Black bee-eater

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Black bee-eater
Black bee-eater semuliki dec05.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Meropidae
Genus: Merops
Species: M. gularis
Binomial name
Merops gularis
Shaw, 1798

The black bee-eater (Merops gularis) is a species of bird in the Meropidae family.


Black with scarlet chin and throat, streaked breast, pale blue eyebrow, belly, undertail-coverts and rump, rufous primaries.


It is found in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Togo, and Uganda.


There are two subspecies:

  • M.g. gularis - From Sierra Leone to southeast Nigeria - With the forehead blue, and a distinct bright cobalt-blue superciliary stripe. Some southeast Nigerian and west Cameroon birds are intermediate between this and M.g. australis
  • M.g. australis - From southeast Nigeria to northeast Democratic Republic of the Congo, south to north Angola. - No superciliary stripe; forehead black, sometimes with a few blue feathers; the light azure-blue streaks on breast and even the belly are sometimes scarlet-tipped. Wing 5mm longer than the nominate subspecies.