically without significant hybridisation:
- African stonechat Saxicola torquatus in the strict sense
- European stonechat Saxicola rubicola
- Siberian stonechat Saxicola maurus
- Stejneger's stonechat Saxicola stejnegeri
- Madagascan stonechat Saxicola sibilla
- Fuerteventura chat Saxicola dacotiae
- Reunion stonechat Saxicola tectes
- White-tailed stonechat Saxicola leucurus
Species status possible, but not yet verified:
- Ethiopian stonechat Saxicola (torquatus) albofasciatus
Not all of the above are currently recognised as full species by all of the relevant taxonomical authorities, for example the British Ornithologists' Union, currently include stejnegeri as a subspecies of Saxicola maurus.
- IOC World Bird List and references cited therein
- Urquhart, E., & Bowley, A. (2002): Stonechats. A Guide to the Genus Saxicola. Christopher Helm, London. ISBN 0-7136-6024-4
- Woog, F., Wink, M., Rastegar-Pouyani, E., Gonzalez, J., & Helm, B. (2008). Distinct taxonomic position of the Madagascar stonechat (Saxicola torquatus sibilla) revealed by nucleotide sequences of mitochondrial DNA. J. Ornithol. 149: 423–430. Full text
- Zink, R.M., Pavlova, A., Drovetski, S. V., Wink, M., & Rohwer, S. (2009). Taxonomic status and evolutionary history of the Saxicola torquata complex. Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution 52: 769-773. Abstract.
- Illera, J. C., Richardson, D. S., Helm, B., Atienza, J. C., & Emerson, B. C. (2008). Phylogenetic relationships, biogeography and speciation in the avian genus Saxicola. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 48: 1145-1154. Full text.
- The British List
- BOU Records Committee , September 2011.