Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Black-throated Weaver2014-09-24 (573)
Weaver Wednesday (species text)
Black-throated Weaver Ploceus benghalensis
IntroductionLinnaeus based his species description on the publications of Eleazar Albin and George Edwards. Both Albin and Edwards based their illustrations of this species on birds in the collection of Mr Joseph Dandridge, an English entomologist.
Albin, an English naturalist and water-colour illustrator, included a short text and copper plate engraving illustrations in his book "A natural history of birds", and Vol 2 contained the Black-throated Weaver. Albin listed the two birds as a pair but they actually represent males, although they are poor illustrations. Albin called the birds Passer bengalensis (Bengale Sparrow), and Linnaeus used this name, although placing the bird in the genus Loxia.
Edwards published his own version of the birds 13 years later, and provided a metal engraving which was a more accurate illustration of the species, indicating that he probably saw the Dandridge collection. Edwards called it the Yellow-headed Indian Sparrow.
Scientific citationLoxia benghalensis Linnaeus 1758 Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p175 Benghala
Meaning of namesbenghalensis (Latin) - After the states of East (Bangladesh) and West Bengal, India. Historically Bengal (native name Bangala) comprised the greater part of northern India.
Alternate namesBlack-breasted Weaver, Bengal Weaver
CollectorUnknown, sent to Mr Joseph Dandridge in England.
Date collectedBefore 1738, when Albin published his painting.
Locality collectedBengal, or Bay of Bengal.
Type specimensNo type specimens known to survive, but the paintings of Albin and Edwards serve as types.