Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [138] - Discovery [21]: Speckle-fronted Weaver

2015-02-04 (619)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Speckle-fronted Weaver Sporopipes frontalis

Speckle-fronted Weaver
Speckle-fronted Weaver,
figure from Vieillot 1805
Vieillot, figure from tierdoku
Speckle-fronted Weaver map
Speckle-fronted Weaver
distribution, type locality circled


The Speckle-fronted Weaver was formally described by Francois Marie Daudin, a young French zoologist. Daudin wrote Traite elementaire et complet d'Ornithologie (Complete and Elementary Treatise of Ornithology) in 1799-1800, being one of the first modern handbooks of ornithology. Daudin combined Linnean binomial names and good descriptions of the birds. He did not complete his book, as he died before the age of 30.

Daudin described the species, based on two individuals in private aviaries in Paris. He noted the origin of the birds as Senegal.

The first illustration was provided by Louis Jean Pierre Vieillot, a French ornithologist. Vieillot was interested in living birds, and wrote about the difficulties of keeping Speckle-fronted Weavers in captivity, in addition to a description of the birds.

Scientific citation

Loxia frontalis Daudin 1800 Traite' d'Orn. 2, p.445 Senegal.

Meaning of names

frontalis (Modern Latin): fronted, browed (L. frons, frontis, the brow, the forehead).

Alternate names

Speckled Weaver, Scaly-fronted Weaver, Red-fronted Finch.



Date collected

Before 1800.

Locality collected


Type specimens

Type specimen not traced (it may be in the Paris museum); the illustration of Vieillot 1805 serves as a type.