This superfamily comprises six families:

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

Timetree of 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 (see Distribution code). Dated phylogenies are additionally available for Momotidae (Witt, 2004) Alcedinidae (Andersen et al., 2018), and Coraciiformes (Prum et al., 2015).  


Andersen, M.J., J.M. McCullough, W.M. Mauck, B.T. Smith and R.G. Moyle (2018), A phylogeny of kingfishers reveals an Indomalayan

origin and elevated rates of diversification on oceanic islands, J. Biogeogr. 45, 269-281. (abstract)

Gill, F.B. & D. Donsker (2019), IOC World Bird List (v 9.1). Retrieved from (link)

Johansson, U.S., M. Irestedt, Y. Qu, and P.G.P. Ericson (2018), Phylogenetic relationships of rollers (Coraciidae) based on complete

mitochondrial genomes and fifteen nuclear genes, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 126, 17-22. (abstract)

Kuhl, H., C. Frankl-Vilches, A. Bakker, G. Mayr, G. Nikolaus, S.T. Boerno, S. Klages, B. Timmermann, and M. Gahr (2021), An unbiased molecular approach

 using 3'UTRs, resolves the avian family-level tree of life, Mol. Biol. Evol. 38(1), 108-127. DOI: 10.1093/molbev/msaa191. (pdf)

Marks, B.D., J.D. Weckstein, and R.G. Moyle (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, J.M., R.G. Moyle, B.T. Smith, and M.J. Andersen (2019), A Laurasian origin for a pantropical bird radiation is supported by

genomic and fossil data (Aves: Coraciiformes), Proc. R. Soc. B 286: 20190122.

Prum, R.O., J.S. Berv, A. Dornburg, D.J. Field, J.P. Townsend, E.M. Lemmon, and A.R. Lemmon (2015), A comprehensive phylogeny of

birds (Aves) using  targeted next-generation DNA sequencing, Nature 526, 569-57. (abstract)

Tamashiro, R.A., N.E. White, M.J. Braun, B.C. Faircloth, E.L. Braun and R.E. Kimball (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, 132-144. (pdf)

Witt, C.C., 2004, Rates of molecular evolution and their application to Neotropical avian biogeography, Ph.D. dissertation, Louisiana

State University. (pdf)