Weavers (Ploceidae)

Red-billed Quelea (Quelea quelea) - HBW 15, p. 139

French: Travailleur à bec rouge German: Blutschnabelweber Spanish: Quelea Común
Other common names: Sudan/Pink-billed Quelea, Black-faced Quelea/Dioch

Taxonomy: Emberiza quelea Linnaeus, 1758, India; error = Senegal.
Has hybridized with Q. erythrops in captivity. Proposed race spoliator (described from KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa) is inseparable both morphologically and genetically from lathamii. Distribution of races difficult to state with accuracy; species has been recorded from all mainland countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and ranges listed below reflect areas where birds always likely to be found, and where breeding may occur; separation of races based partly on postulated independent movements of the three populations. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • quelea ( Linnaeus, 1758) - S Mauritania, W & N Senegal, Gambia, C Mali, N Burkina Faso, SW & S Niger, N Nigeria, N Cameroon, SC Chad and N Central African Republic.
  • aethiopica ( Sundevall, 1850) - W, C & E Sudan, Ethiopia and W Eritrea S to NE DRCongo, Uganda, Kenya, C & E Tanzania and NW & S Somalia.
  • lathamii ( A. Smith, 1836) - SW Gabon, S PRCongo, Angola (except NE and arid coastal SW), S DRCongo and R Congo mouth, Zambia, Malawi and W Mozambique S to Namibia (except coastal desert) and C, S & E South Africa.