Merops (genus)

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Merops
African bee-eaters composite.jpg
Six common African merops bee-eaters
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Meropidae
Genus: Merops
Linnaeus, 1758
Species

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 genus name Merops is Ancient Greek for "bee-eater".[1]

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

Extant species[edit]

Twenty-four extant species are recognized:[2]

Former species[edit]

Formerly, some authorities also considered the following species (or subspecies) as species within the genus Merops:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 251. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4. 
  2. ^ "IOC World Bird List 7.1". IOC World Bird List Datasets. doi:10.14344/ioc.ml.7.1.