Has sometimes been placed together with M. boehmi in genus Aerops, as both species combine long outer primary with some characters of small Melittophagus group (see M. bullockoides) and with some features of large Merops species. Systematically rather isolated, with no obvious close relatives; possibly closest to M. revoilii. Recent molecular study suggested that present species, M. malimbicus and M. nubicus are each other’s closest relatives#R. Separation of E populations as race major on grounds of longer bill and wing considered unwarranted. Monotypic.
Breeds from Mauritania and Senegal to Eritrea, SW Saudi Arabia and W Yemen, and S to NW Kenya and, erratically, S Kenya; spends non-breeding season in W Africa and Congo Basin.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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