Weaver news

Weaver Wednesday [225] - Discovery [108]: Yellow-legged Weaver

2016-10-05 (745)

gravit8 Weaver Wednesday (species text)

Yellow-legged Weaver Ploceus flavipes

Yellow-legged Weaver
Yellow-legged Weaver, head, bill, leg
figure from Chapin 1916a
Yellow-legged Weaver
Yellow-legged Weaver, female
type specimen
Yellow-legged Weaver map
Yellow-legged Weaver
distribution, type locality circled


The Yellow-legged Weaver was collected and formally described by James Paul Chapin, an American ornithologist.

Chapin is one of the highest-regarded ornithologists of the twentieth century. Chapin and Herbert Lang led an expedition to conduct a biological survey of the Belgian Congo between 1909 and 1915. Chapin published many papers with new bird species descriptions, and eventually summarised all bird data in several volumes, "The Birds of the Belgian Congo".

Chapin was based at Avakubi for much of his time in DRCongo, but only in 1913 one of his hunters brought him a single specimen of the Yellow-legged Weaver from the forest. The female specimen contained small caterpillars in the stomach.

Chapin included a line drawing of the head, bill and leg of the Yellow-legged Weaver type. The Yellow-legged Weaver was first fully illustrated by Mackworth 1973a.

Scientific citation

Malimbus flavipes Chapin 1916a, Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 35 p.27, Avakubi, Zaire.

Meaning of names

flavipes, Latin: flavus, golden-yellow; pes, the foot.

First English name

Yellow-legged Malimbe (Sclater 1930a).

Alternate names

Yellow-footed Weaver, Yellow-legged Malimbe.


Chapin's hunter.

Date collected

20 Sep 1913.

Locality collected

Avakubi, Ituri District, Belgian Congo.

Type specimens

The type is in the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH 162602).