History and biology of the reassigned Ruvu Weaver Ploceus holoxanthus
Ploceus holoxanthus was formally described by Karel Johan Gustav Hartlaub in 1891, based on specimens collected by Friedrich Bohndorff, from Mtoni on the Kingani (now Ruvu) River, Tanzania. Reichenow (1904, p 91) and Zedlitz (1916) synonymized this taxon with African Golden Weaver P. subaureus, although Shelley (1905) and Hartert (1907) had recognized it as a new species. Sclater (1930) and other subsequent authors simply considered P. holoxanthus as a synonym of African Golden Weaver, and eventually it was not even listed as a synonym. In recent years, birds resembling P. holoxanthus have been increasingly photographed. Thus, this taxon was included in a recent phylogeny of the Ploceidae, which recognized P. holoxanthus as a valid species. This paper reviews the history of this taxon, lists all specimens, published references and photographs, and measurements. The nest and eggs are described for the first time.
Keywords: Ploceus holoxanthus, Ploceus subaureus, Ruvu River, Mtoni, Bagamoyo, Zedlitz, Tanzania