Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Rufous-tailed Weaver2016-04-06 (711)
Weaver Wednesday (species text)
Rufous-tailed Weaver Histurgops ruficaudus
IntroductionThe Rufous-tailed Weaver was formally described by Anton Reichenow, a German ornithologist and herpetologist.
The Rufous-tailed Weaver was collected by Dr Gustav A Fischer, a German African explorer.
Fischer settled as a physician in Zanzibar in 1876, from where he undertook expeditions to Tanzania and Kenya. Fischer collected some birds in Zanzibar and then undertook a trip along the Kenyan coast where he collected some Fire-fronted Bishops.
His third trip started in late 1882 on the Tanzanian coast and he followed the Pangani River upstream. When he reached the Pare Mountains in March 1883, he collected the type specimen of the Black-capped Social Weaver. Fischer visited Europe and then returned to Tanzania in 1885. On 1 August 1885 he left Pangani and travelled south to Irangi and then northwards towards Lake Victoria. On 24 October 1885 he found Rufous-tailed Weavers on the Wembere Steppe at the southern edge of the range of this species. Fischer briefly described the nests and habits of this weaver.
The first illustration of the Rufous-tailed Weaver was a line drawing of the head published by Sharpe (1890). The next illustration to be published was a colour painting of an adult Rufous-tailed Weaver in Shelley (1905).
Scientific citationHisturgops ruficauda Reichenow 1887, Journ. f. Orn., 35, p.67, Wembere Steppe, central Tanganyika Territory.
Meaning of namesruficauda, Latin: rufus, red; cauda, the tail.
First English nameRufous-tailed Weaver (Shelley 1905).
CollectorGustav A. Fischer.
Date collected24 Oct 1885.
Locality collectedWembaere steppe, Tanzania.
Type specimensThere is a type in the Berlin Museum.