Merops is the largest of the three genera of bee-eaters, and includes 23 of the 26 species. These bee-eaters are found in the warmer climes of the Old World, from Europe to Australia, but mostly in Africa. They are brightly coloured birds which catch and eat flying insects. A large proportion of their diet - as the name suggests - is made up of bees and wasps. Bee-eaters remove the sting before they eat their prey by hitting and rubbing it against a hard surface.
Scientific name: Merops
The shading illustrates the diversity of this group - the darker the colour the greater the number of species. Data provided by WWF's Wildfinder.