Weavers (Ploceidae)

Red-collared Widowbird (Euplectes ardens) - HBW 15, p. 144

French: Euplecte veuve-noire German: Schildweber Spanish: Obispo Acollarado
Other common names: Red-collared Whydah; Red-naped Widowbird, Eastern Red-collared Widowbird (laticauda); Black Widowbird/Whydah ("concolor")

Taxonomy: Fringilla ardens Boddaert, 1783, South Africa.
Molecular data indicate that this species is a long-tailed bishop, not closely allied to the other widowbirds. Has hybridized in captivity with E. orix, E. hordeaceus, E. macroura and E. axillaris. Race laticauda, segregated altitudinally from nominate in area of range overlap in Sudan, possibly represents a separate species; further study required. Males with all-black plumage, occurring through most of range of nominate, formerly recognized as race concolor (described from Sierra Leone), but now considered a melanistic morph; also, intermediates be.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Fringilla ardens Boddaert, 1783, South Africa.
Molecular data indicate that this species is a long-tailed bishop, not closely allied to the other widowbirds. Has hybridized in captivity with E. orix, E. hordeaceus, E. macroura and E. axillaris. Race laticauda, segregated altitudinally from nominate in area of range overlap in Sudan, possibly represents a separate species; further study required. Males with all-black plumage, occurring through most of range of nominate, formerly recognized as race concolor (described from Sierra Leone), but now considered a melanistic morph; also, intermediates between these two morphs recorded in Angola, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. Proposed race tropicus (described from Karema, in Tanzania) considered inseparable from nominate. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • ardens ( Boddaert, 1783) - S Mali, N Guinea, inland Sierra Leone, N Liberia, N Ivory Coast, SW Niger, C & SE Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, S Sudan, S PRCongo, NE and S DRCongo, C & NE Angola, Uganda, W Kenya and C & NE Tanzania S to Zambia, Malawi, NW & S Mozambique, Zimbabwe (C plateau), Swaziland, Lesotho lowlands and E South Africa.
  • laticauda ( M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1823) - highlands of SE Sudan, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • suahelicus ( van Someren, 1921) - highlands of Kenya and Tanzania.