The weaver bird family

There are 117 living species in the weaver bird family (Ploceidae), excluding the sparrows of genus Passer, see species list here. Read more about the family here.

Latest Weaver Wednesday
Southern Masked Weaver

PHOWN:
Accepted: 26462
(Uploaded: 26447)

Total nests counted: 7977615

Latest weaver reference: BOOK CHAPTER: Significance of weavers

Todays weaver type: (see more here)
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Latest weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [146] - Discovery [29]: Southern Masked Weaver

2015-04-01 (629)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Southern Masked Weaver Ploceus velatus

Southern Masked Weaver
Southern Masked Weaver,
figure from Smith 1845
Southern Masked Weaver,
figure from Reichenbach 1863
Southern Masked Weaver,
type specimen in Leiden
Southern Masked Weaver map
Southern Masked Weaver
distribution, type locality circled;
yellow shows modern range expansion

Introduction

The Southern Masked Weaver was formally described by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French ornithologist. The Southern Masked Weaver was first collected by Francois Le Vaillant, who travelled in South Africa in 1781-84. When Le Vaillant returned to Europe, most of his specimens where sold or given to Coenraad Jacob Temminck, who had sponsored Le Vaillant's travels. Temminck produced a catalogue of these birds in 1807 and briefly described the Southern Masked Weaver, without providing a scientific name, but calling it "Le troupial a masque-noir" (The oriole with a black mask). He noted that it came from "Namaquois" (Namaqualand). However, several specimens that Le Vaillant listed as from Namaqualand are actually from the Karoo, and Brooke (1985) restricted the type locality of the Southern Masked Weaver to Graaff-Reinet - earlier authors had restricted the type locality to other sites that were found to be incorrect. Le Vaillant reached the Eastern Cape in 1782, and passed through the Karoo in early 1783 on his return to Cape Town.

Vieillot based many of his descriptions on the work of Temminck 1807, but included a scientific name.

The Southern Masked Weaver was first illustrated in 1828 in Andrew Smith's description of the species. Smith illustrated only non-breeding birds, and the first male in breeding plumage to be painted was by Reichenbach (1863).

Scientific citation

Ploceus velatus Vieillot 1819 Nouv. Dict. Hist. Nat., nouv. ed., 34:132 Namaqualand, restricted to Graaff-Reinet, E Cape, by Brooke, 1985, Ostrich 56, 214-215.

Meaning of names

velatus Latin: veiled, covered (velare, to cover) [referring to the mask of the breeding male].

First English name

Masked weaver bird (Smith 1828).

Alternate names

African Masked Weaver, Black-fronted Weaver, Capricorn Weaver-bird, Greater Masked Weaver, Half-masked Weaver, Lichtenstein's Weaver bird, Mariqua Weaver bird, Masked Weaver, Namaqua Masked Weaver, Shelley's Weaver Bird, Yellow Masked Weaver, Zambesi Masked Weaver.

Collector

Le Vaillant.

Date collected

Feb-March 1783, when Le Vaillant was in the Karoo.

Locality collected

Namaqualand, restricted to Graaff-Reinet.

Type specimens

Two type specimens are in the Leiden Museum (RMNH_90372 and RMNH_90373).

Weaver Wednesday [145] - Discovery [28]: Vieillot's Black Weaver

2015-03-25 (628)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Vieillot's Black Weaver Ploceus nigerrimus

Vieillot's Black Weaver
Vieillot's Black Weaver,
figure from Bartlett 1888
Vieillot's Black Weaver,
figure from Bartlett 1888
Vieillot's Black Weaver map
Vieillot's Black Weaver
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The Vieillot's Black Weaver was formally described by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French ornithologist. The birds had been collected by Jean Perrein, a French naturalist, who travelled in West Africa and other localities. Vieillot was interested in the habits of living birds, but Perrein did not seem to provide any field notes for the Vieillot's Black Weaver, as he had done for the Crested Malimbe.

Vieillot mentioned that the Orange Weaver had been collected at Congo et Caconga, one of three historic provinces in Cabinda, Angola.

