Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Cinnamon Weaver2015-09-16 (669)
Weaver Wednesday (species text)
Cinnamon Weaver Ploceus badius
IntroductionThe Cinnamon Weaver was formally described by John Cassin, an American ornithologist and curator of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (ANSP), now Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.
It is not known who collected the Cinnamon Weaver. 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 Cinnamon Weaver.
In 1855 Charles Lucien Bonaparte, a French biologist and ornithologist, wrote that he had seen specimens of the Cinnamon Weaver as early as 1838 [presumably in the collection of Rivoli, although he was living in Italy at that time]. It is possible that Ruppell collected the Cinnamon Weaver on his Ethiopian trip in 1831 to 1834 when he reached the border with Sudan.
The first illustration of a Cinnamon Weaver is a colour painting published by Cassin 1850. No more published until 1955 when several illustrations were published, including the first illustration of a female by Mackworth 1955.
Scientific citationHyphantornis badius Cassin 1850 Prov. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 5, p.57 "Fazogloa; Eastern Africa", presumed to be Fazogli, Blue Nile, eastern Sudan.
Meaning of namesbadius - Latin: badius, chestnut-coloured, reddish-brown.
First English nameThe chestnut coloured Weawer (Reichenbach 1863).
Alternate namesThe chestnut coloured Weawer, White Nile Cinnamon Weaver.
CollectorUnknown, part of the Rivoli collection.
Date collectedBefore 1838 but date unknown.
Locality collectedFazogli, Blue Nile, eastern Sudan.
Type specimensCassin mentioned several specimens but Stone 1899 only lists ANSP 14052 (housed in the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University).