Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [130] - Discovery [13]: Nelicourvi Weaver

2014-12-10 (603)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Nelicourvi Weaver Ploceus nelicourvi

Nelicourvi Weaver
Nelicourvi Weaver,
figure from Sonnerat 1782
Nelicourvi Weaver
Sonnerat, collector
of the Nelicourvi Weaver,
figure from wikipedia
Nelicourvi Weaver map
Nelicourvi Weaver distribution,
type locality circled


The Nelicourvi Weaver was formally named by Giovanni Antonio Scopoli, a Tyrolean naturalist, in 1786. Scopoli gave a scientific name and description of the Nelicourvi Weaver in Latin, based on the publication of Pierre Sonnerat.

Sonnerat made several voyages to southeast Asia, visiting the eastern coast of Madagascar in 1772. He visited Fort Dauphin near the south, but probably also visited other ports along the coast. He also observed the nests of the Nelicourvi Weaver, noting the long entrance tube and that several could be found in 1 site. Sonnerat published his travel diary in 1776.

Sonnerat provided a French name (Le Nelicourvi de Madagascar, the finch of Madagascar) while Scopoli, who had been corresponding with Carl Linnaeus, provided a binomial name and thus is credited as author of the Nelicourvi Weaver.

Scientific citation

Parvus nelicourvi Scopoli 1786 Del. Flor. Faun. Insurb., fasc. 2, p.96 Madagascar, ex Sonnerat, pl. 112.

Meaning of names

parvus (Latin) = small, little.

nelicourvi = doubtless from the Tamil (Sri Lanka) name nellukuruvi for a finch or waxbill, the Madagascan Nelicourvi Weaver thought to have come from Indomalaya.

Alternate names



Pierre Sonnerat.

Date collected

1770, when Sonnerat visited Madagascar.

Locality collected

East coast of Madagascar, possibly Fort Dauphin.

Type specimens

No type specimens known to survive, but the painting of Sonnerat serves as a type.