Weaver Wednesday  - Discovery : Fox's Weaver2016-11-09 (751)
Weaver Wednesday (species text)
Fox's Weaver Ploceus spekeoides
IntroductionThe Fox's Weaver was formally described by Captain Claude Henry Baxter Grant, a British ornithologist and collector, and by Cyril Winthrop Mackworth-Praed, a British sport shooter & ornithologist.
The Fox's Weaver was collected by Harold Munro Fox, an English zoologist. Grant and Mackworth-Praed originally listed the collector as TV Fox, but this is presumably an error, and Beolens 2003a listed the collector as Harold Munro Fox.
Fox went to Naples, Italy, in 1912, where he worked on fertilisation at the Stazione Zoologica for ten months. In 1913 he was appointed lecturer in zoology at the Royal College of Science, London, by Ernest William MacBride. Presumably in this time he visited Uganda, where he collected 2 specimens of Fox's Weaver, a male on 30 July 1913 at Ngariam, and a female on 14 August 1913 at Usuku. Fox gave these specimens Stephenson Robert Clarke, who presented his own (and these) African specimens to the British Museum in 1923. The Fox's Weaver specimens were overlooked until 1947 when Grant and Mackworth-Praed recognised this as a new species.
The Fox's Weaver was first illustrated by Mackworth 1955a as a colour painting of a male and a female.
Scientific citationPloceus spekeoides Grant and Mackworth-Praed (Grant 1947a), Bull. Br. Orn. Club 68 p.7, Ngariam, Teso, Uganda.
Meaning of namesspekeoides, Greek: -oides, resembling; ie resembles Ploceus spekei (spekei - Named after Captain John Hanning Speke).
First English nameFox's Weaver (Mackworth 1955a).
CollectorHarold Munro Fox.
Date collected30 Jul 1913 and 14 Aug 1913.
Locality collectedNgariam, and Usuku, both in Teso, central Uganda.
Type specimensThe types are in the British Museum (holotype BM_19126.96.36.1998).