Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Seychelles Fody2015-12-16 (687)
Weaver Wednesday (species text)
Seychelles Fody Foudia sechellarum
IntroductionThe Seychelles Fody was formally described by Edward Newton, a British colonial administrator and ornithologist. Newton was the Colonial Secretary for Mauritius from 1859 to 1877. In Jan-Feb 1866 he visited the Seychelles.
On 12 February 1866, Newton landed on Marianne Island, looking for a bird known on that island as "Le Mangeur de riz" (French for Rice Eater). This bird turned out to be the Seychelles Fody. Newton shot three specimens which are now in the museum in Cambridge. Newton also observed some fifty to a hundred similar dull coloured birds on the island, and wrote:
By 1961 the Seychelles Fody was found to be extinct on Marianne.
The first illustration pertaining to Seychelles Fody was of the bill shapes of different fody species by Moreau (1960). The next illustration was a line drawing of displaying male by Crook (1961). Possibly because the Seychelles Fody is the least colourful of all the fodies, there was a long interval between description and first illustrations. The first time all the fodies were illustrated was by Watson (1963), although these were line drawings (not colour) for identification purposes. Colour photos and paintings of the Seychelles Fody start appearing in the 1970s.
Scientific citationFoudia sechellarum Newton 1867, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, p.346, Marianne Island.
Meaning of namessechellarum After the Seychelles Islands (Republic of Seychelles).
First English nameSeychelles Fody (Shelley 1905).
Date collected12 Feb 1866
Locality collectedMarianne Island, Seychelles.
Type specimensThere are 3 syntype specimens in at Cambridge (Cambridge 27/Plo/6/f/1-3) where Alfred Newton was based.