Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver2016-05-17 (718)
Weaver Wednesday (species text)
Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver Plocepasser rufoscapulatus
IntroductionThe Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver was formally described by Dr Johann Buttikofer, a Swiss zoologist. Buttikofer undertook two zoological expeditions to the Republic of Liberia, so he had some experience of African birds.
The Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver was collected by Pieter Jacob van der Kellen, a Dutch naturalist, collector and explorer in southern Angola, who was working for the Dutch Natural History Museum in Leiden. Van der Kellen took part in the Dutch Ethnographic Museum's South West Africa (=Angolan)expedition (1884-1885), and stayed on in Angola until 1888. His job was to act as a hunter and to search for and collect 'interesting' animals.
Van der Kellen visited the Kasinga River four times, the first two trips being in December 1886 and January 1887. It was only on the third visit (27 February - 11 March 1887) that he collected the Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver.
The first illustration of the Chestnut-mantled Sparrow-Weaver was of the male type specimen, published by Buttikofer (1888). The next illustration to be published was some 6 decades later in Chapin (1954).
Scientific citationPlocepasser rufoscapulatus Buttikofer 1888, Notes Leyden Mus. 10, p.238, pl. 9 Kasinga River, southern Angola.
Meaning of namesrufoscapulatus, Latin: rufus, red; scapulae, the shoulders; -atus, possessing.
First English nameRed-backed Weaver Bird (Stark 1900).
Alternate namesChestnut-backed Sparrow Weaver, Red-backed Weaver Bird, Red-mantled Sparrow-Weaver, Rufous-backed Sparrow Weaver.
CollectorPieter Jacob van der Kellen.
Date collected27 February 1887.
Locality collectedKasinga River, Angola.
Type specimensThe type is in the Leiden Museum (RMNH_90361).