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Weaver Wednesday [182] - Discovery [65]: Rodrigues Fody

2015-12-09 (686)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Rodrigues Fody Foudia flavicans

Rodrigues Fody
Rodrigues Fody male & female,
figure from Newton (1865)
Rodrigues Fody
Fody bill shapes, Rodrigues Fody circled,
figure from Moreau (1960)
Rodrigues Fody map
Rodrigues Fody
distribution, type locality circled


The Rodrigues Fody was formally described by Alfred Newton, an English zoologist and ornithologist.

The Rodrigues Fody had been collected by Edward Newton, the younger brother of Alfred, and a British colonial administrator and ornithologist. Alfred and Edward had obtained specimens of the Rodrigues Fody some 20 years earlier from John Augustus Lloyd, an English engineer and surveyor, who worked in Mauritius from 1831 - 1849. The Newton brothers though the birds brought by Lloyd were flavistic Red Fodies. In November 1864, Edward visited Rodrigues Island and soon shot a Rodrigues Fody and recognised it as the same species as the Lloyd specimen. Edward noted that the species was very common, and he saw a flock of at least 100 birds.

The first illustration of the Rodrigues Fody was of a male and female, published by Newton (1865). The next illustration pertaining to Rodrigues Fody was of the bill shapes of different fody species by Moreau (1960).

Scientific citation

Foudia flavicans Newton 1865 Proc. Zool. Soc. London, p.47 Rodriguez Island.

Meaning of names

flavicans Modern Latin. flavicans, yellowish, golden-yellowish (L. flavus, golden-yellow, -icans, closely resembling).

First English name

"yellow bird" (Newton 1865), followed by goldfinch (Leguat 1891).

Alternate names

Rodriguez Fody, Yellow Fody.


John Lloyd, and Edward Newton.

Date collected

1846 (Lloyd), and November 1864 and July 1865 (Newton).

Locality collected

Rodrigues Island.

Type specimens

There are many syntype specimens in different museums, including Cambridge where Alfred Newton was based.