Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Northern Brown-throated Weaver2016-05-04 (716)
Weaver Wednesday (species text)
Northern Brown-throated Weaver Ploceus castanops
IntroductionThe Northern Brown-throated Weaver was formally described by George Ernest Shelley, an English geologist and ornithologist.
The Northern Brown-throated Weaver was collected by Emin Pasha, an Ottoman-German physician, naturalist, and governor.
After 1876, Emin made Lado (South Sudan) in Equatoria province his base for collecting expeditions throughout the region, and here he collected type of the Cardinal Quelea. In 1881 there was a revolt by Muhammad Ahmad, and the revolt cut Equatoria off from the outside world by 1883. In 1884 Karam Allah marched south to capture Equatoria and Emin. In 1885, Emin and most of his forces withdrew further south, to Wadelai near Lake Albert, in Uganda.
In August Pasha collected some male and female specimens of the Northern Brown-throated Weaver around Wadelai, and not in Lado as noted by some authors. There was a danger of the specimens being lost due to the revolt, but Rev. Mackay eventually took them to the Kenyan coast, and were sent to the British Museum.
The first illustration of the Northern Brown-throated Weaver was of the head of the male published by Sharpe (1890)The next illustration to be published was of an egg by Ogilvie-Grant (1912), followed much later by colour paintings of the male and female in Mackworth (1955).
Scientific citationPloceus castanops Shelley 1888, Proc. Zool. Soc. London, p.35 Lado (Wadelai, Uganda).
Meaning of namescastanops, Latin: castaneus, chestnut-coloured; Gr. Ops, the face.
First English nameNile Brown-throated Weaver (Shelley 1905).
Alternate namesBrown-faced Golden Weaver, Nile Brown-throated Weaver.
Date collected12 August 1885.
Locality collectedWadelai, Uganda.
Type specimensThere are at least 4 syntypes in the British Museum, including BM 18188.8.131.52.