Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [188] - Discovery [71]: Loanga Weaver

2016-01-20 (693)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Loanga Weaver Ploceus subpersonata

Loanga Weaver
Loanga Weaver male (in front)
figure from Reichenow (1886)
Loanga Weaver
Loanga Weaver male
figure from Bannerman (1949)
Loanga Weaver map
Loanga Weaver
distribution, type locality circled


The Loanga Weaver was formally described by Jean Louis Cabanis, a German ornithologist. He described 19 weavers, of which 3 are valid weaver species, while working at the Berlin Museum.

The Loanga Weaver was collected by Julius Falkenstein, a German physician, who was based in Cabinda from 1873-76. One of his companions on the German Loango Expedition was Paul Gussfeldt who wrote a travel book about this expedition. They explored Cabinda and surrounding DRC. In addition to collecting bird specimens, Falkenstein sent the second gorilla specimen back to Europe.

The first illustration of the Loanga Weaver was published in Reichenow (1886). The next illustration relating to this species was a sketch of a male published in Bannerman (1949). The female was collected as late as 1951, described by Chapin (1954), and first illustrated by Westoll (1998).

Scientific citation

Hyphantornis subpersonata Cabanis 1876, J. Orn., 24, p.92 Chinchoxo, Cabinda.

Meaning of names

subpersonatus, Latin: sub-, related to; personatus, masked; ref. relationship of this weaver to other masked weavers.

First English name

Loango Slender-billed Weaver (Shelley 1905).

Alternate names

Loanga Slender-billed Weaver, Loango Slender-billed Weaver, Loango Weaver, Western Golden Weaver.


Dr Julius Falkenstein.

Date collected

Between 1873-76.

Locality collected

Chinchoncho = Chinchoxo, Cabinda, Angola.

Type specimens

There should be a type specimen in the Berlin Museum but it was not seen on a visit there.