Weaver species category

Choose different species category from drop-down list and press 'Go' button.

Weavers described by Linnaeus

Linnaeus, figure from wikipedia
Linnaeus text
Linnaeus' type description of the Red-billed Quelea (1758)
Linnaeus C. 1758. Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. pp. [1-4], 1-824. Holmiae. (Salvius).

Linnaeus provided the formal descriptions for 9 weavers. The tenth edition (1748) of Systema Naturae is considered the starting point of zoological nomenclature, making it an important taxonomic work. The translation of the Latin title is "System of nature through the three kingdoms of nature, according to classes, orders, genera and species, with characters, differences, synonyms, places". There are several online copies, e.g. here (55 MB).

Five weavers were formally described by Linnaeus in this edition (and 4 more in his 12th edition in 1766). His descriptions were brief and without illustrations - see text for the Red-billed Quelea (figure right). The table below shows the names, and type localities of the weavers he described. These columns are follwed by type locality corrections published later by other authors, and the current names of the species. Linnaeus did not see all the specimens himself - he compiled descriptions based on earlier works. The links below go to weaver species accounts where you can read the details of how these species were discovered by Europeans.

Linnaeus listed a species, Loxia sanguinirostris (p173) which was also considered to be the Red-billed Quelea by early workers but is now considered indeterminate. A full list of all bird species in his 10th ed is here.

The nine earliest weavers to be described are relatively common, widespread species, but a key characteristic is that they occur near the coast and on the trading route of the early ships from the far east to Europe. Thus 2 weavers are from the Indian coast, 1 from Madagascar, 2 from the Cape Peninsula, 1 from Angola, 1 from Gambia and 2 from Senegal.

Page Linnaeus' name Linnaeus' locality New locality Current species name
Linnaeus 1758
173 Loxia hordeacea in Indiis Senegal Black-winged Bishop Euplectes hordeaceus
175 Loxia benghalensis Benghala Bengal Black-breasted Weaver Ploceus benghalensis
175 Loxia melanocephala in Gvinea Gambia Black-headed Weaver Ploceus melanocephalus
177 Emberiza orix in Africa interiore Angola Southern Red Bishop Euplectes orix
177 Emberiza quelea in India Senegal Red-billed Quelea Quelea quelea
Linnaeus 1766
163 Oriolus capensis Cape of Good Hope Cape Peninsula Cape Weaver Ploceus capensis
300 Loxia madagascariensis Madagascar Madagascar Madagascar Fody Foudia madagascariensis
305 Loxia philippina Philippines Pondicherry Baya Weaver Ploceus philippinus
306 Loxia capensis Cape of Good Hope Cape of Good Hope Yellow Bishop Euplectes capensis