They are all drab coloured birds, with grey or grey-green upperparts, and grey to whitish-grey underparts. They are among the smallest members of the honeyguide family. They have slender bills compared to other members of the family.
Unlike other honeyguides they do not feed on beeswax. They help in the pollination of plants like Strelitzia, Callistemon (bottle brush), Bombax, Butea monosperma and coral trees (see: ornithophily). They parasitise nests of cisticolas, sunbirds and other dome-nesting bird species.
There are three species:Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution Prodotiscus regulus Brown-backed honeybird Angola, Botswana, Cameroon, Central African Republic, DRC, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Prodotiscus zambesiae Green-backed honeybird Angola, Botswana, DRC, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Prodotiscus insignis Cassin's honeybird Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, DRC, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo, and Uganda.
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