This order comprises six families:

  • Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
  • Brachypteraciidae (Ground-rollers)
  • Coraciidae (Rollers)
  • Meropidae (Bee-eaters)
  • Momotidae (Motmots)
  • Todidae (Todies)

Genus-level timetree of extant Coraciiformes based on McCullough et al. (2019) and Kuhl et al. (2021). The distribution of each taxon is indicated by the colour-code used throughout this website (Distribution code). Dated phylogenies are additionally available for Momotidae (Witt, 2004) Alcedinidae (Andersen et al., 2018), and Coraciiformes (Prum et al., 2015). Family-level divergence times have been adopted from Stiller et al. (2024).



Andersen MJ, McCullough JM, Mauck WM, Smith BT, and Moyle RG (2018), A phylogeny of kingfishers reveals an Indomalayan origin and elevated rates of diversification on oceanic islands, J. Biogeogr. 45, 269-281. (abstract)

Eliason CM, Mellenthin LE, Hains T, McCullough JM, Pirro S, Andersen MJ, and Hackett SJ (2023), Genomic signatures of convergent shifts to plunge-diving behavior in birds, CommunBiol. 6, e:1011. (free pdf)

Johansson US, Irestedt M, Qu Y, and Ericson PGP (2018), Phylogenetic relationships of rollers (Coraciidae) based on complete mitochondrial genomes and fifteen nuclear genes, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 126, 17-22. (abstract)

Kuhl H, Frankl-Vilches C, Bakker A, Mayr G, Nikolaus G, Boerno ST, Klages S, Timmermann B, and Gahr M (2021), An unbiased molecular approach using 3'UTRs resolves the avian family-level tree of life, Mol. Biol. Evol. 38, 108-127. (pdf)

Marks BD, Weckstein JD, and Moyle RG (2007), Molecular phylogenetics of the bee-eaters (Aves: Meropidae) based on nuclear and mitochondrial DNA sequence data, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 45, 23-32. (abstract)

McCullough JM, Moyle RG, Smith BT, and Andersen MJ (2019), A Laurasian origin for a pantropical bird radiation is supported by genomic and fossil data (Aves: Coraciiformes), Proc. R. Soc. B 286: 20190122. (pdf)

Mwale M, Dalton DL, Kropff AS, Labuschagne K, Russo IS, and Osinubi ST (2022), Genetic and morphological variation of Woodland Kingfisher Halcyon senegalensis reveals cryptic mitochondrial lineages and patterns of mitochondrial-nuclear discordance, Ostrich 93, 192-207. (abstract)

Prum RO, Berv JS, Dornburg A, Field DJ, Townsend JP, Lemmon EM, and Lemmon AR (2015), A comprehensive phylogeny of birds (Aves) using targeted next-generation DNA sequencing, Nature 526, 569-573. (abstract)

Tamashiro RA, White ND, Braun MJ, Faircloth BC, Braun EL, and Kimball RE (2019), What are the roles of taxon sampling and model fit in tests of cyto-nuclear discordance using avian mitogenomic data?, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 130, 132-142. (pdf)

Witt CC (2004), Rates of molecular evolution and their application to Neotropical avian biogeography, Ph.D. dissertation, Louisiana State University. (pdf)