Has been placed with other small, rounded-winged species lacking tail-streamers in genus Melittophagus, also including M. bullockoides, M. bulocki, M. oreobates, M. variegatus, M. pusillus, M. gularis and M. muelleri (and forms previously included within these species). Sometimes lumped with M. variegatus or M. oreobates, and recently shown to be much closer to and hybridizing with latter#R, but differs from both: from variegatus in its rich blue forehead and supercilium (3), slightly darker belly (1), much broader dark tailband (usually twice width) (at least 1), much larger size (effect size for wing 4.43, for tail 4.74; score 2); and from oreobates in its rich blue forehead and supercilium (3), rich blue, not black, upper breastband (3), buffy-yellow basal secondaries and basal outer tail (2), barely discernible greyish vs distinct white narrow tips of secondaries (ns), with unknown-width zone of apparent intergradation or hybridization in N & W Kenya#R (score 1). Monotypic.
Eritrea, Ethiopia and E South Sudan.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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