Merops (genus)

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Merops apiaster (Marek Szczepanek).jpg
European bee-eater (Merops apiaster)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Meropidae
Genus: Merops
Linnaeus, 1758

Many, see text

Merops is a large genus of bee-eaters, a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. The members of this Old World family are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. They predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air.

All bee-eaters are in the genus Merops and subfamily Meropinae except for three Asiatic bearded bee-eaters in the subfamily Nyctyornithinae (in genera Nyctyornis and Meropogon).

The species in Merops are:


  • C H Fry & Kathie Fry; illustrated by Alan Harris (2000). Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Rollers. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-04879-7.