Perrein returned to France after a long stay in Cabinda, in about 1800. Perrein sent his specimens to Academy of Sciences in Bordeaux, France, from where the Vieillot's Black Weaver type was probably moved to the Paris Museum.

Many early authors referred to the Vieillot's Black Weaver and more specimens of this common weaver were collected in West Africa, but it was only illustrated in 1888 for the first time. Bartlett (1888) illustrated both subspecies.

Scientific citation

Ploceus nigerrimus Vieillot 1819 Nouv. Dict. Hist. Nat., nouv. ed., 34:130 "Kingdom of Congo", Cabinda.

Meaning of names

nigerrimus Latin: very black (super. of niger, black).

First English name

Black and chestnut Weaver-bird (Burton 1883).

Alternate names

Chestnut and Black Weaver, Vieillot's Weaver.

Collector

Jean Perrein.

Date collected

Before 1800, when Perrein returned to France with his specimens.

Locality collected

Congo et Caconga, ie. Cabinda, Angola.

Type specimens

Type specimen is probably in the Paris Museum.

Weaver Wednesday [144] - Discovery [27]: Dark-backed Weaver

2015-03-18 (627)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Dark-backed Weaver Ploceus bicolor

Dark-backed Weaver
Dark-backed Weaver,
figure from Jardine 1836
William Jardine,
figure from wikipedia
Dark-backed Weaver map
Dark-backed Weaver
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The Dark-backed Weaver was formally described by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French ornithologist. Vieillot already described it under a different name in 1818, but the name was not valid, and at first he thought it came from America. In 1819 he gave the valid name and noted that the specimen came from Senegal, but the Dark-backed Weaver does not occur west of Cameroon as was thought by early authors. Shelley 1887 first realised that the actual type specimen in Paris fitted birds from eastern South Africa, and later this was further restricted to the Eastern Cape.

The Dark-backed Weaver was first collected by Francois Le Vaillant, who travelled in South Africa in 1781-84, and reached the Eastern Cape in 1782, where the Dark-backed Weaver occurs. When Le Vaillant returned to Europe, most of his specimens where sold or given to Coenraad Jacob Temminck, who had sponsored Le Vaillant's travels. Temminck produced a catalogue of these birds in 1807 and briefly described the Dark-backed Weaver, without providing a scientific name, but calling it "Le verdier a ventre jaune" (Greenfinch with a yellow belly). He noted that it came from "Africa, Cape of Good Hope" (which includes the Eastern Cape).

Vieillot based many of his descriptions on the work of Temminck 1807, but included a scientific name.

Later Jacques Pucheran (1854), a French zoologist, noted that the Dark-backed Weaver type had been in the collection of Louis Dufresne, a French ornithologist and taxidermist at the natural history museum in Paris. Either the type had been transferred or Le Vaillant had more than 1 specimen, and kept one for the Paris museum, since Le Vaillant was friends with Dufresne.

The collection of Louis Dufresne was sold to the University of Edinburgh in 1819 (and later moved to the Royal Scottish Museum). The first illustration of this species to be published, was by William Jardine in 1836, a Scottish naturalist, who had access to the Scottish collection. In addition to the Dufresne specimen (Jardine did not know the apparent source as Dufresne), Jardine also had other specimens from Dr Andrew Smith.

Scientific citation

Ploceus bicolor Vieillot 1819 Nouv. Dict. Hist. Nat., nouv. ed., 34:127 Senegal, errore = S Africa, vide Hartert 1907a. Restricted to Zuurberg, Addo, E Cape by Roberts 1931.

Meaning of names

bicolor Latin: bicoloured, two coloured (bi-, twice, double; color, colour).

First English name

Yellow-bodied Loret (Jardine 1836).

Alternate names

Black-backed Weaver, Forest Weaver, Grey-backed Weaver, Hinge Bird, Solitary Weaver-bird, Spot-headed Weaver.

Collector

Le Vaillant.

