Evolution and systematics

Australian chats resemble the muscicapid chats of Eurasia and Africa in appearance and behavior. Australian chats are related to the honeyeaters on the basis of their brush tongues. This relationship was confirmed in the 1980s and 1990s, and indeed they are now usually classified within the Meliphagi-dae. Honeyeaters and chats are related to a range of other largely Australian families such as the Petroicidae (Australian robins) and Maluridae (fairy-wrens).

Four species of chats are monotypic, probably because they are highly mobile around often-extensive ranges. The yellow chat (Epthianura crocea), in contrast, shows a series of well-differentiated and localized populations. It inhabits local wetlands, some of which are transient, in arid and semi-arid regions.

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