Weavers (Ploceidae)

Black-headed Weaver (Ploceus melanocephalus) - HBW 15, p. 163

French: Tisserin à tête noire German: Schwarzkopfweber Spanish: Tejedor Cabecinegro
Other common names: Yellow-backed/Yellow-collared Weaver, Gambian Black-headed Weaver; Yellow-collared/Yellow-backed Weaver (capitalis); Victoria Masked Weaver, Entebbe/Lake Victoria Weaver (presumed hybrid with P. castanops)

Taxonomy: Loxia melanocephala Linnaeus, 1758, Guinea.
Has been thought possibly to form a superspecies with P. dicrocephalus. May hybridize with P. castanops in Uganda; both sight records and specimens of probable hybrids exist, and hybrid was previously described as a separate species, P. victoriae. Has hybridized with P. taeniopterus in NE DRCongo. Proposed race fischeri (described from Mwanza, in NW Tanzania) synonymized with dimidiatus. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • melanocephalus ( Linnaeus, 1758) - S Mauritania, N & SW Senegal, Gambia, S Mali and SW Niger.
  • capitalis ( Latham, 1790) - W Guinea-Bissau, E Guinea, Burkina Faso, NE Ghana, N Togo, Nigeria (on major rivers), N Cameroon, SW Chad and N Central African Republic.
  • dimidiatus ( Antinori & Salvadori, 1873) - SE Sudan, W Eritrea, NE DRCongo, Uganda, SW Kenya and NW Tanzania.
  • duboisi Hartlaub, 1886 - E PRCongo, S Central African Republic, SW Sudan, C & SE DRCongo and N Zambia.