Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Bates's Weaver2016-09-14 (741)
Weaver Wednesday (species text)
Bates's Weaver Ploceus batesi
IntroductionBates's Weaver was formally described by Richard Bowdler Sharpe, an English zoologist and ornithologist who worked as curator of the bird collection at the British Museum of natural history.
Bates's Weaver was collected by George Latimer Bates, an American naturalist.
Bates visited West Africa in 1895, making a living by farming. In 1905 he settled on the Ja River, Cameroon, calling his farm Bitye (after the Bulu pronunciation of his name). He collected many natural history specimens, especially birds, in his travels and sent many of these to the Natural History Museum in London.
Bates obtained the type specimen of Bates's Weaver, a female in subadult plumage near the Dja River on 29 January 1906, presumably near Bitye farm (as stated by Bannerman 1949a). On 17 Nov 1908 a second specimen, the first adult male, was collected at nearby Kumangola. In the following year four more birds were collected at Bitye and sent to the British Museum. Bates did not observe these rare weavers alive; they were all collected by local boys with bows and arrows (Bates 1930a).
Bates obtained the first Bates's Weaver specimen in January 1906, nearly a month before obtaining the Red-crowned Malimbe type, but Sharpe described the latter first.
Bates's Weaver was first illustrated by Ogilvie-Grant (1910), showing the female type and first male specimen. The next illustration to be published was a line drawing in Bannerman (1949), showing the male and female.
Scientific citationOthyphantes batesi Sharpe 1908a, Ibis p.348, Dja River, Cameroon.
Meaning of namesbatesi, Named after George Latimer Bates (1863-1940), a naturalist in tropical West Africa, 1895-1931.
First English nameBates's Weaver-Finch (Sharpe 1910a).
Alternate namesBates's Weaver-Finch.
CollectorGeorge Latimer Bates.
Date collected29 January 1906.
Locality collectedRiver Ja, Cameroon.
Type specimensThe type is in the Brisitsh Museum (BM 1908.5.25.104).