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Grey-capped Social Weaver RWD.jpg
Pseudonigrita arnaudi, ↓P. cabanisi
Black-capped Social-Weaver - Samburu - Kenya S4E5139 (22836895922).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Passeridae
Genus: Pseudonigrita
Reichenow, 1903
  • Somalita

Pseudonigrita is a genus of sparrow-like birds nowadays assigned to the weaverbird family. It contains two species, which both occur in eastern Africa:


French naturalist Charles Lucien Bonaparte described the grey-capped social weaver as Nigrita arnaudi in 1850, based on a specimen collected by the French explorer Joseph-Pons d'Arnaud around 1841 near Juba on the White Nile.[1] In 1884, the black-capped social weaver was first described by German East-Africa explorer Gustav Fischer and German ornithologist Anton Reichenow as Nigrita cabanisi, based on a specimen collected in 1883 by Fischer in the Pare Mountains. In 1903, Reichenow assigned both species to his newly erected genus Pseudonigrita, because he considered P. arnaudi and P. cabanisi related to weaverbirds (Ploceidae), while the other species Nigrita bicolor, N. canicapillus, N. fusconota and N. luteifrons are negrofinches assigned to the estrildid finches. In 1942, Hans von Boetticher was of the opinion that cabanisi was different enough to assign it to its own genus, and made the new combination Somalita cabanisi.[2][3]


Based on recent DNA-analysis (which did not include P. cabanisi), the genus Pseudonigrita belongs to the group of sparrow weavers (subfamily Plocepasserinae), and is most related to Philetairus socius. This clade is sister to Plocepasser.[4] Provided that the sister relationship between the Pseudonigrita-species is correct, the following tree expresses current insights.

family Ploceidae
subfamily Amblyospizinae

Amblyospiza albifrons

subfamily Plocepasserinae



Philetairus socius

genus Pseudonigrita

P. cabanisi

P. arnaudi

subfamily Bubalornithinae

Dinemellia dinemelli


subfamily Ploceinae

all other weaverbirds


  1. ^ Bonaparte, Charles Lucien (1850). Conspectus generum avium (in Latin). Lugduni Batavorum: E.J. Brill. p. 444. 
  2. ^ "Zwartkapwever". (in Dutch). Retrieved 2017-04-23. 
  3. ^ Boetticher, Hans von (1942). "Der kleine Schwarzkopf-Sperlingsweber" (PDF). Verhandlungen der Ornithologischen Gesellschaft in Bayern. 22 (2): 207–210. Retrieved 2017-04-23. 
  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. Retrieved 2017-04-05.