|Bocage's weaver (P. temporalis) and
Bertram's weaver (P. bertrandi) ♀
The genus Ploceus was introduced by the French naturalist Georges Cuvier in 1816. The type species was subsequently designated as the baya weaver. The genus name is from Ancient Greek πλοκευς plokeus meaning "weaver", and is derived from the Greek word πλεκω plekō "to entwine".
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. These changes are largely corroborated by morphological revisions. 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.
The genus contains 64 species.
- Compact weaver, Ploceus superciliosus – sometimes separated in monotypic genus Pachyphantes
- Black-chinned weaver, Ploceus nigrimentus
- Baglafecht weaver, Ploceus baglafecht
- Bertram's weaver, Ploceus bertrandi
- Slender-billed weaver, Ploceus pelzelni
- Loango weaver, Ploceus subpersonatus
- Little weaver, Ploceus luteolus
- Lesser masked weaver, Ploceus intermedius
- Spectacled weaver, Ploceus ocularis
- Bannerman's weaver, Ploceus bannermani
- Bates's weaver, Ploceus batesi
- Black-necked weaver, Ploceus nigricollis
- Black-billed weaver, Ploceus melanogaster
- Strange weaver, Ploceus alienus
- Bocage's weaver, Ploceus temporalis
- Cape weaver, Ploceus capensis
- Eastern golden weaver, Ploceus subaureus
- Holub's golden weaver, Ploceus xanthops
- Príncipe weaver, Ploceus princeps
- Orange weaver, Ploceus aurantius
- Golden palm weaver, Ploceus bojeri
- Taveta weaver, Ploceus castaneiceps
- Southern brown-throated weaver, Ploceus xanthopterus
- Northern brown-throated weaver, Ploceus castanops
- Kilombero weaver, Ploceus burnieri
- Rueppell's weaver, Ploceus galbula
- Heuglin's masked weaver, Ploceus heuglini
- Northern masked weaver, Ploceus taeniopterus
- Vitelline masked weaver, Ploceus vitellinus
- Southern masked weaver, Ploceus velatus
- Katanga masked weaver Ploceus katangae
- Lufira masked weaver, Ploceus ruweti
- Tanzanian masked weaver, Ploceus reichardi
- Village weaver, Ploceus cucullatus
- Giant weaver, Ploceus grandis
- Speke's weaver, Ploceus spekei
- Fox's weaver, Ploceus spekeoides
- Vieillot's black weaver, Ploceus nigerrimus
- Weyns's weaver, Ploceus weynsi
- Clarke's weaver, Ploceus golandi
- Black-headed weaver, Ploceus melanocephalus
- Juba weaver, Ploceus dichrocephalus
- Golden-backed weaver, Ploceus jacksoni
- Cinnamon weaver, Ploceus badius
- Chestnut weaver, Ploceus rubiginosus
- Golden-naped weaver, Ploceus aureonucha
- Yellow-mantled weaver, Ploceus tricolor
- Maxwell's black weaver, Ploceus albinucha
- Nelicourvi weaver, Ploceus nelicourvi
- Sakalava weaver, Ploceus sakalava
- Streaked weaver, Ploceus manyar
- Baya weaver, Ploceus philippinus
- Asian golden weaver, Ploceus hypoxanthus
- Finn's weaver, Ploceus megarhynchus
- Black-breasted weaver, Ploceus benghalensis
- Dark-backed weaver, Ploceus bicolor
- Preuss's weaver, Ploceus preussi
- Yellow-capped weaver, Ploceus dorsomaculatus
- Usambara weaver, Ploceus nicolli
- Olive-headed weaver, Ploceus olivaceiceps
- Brown-capped weaver, Ploceus insignis
- Bar-winged weaver, Ploceus angolensis
- Sao Tome weaver, Ploceus sanctithomae
- Yellow-legged weaver, Ploceus flavipes
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
- 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.
- Del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Christie, D. (2010). Handbook of the Birds of the World. 15. Weavers to New World Warblers. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions.
- Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2018). "Old World sparrows, snowfinches, weavers". World Bird List Version 8.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 5 May 2018.