Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Southern Brown-throated Weaver (Ploceus xanthopterus)


French: Tisserin à gorge brune German: Braunkehlweber Spanish: Tejedor gorjipardo sureño

Hyphantornis xanthopterus

Hartlaub and Finsch

, 1870,

Shire Valley, Malawi


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. x. castaneigula (Cabanis, 1884) – W Zambia, NE Namibia (Caprivi Strip), N Botswana and extreme NW Zimbabwe.
  • P. x. xanthopterus (Hartlaub & Finsch, 1870) – SW Tanzania, Malawi, N & C Mozambique and extreme NE Zimbabwe.
  • P. x. marleyi (Roberts, 1929) – S Mozambique (S of R Save) and coastal NE South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    15 cm; male 22–31 g, female 16–24 g. Male nominate race breeding has forehead, crown, cheek and ear-coverts golden-yellow becoming greenish-yellow on mantle and... read more


    Song a jumbled sequence of nasal, buzzing, trilling and hissing notes, "zeep seep zzz... read more


    Reedbeds and tall aquatic vegetation such as papyrus (Cyperus papyrus) in wetlands;... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet includes seeds of grasses such as Panicum maximum, berries, flowers and nectar from Combretum mozambicensis, ... read more


    Breeds Mar in Tanzania, Feb–Mar in Zambia, Oct–Apr in Malawi, Oct–Nov in Botswana, Nov–Mar (mainly Jan–Feb)... read more


    Resident; in Malawi, no ringed individuals known to have moved farther than 8 km from ringing site. read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally abundant. In Mozambique, estimated population more than 10,000 individuals in C region of country and 1000 in S. Numbers in Botswana and in S... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. (2020). Southern Brown-throated Weaver (Ploceus xanthopterus). 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 27 February 2020).