Date collected

1782, when Le Vaillant was in the Eastern Cape.

Locality collected

Eastern Cape, around Zuurberg.

Type specimens

Type specimen may be in the Royal Scottish Museum.

Weaver Wednesday [143] - Discovery [26]: White-billed Buffalo-Weaver

2015-03-11 (626)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

White-billed Buffalo-Weaver Bubalornis albirostris

White-billed Buffalo-Weaver
White-billed Buffalo-Weaver,
figure from Temminck 1828
White-billed Buffalo-Weaver map
White-billed Buffalo-Weaver
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The White-billed Buffalo-Weaver was formally described by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French ornithologist. Vieillot also gave a French name to this species, ie. Le Gros-bec noir a bec blanc (meaning The black Grosbeak with a white beak).

Vieillot described the plumage of the White-billed Buffalo-Weaver and listed it from Africa. The type locality was later restricted to Senegal, based on the amount of white in the wing of this species.

This species was already described by Brisson 1760, based on specimens from coastal Africa, in the collection of Madame de Pompadour in 1754. Either Vieillot found these same specimens in the Paris museum and based his description on them, many decades later, or new specimens arrived from Africa.

The first illustration of this species to be published, was by Temminck 1828, based on a specimen in the Paris museum, from Galam in Senegal. Again, there is the possibility that this is the same specimen as that of Brisson 1760, although Temminck provided his own name for the species.

Scientific citation

Coccothraustes albirostris Vieillot 1817 Nouv. Dict. Hist. Nat., nouv. e'd., 13, p.535 Africa. Restricted to Senegal by Hartert, 1907, Novit. Zool., 14, p.485.

Meaning of names

albirostris Latin: albus, white; -rostris, billed.

First English name

White-billed Nut-cracker (Swainson 1837) - for 2 decades authors used the French or Latin names of this species, before Swainson provided this name.

Alternate names

African ox bird, Black Buffalo Weaver, Kavirondo Buffalo-Weaver, Kenya Buffalo-Weaver.

Collector

Unknown.

Date collected

Before 1817.

Locality collected

Africa. Restricted to Senegal.

Type specimens

Type specimen probably in the Natural History Museum in Paris.

Weaver Wednesday [142] - Discovery [25]: Black-necked Weaver

2015-03-04 (625)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Black-necked Weaver Ploceus nigricollis

Black-necked Weaver
Black-necked Weaver,
figure from Vieillot 1805
Black-necked Weaver
Black-necked Weaver,
figure from Swainson 1837
Black-necked Weaver map
Black-necked Weaver
distribution, type locality circled

Introduction

The Black-necked Weaver was formally described by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French ornithologist. This species had been collected by Jean Perrein, a French naturalist, who travelled in Africa and on other continents. Vieillot was interested in the habits of living birds, but Perrein did not provide any field notes for the Black-necked Weaver, as he had done for the Crested Malimbe. Vieillot also gave a French name to this species, ie. Le Tisserin a gorge noire (meaning Weaver with a black throat).

Vieillot described the plumage of the Black-necked Weaver and implied that it had been collected in Malimbe, now called Malembo, in Cabinda, Angola.

Perrein sent his specimens to Academy of Sciences in Bordeaux, France, from where the Black-necked Weaver type was moved to the Paris Museum (Swainson 1838).

The second illustration of this species to be published, was by Swainson 1837, but this was of the West African race.

Scientific citation

Malimbus nigricollis Vieillot 1805 Oiseaux chanteurs, p.74 1805 Malimba, Angola.

Meaning of names

nigricollis Latin: niger, black; Mod. Latin: -collis, necked.

Alternate names

Fernando Po Spectacled Weaver, Kenya Black-necked Weaver, Manenguba Weaver, Swainson's Spectacled Weaver, Swainson's Weaver.

Collector

Jean Perrein.

Date collected

Before 1805.

Locality collected

Malimbe =Malembo, Cabinda, Angola.

Type specimens

Type specimen probably still in the Natural History Museum in Paris.
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