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Weaver Wednesday [202] - Discovery [85]: Slender-billed Weaver

2016-04-27 (715)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Slender-billed Weaver Ploceus pelzelni

Slender-billed Weaver
Slender-billed Weaver female & juv
male, figure from Hartlaub (1887)
Slender-billed Weaver
Slender-billed Weaver male,
figure from Sharpe (1890)
Emin Pasha, collector of the
Slender-billed Weaver, from wikipedia
Slender-billed Weaver map
Slender-billed Weaver
distribution, type locality circled


The Slender-billed Weaver was formally described by Karel Johan Gustav Hartlaub, a German physician and ornithologist.

The Slender-billed Weaver was collected by Emin Pasha, an Ottoman-German physician, naturalist, and governor.

After 1876, Emin made Lado his base for collecting expeditions throughout the region, and here he collected his weaver type, the Cardinal Quelea.

In November 1879 Pasha sailed south on a steamer called "Khedive" on the Nile to lake Albert. He devoted his stay at Magungo as far as possible to collecting specimens (including birds, snakes and insects), although he had little ammunition and spirit for preserving specimens. In a letter, Pasha noted that he had found 5 species of weavers in the area, but he only listed the Thick-billed Weaver. Pasha collected 3 specimens of the Slender-billed Weaver in Dec 1879 near Magungo. In 1880 he donated the specimens to Rudolf, Crown Prince of Austria, who passed them on to the Museum in Vienna. One of the specimens was swopped to go to Bremen where Hartlaub recognised it as a new species in 1887.

The first illustration of the Slender-billed Weaver was published by Hartlaub (1887), with the description of the species. The next illustration to be published was a line drawing by Sharpe (1890).

Scientific citation

Sitagra pelzelni Hartlaub 1887, Zool. Jahrb. 2, p.343, pl. 14, figs. 9-10, Magungo, Uganda.

Meaning of names

pelzelni, After August von Pelzeln (1825-1891) Austrian ornithologist, collector, and author.

First English name

Pelzeln's Slender-billed Weaver (Shelley 1905).

Alternate names

Little Slender-billed Black-faced Weaver, Monk weaver, Muanza Slender-billed Weaver, Palm Slender-billed Weaver, Pelzelni's Weaver, Pelzeln's Slender-billed Weaver, West African Weaver.


Emin Pasha.

Date collected

Nov-Dec 1879.

Locality collected

Magungo, Uganda.

Type specimens

There are syntypes in Bremen and Vienna Museums.