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Weaver Wednesday [177] - Discovery [60]: Cassin's Malimbe

2015-11-04 (679)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Cassin's Malimbe Malimbus cassini

Cassin's Malimbe
Cassin's Malimbe male,
figure from Elliot (1876)
Cassin's Malimbe
Cassin's Malimbe female,
figure from Bannerman (1949)
Cassin's Malimbe map
Cassin's Malimbe
distribution, type locality circled


Cassin's Malimbe was formally described by Daniel Giraud Elliot, an American zoologist. Elliot named this species after John Cassin, an American ornithologist and curator of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia (ANSP), now Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

The Cassin's Malimbe had been collected for and purchased by one of the Verreaux brothers. It had been collected in Gabon in May 1859. One of the active collectors there was Paul Belloni Du Chaillu, a French-American traveler, zoologist, and anthropologist. Du Chaillu explored West Africa from 1855-59 near the equator, especially around Gabon, so he is the likely collector.

Only the male was described initially, and the female was described many years later.

The first illustration was of a male Cassin's Malimbe by Elliot (1876), a few years after he described the species. The next illustration was published many decades later by Bannerman (1949), and pictured both male and female, although not in colour.

Scientific citation

Sycobius cassini Elliot 1859, Ibis, 1859, p.392 Gabon.

Meaning of names

cassini - After John Cassin (1813-1869) US ornithologist, who described several weaver species.

First English name

Black-throated Malimbe (Sclater 1930), decades after it was first described.

Alternate names

Black-throated Malimbe.


via the Verreaux business, possibly collected by Du Chaillu.

Date collected

May 1859.

Locality collected


Type specimens

The type specimen is in the British Museum (BM 1859.6.28.12).