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The birds of Africa, comprising all the species which occur in the Ethiopian region (1896) (14732608146), white background.jpg
Euplectes afer subsp. ladoensis

E. macrourus subsp. macrocercus

Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Ploceidae
Genus: Euplectes
Swainson, 1829
Type species
Euplectes macrourus

About 17, see text

Euplectes is a genus of passerine bird in the weaver family, Ploceidae. It contains the bishops and widowbirds. They are all native to Africa south of the Sahara. It is believed that all birds in the genus are probably polygynous.[1]

The genus Euplectes was introduced by the English naturalist William John Swainson in 1829 with the southern red bishop as the type species.[2] The name combines the Ancient Greek eu "fine" or "good" and the New Latin plectes "weaver".[3]


The genus contains 17 species.[4]

Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
Euplectes afer by Mike's Birds.jpg Euplectes afer Yellow-crowned bishop Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Euplectes diadematus Fire-fronted bishop Kenya, Somalia, and Tanzania.
Euplectes aureus cropped.jpg Euplectes aureus Golden-backed bishop western Angola and São Tomé Island.
Black bishop bigodi dec05.jpg Euplectes gierowii Black bishop Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda
Bishop, Zanzibar BW.jpg Euplectes nigroventris Zanzibar red bishop Kenya, Mozambique, and Tanzania.
Black-winged Bishop, Sakania, DR Congo (5891715708).jpg Euplectes hordeaceus Black-winged red bishop Senegal to Sudan and south to Angola, Tanzania, Zimbabwe and Mozambique.
Euplectes orix - Tiergarten Schönbrunn 5.jpg Euplectes orix Southern red bishop or red bishop, north to Angola, southern and eastern parts of the Democratic Republic of Congo,northern Zambia southern Uganda north-east Nigeria and south-west Kenya
Orange Bishop 001.jpg Euplectes franciscanus Northern red bishop or orange bishop, Africa south of the Sahara Desert and north of the Equator
Yellow Bishop - Kenya S4E8557 (22662474520).jpg Euplectes capensis Yellow bishop Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, South Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe
Euplectes axillaris, Linunga, Birding Weto, a.jpg Euplectes axillaris Fan-tailed widowbird Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, DRC, Ethiopia, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
Yellow-mantled Widowbird, Ndassima, CAR (5958116143).jpg Euplectes macroura Yellow-mantled widowbird Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Euplectes hartlaubi, Cuito-rivier, Birding Weto, a.jpg Euplectes hartlaubi Marsh widowbird Angola, Cameroon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia.
Moutain Marsh Widowbird flying.jpg Euplectes psammacromius Montane widowbird northeast Zambia, northern Malawi and the highlands of southwestern Tanzania
Spiegelwida.jpg Euplectes albonotatus White-winged widowbird Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Gabon, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, São Tomé, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe
Red-collared Widowbird - Ngorongoro - Tanzania (22861670271).jpg Euplectes ardens Red-collared widowbird South Mali, North Guinea, inland Sierra Leone. North Liberia, North Ivory Coast, Southwest Niger, Central and Southeast Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central and Northeast Angola, Uganda, West Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Northwest and South Mozambique, Swaziland, and East South Africa
Euplectes progne male South Africa cropped.jpg Euplectes progne Long-tailed widowbird Angola, Botswana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zambia
Jackson's Widowbird - Ngorongoro - Tanzania 0305 (22432180578).jpg Euplectes jacksoni Jackson's widowbird Kenya and Tanzania.


The yellow-crowned bishop and northern red bishop are popular in aviculture.


  1. ^ Craig, Adrian J. F. K. (1980). "Behaviour and evolution in the genus Euplectes". Journal of Ornithology. 121 (2): 144–161. doi:10.1007/BF01642928.
  2. ^ Swainson, William John (1829). Zoological illustrations, or, Original figures and descriptions of new, rare, or interesting animals. 2nd series. Volume 1. London: Baldwin, Cradock, and Joy; and W. Wood. Plate 37 text.
  3. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Old World sparrows, snowfinches, weavers". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 May 2018.

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