Bee-eaters (Meropidae)

Blue-headed Bee-eater (Merops muelleri) - HBW 6, p. 326

French: Guêpier à tête bleue German: Saphirspint Spanish: Abejaruco Cabeciazul

Taxonomy: Meropiscus Mülleri Cassin, 1857, Muni River, Gabon.
Formerly sometimes joined with M. gularis in genus Meropiscus. Has been placed with other small, round-winged species lacking tail-streamers in genus Mellitophagus, comprising present species and M. gularis, M. pusillus, M. variegatus, M. oreobates, M. bulocki and M. bullockoides. Races intergrade between R Cross, Nigeria, and Douala, Cameroon; Kenyan population has been described as race yalensis, but now considered indistinguishable from nominate. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • mentalis Cabanis, 1889 - Sierra Leone and SW Mali to W Cameroon, and Bioko (Fernando Póo).
  • muelleri (Cassin, 1857) - S Cameroon and N Gabon to E Zaire, also W Kenya.

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