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The birds of Africa, comprising all the species which occur in the Ethiopian region (1896) (14748527162).jpg
Bocage's weaver (P. temporalis) and
Bertram's weaver (P. bertrandi)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Ploceidae
Genus: Ploceus
Cuvier, 1816

see text

  • Pachyphantes
Plumage patterns of breeding males in Ploceus and related genera – often combinations of yellow and black
Ploceinae, 2nd group
Nelicourvi weaver
(genus Ploceus)
"reinstated Nelicurvius"
Cassin's malimbe
(genus Malimbus)
"extended Malimbus"
Red-headed weaver
(genus Anaplectes)
"extended Malimbus"
Southern masked weaver
(genus Ploceus)
"extended Malimbus"

Ploceus is a genus of birds in the weaver family, Ploceidae. They are native to the Indomalayan and Afrotropical realms.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]


The genus Ploceus was introduced by the French naturalist Georges Cuvier in 1816.[1] The type species was subsequently designated as the baya weaver.[2] The genus name is from Ancient Greek πλοκευς plokeus meaning "weaver", and is derived from the Greek word πλεκω plekō "to entwine".[3]

Based on recent DNA-analysis, the genus Ploceus is almost certainly polyphyletic. If all species currently included in the genus would remain and the genus would be made monophyletic, it would have to encompass the entire subfamily Ploceinae. The Ploceinae can be divided into two groups. In the first group, the widowbirds and bishops (genus Euplectes) are sister to a clade in which the genera Foudia and Quelea are closest relatives and which further includes the Asiatic species of Ploceus, i.e. P. manyar, P. philippinus, P. benghalensis, P. megarhynchus, (and P. hypoxanthus, although untested). Since Georges Cuvier picked P. philippinus as the type species, these five species would logically remain assigned to the genus Ploceus.

Basic to the second group is a clade consisting of both species so far included in Ploceus that live on Madagascar, P. nelicourvi and P. sakalava, and these are morphologically very distinct from the remaining species. These two species could in future be assigned to the genus Nelicurvius that was erected by Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1850, but which was merged with Ploceus later on. This second group further contains the genera Malimbus and Anaplectes, and all remaining Ploceus species. As Malimbus is the earlier name, erected by Vieillot et al. in 1805, the remaining species of Ploceus, as well as Anaplectes rubiceps, could in future be assigned to Malimbus.[4] These changes are largely corroborated by morphological revisions.[5][6] Provided that the other genera that have not been proposed to be merged into an extended "Malimbus" are monophyletic, the following (incomplete) tree expresses current insights.

subfamily Ploceinae
"true Ploceus"

P. megarhynchus

P. benghalensis

P. manyar

P. philippinus

genus Foudia

genus Quelea

genus Euplectes

"reinstated Nelicurvius"

P. nelicourvi

P. sakalava

"extended Malimbus"

Malimbus malimbicus

Malimbus nitens

Malimbus cassini

Malimbus racheliae

Anaplectes rubiceps

P. bicolor

Malimbus rubricollis

P. albinucha

P. insignis

P. olivaceiceps

P. xanthops

P. velatus

P. subaureus

P. nigricollis

P. ocularis

P. pelzelni

P. luteolus

P. melanogaster

P. alienus

P. vitellinus

P. rubiginosus

P. aurantius

P. bertrandi

P. baglafecht

P. nigerrimus

P. weynsi

P. cucullatus

P. castaneiceps

P. xanthopterus

P. heuglini

P. taeniopterus

P. melanocephalus

P. castanops

Species list[edit]

Speke's weaver (Ploceus spekei, below) and village weaver (Ploceus cucullatus subsp. nigriceps)

The genus contains 64 species.[7]


  1. ^ Cuvier, Georges (1816). Le Règne animal distribué d'après son organisation : pour servir de base a l'histoire naturelle des animaux et d'introduction a l'anatomie comparée (in French). Volume 1. Paris: Déterville. p. 383.
  2. ^ Mayr, Ernst; Greenway, James C. Jr, eds. (1962). Check-list of birds of the world. Volume 15. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Museum of Comparative Zoology. p. 32.
  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. ^ De Silva, Thilina N.; Peterson, A. Townsend; Bates, John M.; Fernandoa, Sumudu W.; Girard, Matthew G. (2017). "Phylogenetic relationships of weaverbirds (Aves: Ploceidae): A first robust phylogeny based on mitochondrial and nuclear markers". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 109: 21–32. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.12.013. PMID 28012957.
  5. ^ Wolters, H.E. (1970). "On the generic classification of the weaver-birds of the Malimbus-Ploceus group" (PDF). Natural History Bulletin of the Siam Society. 23: 369–391.
  6. ^ Del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. (2010). Handbook of the Birds of the World. 15. Weavers to New World Warblers. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.
  7. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Old World sparrows, snowfinches, weavers". World Bird List Version 8.2. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 26 November 2018.

External links[edit]

Media related to Ploceus at Wikimedia Commons
Data related to Ploceus at Wikispecies