Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [119] - Discovery [2]: Black-throated Weaver

2014-09-24 (573)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Black-throated Weaver Ploceus benghalensis

Black-throated Weaver
First pic of Black-throated Weaver,
from Albin 1738
Black-throated Weaver
2nd pic of Black-throated Weaver,
from Edwards 1751
Black-throated Weaver map
Black-throated Weaver distribution,
type locality circled


Linnaeus based his species description on the publications of Eleazar Albin and George Edwards. Both Albin and Edwards based their illustrations of this species on birds in the collection of Mr Joseph Dandridge, an English entomologist.

Albin, an English naturalist and water-colour illustrator, included a short text and copper plate engraving illustrations in his book "A natural history of birds", and Vol 2 contained the Black-throated Weaver. Albin listed the two birds as a pair but they actually represent males, although they are poor illustrations. Albin called the birds Passer bengalensis (Bengale Sparrow), and Linnaeus used this name, although placing the bird in the genus Loxia.

Edwards published his own version of the birds 13 years later, and provided a metal engraving which was a more accurate illustration of the species, indicating that he probably saw the Dandridge collection. Edwards called it the Yellow-headed Indian Sparrow.

Scientific citation

Loxia benghalensis Linnaeus 1758 Syst. Nat., ed. 10, p175 Benghala

Meaning of names

benghalensis (Latin) - After the states of East (Bangladesh) and West Bengal, India. Historically Bengal (native name Bangala) comprised the greater part of northern India.

Alternate names

Black-breasted Weaver, Bengal Weaver


Unknown, sent to Mr Joseph Dandridge in England.

Date collected

Before 1738, when Albin published his painting.

Locality collected

Bengal, or Bay of Bengal.

Type specimens

No type specimens known to survive, but the paintings of Albin and Edwards serve as types.