Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [118] - Discovery [1]: Black-winged Bishop

2014-09-17 (570)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday - species discovery (species text)

Black-winged Bishop Euplectes hordeaceus

Black-winged Bishop
First pic of Black-winged Bishop,
from Swainson 1837
Black-winged Bishop map
Black-winged Bishop distribution,
type locality circled
Linnaeus, from wikipedia
Linnaeus, from wikipedia


Linnaeus thought this species came from India, or the [East] Indies ("in Indiis"), a common mistake in his day, as the ship bringing this specimen probably came from the far East but stopped at African ports along the way, where African specimens could have been added to the cargo. Gyldenstolpe (1924) first noticed the error, and restricted the type locality to Senegal as the type specimen matched other specimens from Senegal.

Linnaeus noted the source of the type specimen as "mus ad fr", ie. the Museum Adolphi Friderici, a collection maintained by the King of Sweden, Adolf Fredrik.

Swainson (1837) obtained described a specimen from Senegal as a new species (Crimson-crowned Weaver Euplectes flammiceps), but this was later discovered to be the same species as the Black-winged Bishop. Nevertheless, his painting is the first published illustration of this species, many decades after Linnaeus first described it.

Scientific citation

Loxia hordeacea Linnaeus 1758a Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p173 'in Indiis', errore = Senegal, vide Gyldenstolpe 1924.

Meaning of names

hordeaceus (Latin) - of barley; referring to its diet.

Alternate names

Fire-crowned Bishop


Unknown, but kept in the Museum Adolphi Friderici.

Date collected

Before 1754, since Linnaeus studied the collection from 1751-1754.

Locality collected

Unknown, type locality restricted to Senegal.

Type specimens

The type is in the Swedish Museum of Natural History (Naturhistoriska riksmuseet) in Stockholm. Modern photos of the type are at here.