Bee-eaters (Meropidae)

Blue-breasted Bee-eater (Merops variegatus) - HBW 6, p. 331

French: Guêpier à collier bleu German: Blaubrustspint Spanish: Abejaruco Pechiazul
Other common names: Ethiopian Bee-eater (lafresnayii)

Taxonomy: Merops variegatus Vieillot, 1817, Malimbe, Cabinda, Angola.
Has been placed with other small, round-winged species lacking tail-streamers in genus Mellitophagus, comprising present species and M. muelleri, M. gularis, M. pusillus, M. oreobates, M. bulocki and M. bullockoides. Sometimes regarded as forming a superspecies with M. oreobates; although there is some geographical overlap between them, they are segregated altitudinally. Race lafresnayii sometimes treated as full species or, alternatively, as belonging in M. oreobates, but considered more akin to small lowland forms of pres.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Merops variegatus Vieillot, 1817, Malimbe, Cabinda, Angola.
Has been placed with other small, round-winged species lacking tail-streamers in genus Mellitophagus, comprising present species and M. muelleri, M. gularis, M. pusillus, M. oreobates, M. bulocki and M. bullockoides. Sometimes regarded as forming a superspecies with M. oreobates; although there is some geographical overlap between them, they are segregated altitudinally. Race lafresnayii sometimes treated as full species or, alternatively, as belonging in M. oreobates, but considered more akin to small lowland forms of present species; further research required. Four subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • loringi (Mearns, 1915) - extreme SE Nigeria (Obudu and Mambilla Plateaux) and S Cameroon E to Uganda and W Kenya.
  • variegatus Vieillot, 1817 - Gabon E to SC Zaire (Kasai) and S to N Angola.
  • bangweoloensis (C. H. B. Grant, 1915) - C Angola, and Zambia W to W Tanzania.
  • lafresnayii Guérin-Méneville, 1843 - Ethiopia and SE Sudan.

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