Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [131] - Discovery [14]: Asian Golden Weaver

2014-12-17 (606)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Asian Golden Weaver Ploceus hypoxanthus

Asian Golden Weaver
Asian Golden Weaver,
figure from Sparrman 1788
Asian Golden Weaver
Sparrman, author
of the Asian Golden Weaver,
figure from wikipedia
Asian Golden Weaver map
Asian Golden Weaver distribution,
type locality circled


The Asian Golden Weaver was formally named by Anders Erikson Sparrman, a Swedish naturalist. Although Sparrman sailed around the world with James Cook, starting from Cape Town, on Cook's second expedition to the Pacific (1772-1775), they did not visit islands as far north as Sumatra. After the voyage Sparrman returned to Cape Town in July 1775 and practiced medicine. In 1776 he returned to Sweden and published a Catalogue of the Museum Carlsonianum (1786-89), in which he described many of the specimens he had collected in South Africa and the South Pacific, some of which were new to science. He wrote a Latin description of the Asian Golden Weaver.

Sparrman described and painted the Asian Golden Weaver, and listed the collector as Claes Fredrik Hornstedt, a Swedish naturalist.

Hornstedt visited Batavia [=Jakarta] in Java from July 1783 to July 1784. He returned to Sweden with a large collection of natural history objects. In Sweden he replaced Sparrman as curator of the museum of the Royal Academy of Sciences (KVA), Stockholm, in 1787-88 (Rookmaaker 1989). Rookmaaker suggested that Hornstedt did not visit Sumatra, but received specimens from local collectors, even though he presents no evidence of this and Sumatra is relatively close to the adjacent island of Java.

Scientific citation

Loxia hypoxantha Sparrman 1788 Mus. Carls., fasc., 3, p.71 Sumatra.

Meaning of names

hypoxanthus (Greek) = hupo-, beneath; xanthos, golden or yellow [ie underparts golden].

Alternate names



Claes Fredrik Hornstedt.

Date collected

1783-84, when Hornstedt lived in Java.

Locality collected


Type specimens

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