Weavers (Ploceidae)

Fan-tailed Widowbird (Euplectes axillaris) - HBW 15, p. 150

French: Euplecte à épaules orangées German: Stummelweber Spanish: Obispo de Abanico
Other common names: Fan-tailed Whydah, Red-shouldered Widow(bird)/Whydah

Taxonomy: Vidua axillaris A. Smith, 1838, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Hybridizes with E. macroura and E. capensis in captivity. Proposed races batesi (described from upper R Niger around Mali-Niger border) and quanzae (from W Angola) treated as synonyms of bocagei. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • bocagei ( Sharpe, 1871) - S & E Mali, SW Niger, NE Nigeria, SW Chad, W & N Cameroon, N Central African Republic, E PRCongo, W DRCongo, Angola, Zambia (except NE sector), NE Namibia (Caprivi region), N Botswana (Okavango region) and NE Zimbabwe (R Zambezi W of Victoria Falls).
  • phoeniceus ( Heuglin, 1862) - S Sudan, Uganda, E DRCongo, Rwanda, Burundi, inland Kenya and Tanzania, S to NE Zambia and Malawi.
  • traversii ( Salvadori, 1888) - highlands of W & S Ethiopia.

     See all 5 subspecies
  • bocagei ( Sharpe, 1871) - S & E Mali, SW Niger, NE Nigeria, SW Chad, W & N Cameroon, N Central African Republic, E PRCongo, W DRCongo, Angola, Zambia (except NE sector), NE Namibia (Caprivi region), N Botswana (Okavango region) and NE Zimbabwe (R Zambezi W of Victoria Falls).
  • phoeniceus ( Heuglin, 1862) - S Sudan, Uganda, E DRCongo, Rwanda, Burundi, inland Kenya and Tanzania, S to NE Zambia and Malawi.
  • traversii ( Salvadori, 1888) - highlands of W & S Ethiopia.
  • zanzibaricus ( Shelley, 1881) - S Somalia S along coast, including Zanzibar and Pemba, to S Tanzania.
  • axillaris ( A. Smith, 1838) - lowlands of Malawi (except extreme NE), C & S Mozambique, Swaziland and E South Africa.