Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [127] - Discovery [10]: Village Weaver

2014-11-19 (596)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Village Weaver Ploceus cucullatus

Village Weaver
Village Weaver male,
figure from Brisson 1760
Village Weaver male
Village Weaver male,
figure from Daubenton 1783
Village Weaver female
Village Weaver female,
figure from Daubenton 1783
Village Weaver map
Village Weaver distribution,
type locality circled


The Village Weaver was described by Philipp Ludwig Statius Muller in 1776. Muller was a German zoologist who published a German translation of Linnaeus's Natursystem. The supplement in 1776 contained the first scientific classification for a number of species, including that of the Village Weaver. Muller gives his source as Buffon, a French naturalist who was the director at the Jardin du Roi, now called the Jardin des Plantes.

Although Linnaeus had access to the bird descriptions in Brisson 1760, strangely he did not describe the Village Weaver in his 12th edition.

Buffon based his work largely on that of Mathurin Jacques Brisson. Brisson gave the first names ever to the Village Weaver, as "Le Pincon du Senegal" (French) and Fringilla senegalensis (Latin). Brisson noted that the Village Weaver originated from Senegal, from where it had been sent to RAF de Reaumur in France by Michel Adanson, who also collected the Red-billed Quelea.

The first colour illustration of the Village Weaver is in the book by Edme-Louis Daubenton, containing coloured engravings by Francois-Nicolas Martinet.

Scientific citation

Oriolus cucullatus Statius Muller 1776 Natursyst., Suppl., p.87 Senegal.

Meaning of names

cucullatus (Late Latin) hooded (L. cucullus, a hood or cowl).

Alternate names

Black-headed Weaver, Black-hooded Weaver, Layard's Black-headed Weaver, Mottled Weaver, Mottled-backed Weaver, Spot-backed Weaver, Spotted-backed Weaver, V-marked Weaver.


Michel Adanson, a French naturalist who undertook a collecting expedition to Senegal.

Date collected

Between 1748-1754, the time that Adanson spent in Senegal.

Locality collected


Type specimens

No type specimens known to survive, but the painting of Brisson serves as a type.