Evolution and systematics

Molecular data indicate Australian robins are not closely related to the robins and flycatchers of Eurasia and Africa (Muscicapidae). Rather, their similar appearance and behavior are adaptations to similar ecological niches. The Petroicidae belong within the major adaptive radiation of the endemic Australian passerines, which include lyrebirds and honeyeaters. Petroicidae's nearest relatives are not clear, and the family is probably quite ancient. The number of species and genera is undecided and separation into subfamilies poorly resolved, though scrub robins are clearly separate. The family name Eopsaltriidae also has been used but Petroicidae has precedence.

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