Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Black Bishop (Euplectes gierowii)


French: Euplecte de Gierow German: Bischofsweber Spanish: Obispo negro

Euplectes gierowii


, 1880,

Malanje, Angola


Sometimes placed with E. aureus and E. hordeaceus in a separate genus, Groteiplectes. In genetic study#R, races ansorgei and friederichseni exhibited widest intraspecific divergence. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. g. ansorgei (E. J. O. Hartert, 1899) – W, E & S Cameroon, S Central African Republic, N Congo, N & NE DRCongo, S & E South Sudan, W & SW Ethiopia, Uganda and W Kenya.
  • E. g. gierowii Cabanis, 1880 – SW DRCongo and NW Angola.
  • E. g. friederichseni G. A. Fischer & Reichenow, 1884 – S Kenya and NC Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; male 23–36 g, female 22–30 g. Short-tailed bishop. Male nominate race breeding has forehead, neck and back orange, rump and uppertail-coverts black; tail... read more


    Song, in flight and from perch, a long buzzy note followed by series of shorter notes, "zeeee-za-za... read more


    Tall grassland, in swampy or drier bushy areas, also scrub and sugar cane. In Kenya at 700–... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes seeds and insects. Stomach contents consisted of grass seeds, winged ants (Formicidae) and alate termites (Isoptera). Forages... read more


    Season May–Aug in NE DRCongo, Apr–Oct and Dec in Uganda, May in Kenya, and Apr–Jun and Dec in Tanzania. Polygynous, male... read more


    Presumed resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Relatively poorly known species, with scattered populations. In most parts of range said to be uncommon to rare.

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. (2020). Black Bishop (Euplectes gierowii). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 19 February 2020).