Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Cardinal Quelea2016-03-09 (705)
Weaver Wednesday (species text)
Cardinal Quelea Quelea cardinalis
IntroductionThe Cardinal Quelea was formally described by Karel Johan Gustav Hartlaub, a German physician and ornithologist. Hartlaub described several other weavers.
The Cardinal Quelea was collected by Emin Pasha, a Ottoman-German physician, naturalist, and governor of the Egyptian province of Equatoria on the upper Nile. He collected a large number of birds in Uganda and Sudan.
Emin collected a large number of male and female Cardinal Queleas around Lado in July to August 1879. The specimens were sent to Germany and through exchanges there are syntypes in various museums, including Berlin, Bremen, Bristish Museum and the American Museum of Natural History.
Emin's diaries have been published, and he wrote a little over a page about the Cardinal Quelea. He noted that water was important and flocks flew to drink in the mornings and evenings. While drinking, birds also fed on insects, while they fed on grass seeds during the day. Emin also found nesting colonies in trees and noted the clutch size as 2-4.
The first illustration of the Cardinal Quelea was of the type, but published in the year following the description. The second illustration for the species was published by Sharpe (1890), also showing the two previously described quelea species.
Scientific citationHyphantica cardinalis Hartlaub 1880, Journ. f. Orn., 28, p.325 Lado, southern Sudan.
Meaning of namescardinalis, Med. Latin: cardinalis, a cardinal, a senior bishop of the Roman church who wears scarlet robes.
First English nameCardinal Dioch (Shelley 1905).
Alternate namesCardinal Weaver Finch, Red-bib Quelea.
Date collectedJuly to August 1879.
Locality collectedLado, South Sudan.
Type specimensThere are syntypes in various museums, including Berlin, Bremen, Bristish Museum and the American Museum of Natural History.