Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [166] - Discovery [49]: Red-headed Quelea

2015-08-19 (663)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Red-headed Quelea Quelea erythrops

Red-headed Quelea
Red-headed Quelea,
figure from Hartlaub 1850
Red-headed Quelea
Red-headed Quelea,
figure from Reichenbach 1863
Red-headed Quelea map
Red-headed Quelea
distribution, type locality circled


The Red-headed Quelea was formally described by Karel Johan Gustav Hartlaub, a German physician and ornithologist.

Carl Weiss, a German collector, was the first person to obtain specimens of the Red-headed Quelea (together with other bird specimens, including the Sao Tome Weaver) for The Hamburg Museum. He travelled from 1847-1850 on the ship Adolphus to Sao Tome then to the coast of Ghana, to Principe and back to Sao Tome again. He probably collected the Red-headed Quelea soon after arriving on the island, and sent back many bird specimens which Hartlaub was able to describe in 1848 and later.

The first illustration of a Red-headed Quelea is a colour painting published by Hartlaub in 1850. The second illustration was published by Reichenbach 1863.

Scientific citation

Ploceus erythrops Hartlaub 1848 Rev. Zool. 1848 p.109 Sao Tome.

Meaning of names

erythrops - Greek. Eruthros, red; ops, the eye, the face; refers to the red or rufous face.

First English name

The red-headed Dioch (Reichenbach 1863).

Alternate names

Pokerhead, Red-headed Dioch, Red-headed Weaver.


Carl Weiss.

Date collected


Locality collected

Sao Tome Island.

Type specimens

One type specimen is in the Zoological Museum at the University of Hamburg, and specimen UMB - 5281 is in Ubersee Museum Bremen.