Rufous-crowned or Purple Rollers

The Rufous-crowned Rollers (Coracias Coracias naevius / naevia) – also known as Purple Rollers – are members of the Roller family.

Species and Ranges

Lilac-throated Roller, Rufous-crowned Roller or Rufous-crowned Roller (Coracias naevius naevius, Daudin, 1800) – Nominate form

Range: Senegal east to Somalia, and south to northern Tanzania.

Purple Roller, Rufous-crowned Roller or Rufous-crowned Roller (mosambicus) (Coracias naevius mosambicus, Dresser, 1890)

Range: Angola and Namibia east to Zambia, south to Mozambique and northeastern South Africa (northern Natal).

Habitat: Mostly associated with dry open brush and wooded areas.

Rufous-crowned Roller, Coracias naevia (formerly Purple Roller) Vumbura Plains, Botswana,


They feed on lizards and invertebrates (inluding insects), and may also eat small birds.

Photo of author

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