Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Golden Palm Weaver2015-12-30 (690)
Weaver Wednesday (species text)
Golden Palm Weaver Ploceus bojeri
IntroductionGolden Palm Weaver was formally described by Jean Louis Cabanis, a German ornithologist who was an assistant at, and later the director of, the Berlin University Museum. Cabanis based his description on 2 males and a female weaver collected at Mombasa, Kenya. These specimens were collected by Baron Karl Klaus von der Decken, German explorer of eastern Africa, on his expedition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
Cabanis named this weaver after Wenzel Bojer, a Czech naturalist and collector in tropical Africa and Madagascar. Interestingly, a year after Cabanis named the Golden Palm Weaver, Hartlaub & Finsch (1870) named described this species based on weavers collected by Bojer much earlier (1824) on Zanzibar, Tanzania. Recent re-examination of Bojer's specimens in the Vienna museum indicates that they are more likely to be the Eastern Golden Weaver P. subaureus.
So, although the weaver specimens collected by Bojer are not Golden Palm Weavers, the scientific name is not an anomaly, as Cabanis named it after Bojer for his general collecting, and for collecting the Golden Palm Weaver specifically.
The first illustration of the Golden Palm Weaver was of the head of a male weaver by Sharpe (1890). This was followed by a colour painting, again of the head of a male, by Reichenow (1894). The next illustration pertaining to the Golden Palm Weaver was of several eggs with variation in colouration (Ogilvie-Grant 1912), although this may include eggs of the Eastern Golden Weaver.
Scientific citationHyphantornis bojeri Cabanis 1869 In van der Decken's Reise. Vogel 3, p.32 Mombasa, eastern Kenya Colony.
Meaning of namesbojeri, Named after Wenzel Bojer (1800-1856).
First English nameBojer's Weaver-bird (Gurney 1881).
Alternate namesBojer's Weaver, Mombasa Golden Weaver.
CollectorBaron Karl Klaus von der Decken.
Date collected7 and 23 Sept 1862.
Locality collectedMombasa, Kenya.
Type specimensThere is a type specimen in the Berlin Museum (ZMB_19015).