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Weaver Wednesday [150] - Discovery [33]: Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver

2015-04-29 (635)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver Plocepasser superciliosus

Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver
figure from Cretzschmar 1827
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver
figure from Reichenbach 1863
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver map
Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver
distribution, type locality circled


The Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver was formally described by Philipp Jakob Cretzschmar, a German physician who founded the Senckenberg Natural History Museum in Frankfurt.

Wilhelm Peter Eduard Simon Ruppell, a German naturalist and explorer. Ruppell made two extended expeditions to northern and eastern Africa, the first from 1822-1827 (when he collected the Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver), and the second between 1830 and 1833. Ruppell probably collected the specimens near El Obeid, capital of Kordofan (Steinbacher 1949), Sudan. Ruppell and his colleague Cretzschmar, described many new species based on Ruppell's collections.

The first illustration of a Chestnut-crowned Sparrow-weaver is a colour painting by Cretzschmar 1827. The next published illustration is by Reichenbach 1863, again in colour.

Scientific citation

Ploceus superciliosus Cretzschmar 1827 In Ruppell's Atlas, Vogel, p.24, pl. 15 Kordofan, Sudan.

Meaning of names

superciliosus Latin: superciliosus, eyebrowed.

First English name

Chestnut-crowned Sand-Finch (Swainson 1837).

Alternate names

Chestnut-crowned Sand-Finch, The eyebrowed Philagrus, Cameroon Sparrow-Weaver.



Date collected

1825 (Steinbacher 1949).

Locality collected

Probably El Obeid region, capital of Kordofan (Steinbacher 1949), Sudan.

Type specimens

Two types are in Senckenberg but others are possible (Steinheimer 2005).