Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [196] - Discovery [79]: Black-capped Social Weaver

2016-03-16 (706)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Black-capped Social Weaver Pseudonigrita cabanisi

Black-capped Social Weaver
Black-capped Social Weaver,
figure from Shelley (1888)
Black-capped Social Weaver
Black-capped Social Weaver,
figure from Mackworth (1955)
Black-capped Social Weaver map
Black-capped Social Weaver
distribution, type locality circled


The Black-capped Social Weaver was formally described jointly by Gustav A Fischer and Anton Reichenow, the latter being a German ornithologist and herpetologist.

The Black-capped Social Weaver was collected by Gustav A Fischer, a German African explorer. He collected a large number of birds, including new species, in East Africa.

Fischer settled as a physician in Zanzibar in 1876, from where he undertook expeditions to Tanzania and Kenya. His third trip started in late 1882 at Pangani on the Tanzanian coast and he followed the Pangani River upstream. When he reached the Pare Mountains in March 1883, he collected the type specimen of the Black-capped Social Weaver. He continued to Kilimanjaro and appears to have collected another specimen in the same area on his return. Fischer saw the Black-capped Social Weaver in small groups in acacia bushes and he also found small colonies of nests.

The first illustration of the Black-capped Social Weaver was of the type, published by Shelley (1888). The second illustration for the species was a line drawing many decades later, in Mackworth (1955).

Scientific citation

Nigrita cabanisi Fischer & Reichenow 1884, Journ. f. Orn., 32, p.54, Plains by Pare Mts.

Meaning of names

cabanisi, After Jean Louis Cabanis (1816-1906) German ornithologist and author.

First English name

Cabanis's Social-Waxbill (Shelley 1905).

Alternate names

Black-headed Sociable Weaver.


Gustav A Fischer.

Date collected

March and July 1883.

Locality collected

The plains between the Pangani River and Pare Mountains.

Type specimens

There are at least 2 types, one each in Berlin and Hamburg.