Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-and-black Weaver (Ploceus castaneofuscus)


French: Tisserin noir et marron German: Fuchsweber Spanish: Tejedor pardinegro

Ploceus castaneo-fuscus


, 1840,

Casamance, Senegal


Hitherto treated as conspecific with P. nigerrimus, but established as species on account of its chestnut back and belly in male (4); richer rufous-brown flanks and tail in female (1); narrow hybrid zone in S Nigeria (2); and apparent difference in breeding behaviour#R (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, W Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia E, discontinuously, to S Nigeria.

Descriptive notes

15–17 cm; 24–39 g. Adult male is largely black but has upperparts, belly and undertail-coverts rich chestnut-brown. Adult female has upperparts brownish, rather... read more


Very similar to that of P. nigerrimus, a short “tyup”, “jup”, “pik” and “zeet”... read more


Forest clearings, often in villages, well-wooded regions and tall-grass savanna, and also around... read more

Food and feeding

Diet mainly insects, including grasshoppers (Orthoptera), winged ants (Formicidae), alate termites (Isoptera), caterpillars and butterflies... read more


Breeds Jan in Gambia, Feb in Guinea, Feb–Apr and Aug–Nov in Liberia, Dec–Aug in Ghana, Feb and Sept–Oct in Togo, and May–Aug in Nigeria;... read more


Presumed resident; may move far from colonies to forage.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Abundant through most of range; rare in Gambia. Often closely associated with people and range may be expanding in some areas due to... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Chestnut-and-black Weaver (Ploceus castaneofuscus). 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 20 February 2020).