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Sacred kingfisher (Todiramphus sanctus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Alcedinidae
Subfamily: Halcyoninae
Genus: Todiramphus
Lesson, 1827

see list

Todiramphus is a genus of kingfishers in the subfamily Halcyoninae.

The genus was introduced by the French surgeon and naturalist René Lesson in 1827.[1] The name is often spelt Todirhamphus (with rh), but Todiramphus is the original valid spelling. The name literally means "tody-bill";[2] tody is a relative of the kingfishers with a similar slender long bill, and the Greek rhamphos (ῥάµϕος) means "beak" or "bill".[3]

There are around 30 extant species in the genus, but the classification of several Pacific island forms is still unclear.[4] The range of the genus extends from the Red Sea in the west to French Polynesia in the east, with the greatest diversity in Australasia.

Members of Todiramphus are medium-sized kingfishers with flattened beaks. They are typically blue or blue-green above with pale underparts. They often have a pale collar and stripe over the eye. Many species are commonly found well away from water and feed largely on terrestrial animals such as insects and lizards. The nest is built in a cavity, most often in a tree.



  1. ^ Lesson, René (1827). "Description d'un nouveau genre d'oiseau. Todirhamphe, Todiramphus". Bulletin des sciences naturelles et de géologie (in French). 12: 268–271 [269]. 
  2. ^ Gray, Jeannie; Fraser, Ian (2013). Australian Bird Names: A Complete Guide. Csiro Publishing. p. 180. ISBN 978-0-643-10471-6. 
  3. ^ "rhamphoid". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2017). "Rollers, ground rollers & kingfishers". World Bird List Version 7.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 17 May 2017. 
  • Fry, C. Hilary; Fry, Kathie; Harris, Alan (1992). Kingfishers, Bee-eaters & Rollers. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-8028-8. 
  • Pratt, H. Douglas; Bruner, Philip L.; Berrett, Delwyn G. (1987). A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-08402-5. 
  • "Zoonomen". 

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