Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [185] - Discovery [68]: Golden Palm Weaver

2015-12-30 (690)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Golden Palm Weaver Ploceus bojeri

Golden Palm Weaver
Golden Palm Weaver head
figure from Sharpe (1890)
Golden Palm Weaver
Golden Palm Weaver head,
figure from Reichenow (1894)
Golden Palm Weaver
Golden Palm Weaver eggs,
figure from Ogilvie-Grant (1912)
Golden Palm Weaver map
Golden Palm Weaver distribution,
type locality circled in black


Golden Palm Weaver was formally described by Jean Louis Cabanis, a German ornithologist who was an assistant at, and later the director of, the Berlin University Museum. Cabanis based his description on 2 males and a female weaver collected at Mombasa, Kenya. These specimens were collected by Baron Karl Klaus von der Decken, German explorer of eastern Africa, on his expedition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro.

Cabanis named this weaver after Wenzel Bojer, a Czech naturalist and collector in tropical Africa and Madagascar. Interestingly, a year after Cabanis named the Golden Palm Weaver, Hartlaub & Finsch (1870) named described this species based on weavers collected by Bojer much earlier (1824) on Zanzibar, Tanzania. Recent re-examination of Bojer's specimens in the Vienna museum indicates that they are more likely to be the Eastern Golden Weaver P. subaureus.

So, although the weaver specimens collected by Bojer are not Golden Palm Weavers, the scientific name is not an anomaly, as Cabanis named it after Bojer for his general collecting, and for collecting the Golden Palm Weaver specifically.

The first illustration of the Golden Palm Weaver was of the head of a male weaver by Sharpe (1890). This was followed by a colour painting, again of the head of a male, by Reichenow (1894). The next illustration pertaining to the Golden Palm Weaver was of several eggs with variation in colouration (Ogilvie-Grant 1912), although this may include eggs of the Eastern Golden Weaver.

Scientific citation

Hyphantornis bojeri Cabanis 1869 In van der Decken's Reise. Vogel 3, p.32 Mombasa, eastern Kenya Colony.

Meaning of names

bojeri, Named after Wenzel Bojer (1800-1856).

First English name

Bojer's Weaver-bird (Gurney 1881).

Alternate names

Bojer's Weaver, Mombasa Golden Weaver.


Baron Karl Klaus von der Decken.

Date collected

7 and 23 Sept 1862.

Locality collected

Mombasa, Kenya.

Type specimens

There is a type specimen in the Berlin Museum (ZMB_19015).