Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [165] - Discovery [48]: Sao Tome Weaver

2015-08-12 (661)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Sao Tome Weaver Ploceus sanctithomae

Sao Tome Weaver
Sao Tome Weaver,
figure from Hartlaub 1850
Sao Tome Weaver
Sao Tome Weaver,
figure from Reichenbach 1863
Sao Tome Weaver map
Sao Tome Weaver
distribution, type locality circled


The Sao Tome Weaver was formally described by Karel Johan Gustav Hartlaub, a German physician and ornithologist.

Carl Weiss, a German collector, was the first person to obtain specimens of the Sao Tome Weaver for The Hamburg Museum. He travelled from 1847-1850 on the ship Adolphus to Sao Tome then to the coast of Ghana, to Principe and back to Sao Tome again. He probably collected the Sao Tome Weaver soon after arriving on the island, and sent back many bird specimens which Hartlaub was able to describe in 1848 and later.

The first illustration of a Sao Tome Weaver is a colour painting published by Hartlaub in 1850. The second illustration was published by Reichenbach 1863.

Scientific citation

Sycobius st.-thomae Hartlaub 1848 Rev. Zool. 1848 p.109 Sao Tome.

Meaning of names

sanctithomae - Named after the island of Sao Thome (Sao Tome) in the Gulf of Guinea, West Africa, discovered by Portuguese explorers in 1471 and named for St Thomas, the patron saint of Portugal.

First English name

The St. Thomas Coucou-Weawer (Reichenbach 1863).

Alternate names

St. Thomas Island Weaver.


Carl Weiss.

Date collected


Locality collected

Sao Tome Island.

Type specimens

The type specimen is in the Zoological Museum at the University of Hamburg.