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BOOK: Linnaeus Systema Naturae, ed. 10

2012-07-23 (243)

Linnaeus C. 1758. 2012. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. pp. [1-4], 1-824. Holmiae. (Salvius).

The tenth edition of Systema Naturae is considered the starting point of zoological nomenclature, making it an important taxonomic work. The translation of the Latin title is "System of nature through the three kingdoms of nature, according to classes, orders, genera and species, with characters, differences, synonyms, places". There are several online copies, e.g. here (55 MB).

Five weavers were formally described by Linnaeus in this edition (and 4 more in his 12th edition in 1766). His descriptions were brief and without illustrations - see here for an example of the text for the Red-billed Quelea. The table below shows the names, and type localities of the weavers he described. These columns are follwed by type locality corrections published later by other authors, and the current names of the species. Linnaeus did not see all the specimens himself - he compiled descriptions based on earlier works. E.g. the description of the Black-headed Weaver (figure left) was based on the text and painting of Eleazar Albin 1738 (A natural history of birds).

Page Name Locality Restricted Species
173 Loxia hordeacea in Indiis Senegal Black-winged Bishop Euplectes hordeaceus
175 Loxia benghalensis Benghala India Black-breasted Weaver Ploceus benghalensis
175 Loxia melanocephala in Gvinea Guinea Black-headed Weaver Ploceus melanocephalus
177 Emberiza orix in Africa interiore Angola Southern Red Bishop Euplectes orix
177 Emberiza quelea in India Senegal Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea

Linnaeus listed a species, Loxia sanguinirostris (p173) which was also considered to be the Red-billed Quelea by early workers but is now considered indeterminate. A full list of bird species in his 10th ed is here.

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