Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Zanzibar Bishop2015-09-02 (665)
Weaver Wednesday (species text)
Zanzibar Bishop Euplectes nigroventris
IntroductionThe Zanzibar Bishop was formally described by John Cassin, an American ornithologist and curator of the Philadelphia Academy of Natural Sciences.
It is not known who collected the Zanzibar Bishop. The earliest record of the type specimen is in the possession of Victor Massena, Duc de Rivoli, Prince d'Esling, a French amateur ornithologist living in Paris. Rivoli had a large collection of birds, about 12500 specimens, which were bought by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, formerly the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (ANSP), the oldest natural science research institution and museum in the New World.
The collection arrived in Philadelphia in September 1846 (Stone 1899) and Cassin described many of these specimens as new bird species, including the Zanzibar Bishop.
The first illustration of a Zanzibar Bishop is a colour painting published by Cassin 1849. The second illustration was published some 80 years later, a black and white photo of a nest and specimen by Bowen 1931.
Scientific citationEuplectes nigroventris Cassin 1848 Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 4, p.66, Zanzibar Island.
Meaning of namesnigriventris - Latin: niger, black; venter, ventris, the belly.
First English nameBlack-throated Bishop-bird (Gurney 1881).
Alternate namesBlack-bellied Bishop, Black-bellied Grenadier, Black-bellied Weaver, Black-throated Bishop-bird, Black-vented Widowbird, Ukamba Red Bishop, Zanzibar Red Bishop, Zanzibar Red Weaver.
CollectorUnknown, part of the Rivoli collection.
Date collectedBefore 1846, but date unknown.
Locality collectedZanzibar Island.
Type specimensANSP 14301 in Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.