Ruvu Weaver Ploceus holoxanthus Scientific name definitions

H. Dieter Oschadleus
Version: 1.0 — Published October 25, 2022


Identification Summary

Field Identification

A typical weaver, being a smallish passerine (ca. 12.4 cm) with a slightly long conical bill, the male is bright yellow with an orange face and dark brown eye; the female is olive with a distinctive two-toned bill, being darker above and pale below (1).

Similar Species

Ruvu Weaver is very similar to African Golden-Weaver (Ploceus subaureus) which has a wider range, but which does overlap that of Ruvu Weaver. The Ruvu Weaver has a dark brown eye in both sexes, while the male African Golden-Weaver has a reddish eye all year. The male Ruvu Weaver is also more yellow above, with a slight olive wash, while African Golden-Weaver has an olive back that is noticeably different to its yellow underparts. The primaries of Ruvu Weaver are largely yellow, while the wings of African Golden-Weaver are pale olive with a yellow outer border. There are subtle differences from African Golden Weaver in bill shape and the extent of burnt orange on the face, but these may be difficult to distinguish (1).

The female Ruvu Weaver has a distinctive two-toned bill color, with the maxilla being dark dusky-gray and the mandible being pale yellowish-orange, and is grayish white on the belly, while the female African Golden-Weaver has a horn colored bill and is yellowish below (breeding) or whitish below (non breeding). The females of both species have a brown eye, although some African Golden-Weaver females can have red-brown eyes (2).

In the hand, Ruvu Weaver is smaller in all measurements (see Measurements), e.g. male wing 70 mm compared to wing 78 mm in African Golden-Weaver (3).

Recommended Citation

Oschadleus, H. D. (2022). Ruvu Weaver (Ploceus holoxanthus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman and N. D. Sly, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.ruvwea1.01