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Weaver Wednesday [232] - Discovery [115]: Gola Malimbe

2016-11-23 (753)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Gola Malimbe Malimbus ballmanni

Gola Malimbe
Gola Malimbe, L-R: male, female, juvenile
figure from Field 1979a
Gola Malimbe
Gola Malimbe holotype,
figure from Bonn Museum
Gola Malimbe map
Gola Malimbe
distribution, type locality circled


The Gola Malimbe was formally described by Hans Edmund Wolters, a German ornithologist. The Gola Malimbe was first collected by Dr Peter Ballmann, a German geoscientist.

Ballmann collected a specimen in 1972 in Eremospatha und Diospyros manii forest, and kept the bird in alcohol, not realising at first that he had found a new species.

The previous year, in 1971, G. D. Field noticed a new malimbe species in the Gola Forest of eastern Sierra Leone. After that, Field observed the species several times in primary rainforest, which was suffering from disturbance by logging activities. In 1979 Field published a description of the species without obtaining a specimen, naming it Malimbus golensis after the locality. Two years later Prigogine (1981) pointed out that Field's species was the same species as published by Wolters (1974).

The scientific name Malimbus ballmanni, given by Wolters, was published first and thus takes precedence, the species was kept the English name based on Field's name, i.e. Gola Malimbe.

The Gola Malimbe was first illustrated by Field 1979a as a line drawing of a pair of birds and a juvenile. Colour illustrations first appeared in modern field guides.

Scientific citation

Malimbus ballmanni Wolters 1974a, Bonn. Zool. Beitr. 25 p.283, between Cavally R. and Keibli R., near Taï, Ivory Coast.

Meaning of names

ballmanni, Named after Dr Peter Ballmann 1941-.

First English name

Tai Malimbe (Howard 1984a).

Alternate names

Ballmann's Malimbe, Tai Malimbe.


Dr Peter Ballmann.

Date collected


Locality collected

Forest near Tai in Ivory Coast.

Type specimens

The types are in the Bonn Museum (holotype ZFMK-72.799).