The species was described in 1863 by the Italian zoologist Filippo de Filippi who named it Dromolaea chrysopgyia. It was later treated as a subspecies of the Kurdistan Wheatear (O. xanthoprymna) after birds with an appearance intermediate between the two ("O. x. cummingi") were found, suggesting that they could interbreed. However, these hybrid birds may in fact be first-winter Kurdistan Wheatears.
Red-tailed Wheatears in the eastern part of the range are slightly paler and are sometimes regarded as a separate subspecies, O. c. kingi.
Read more about this topic: Red-tailed Wheatear
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