Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Speckle-fronted Weaver (Sporopipes frontalis)


French: Sporopipe quadrillé German: Schuppenkopfweber Spanish: Tejedorcito frontal

Loxia frontalis


, 1800,



Proposed race pallidior (described from Zinder, in S Niger) synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. f. frontalis (Daudin, 1800) – SW & SE Mauritania, N & W Senegal, Gambia, Mali (mainly drainage area of R Niger), NW Burkina Faso, NW Ghana (Mole region), N Benin, WC & S Niger (including Aïr Massif) and N Nigeria E in Sahel region to NW Ethiopia and SW Eritrea.
  • S. f. emini Neumann, 1900 – S South Sudan, NW & NE Uganda and WC Kenya S to C Tanzania.
  • Descriptive notes

    11 cm; 14–22 g. Small, pale finch-like weaver with distinctive head pattern. Nominate race has feathers of forehead and crown black with white tips (creating speckled... read more


    Song a high-pitched, rapid "tsitsitsi te-te-te-teetee-tee". Flight call "tsip-tsip-... read more


    Dry thornveld, scrub and thickets; in Sahel region especially associated with acacia (Acacia... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly seeds; also small insects, including alate termites (Isoptera). Forages largely on ground, where it moves by hopping. Often on open... read more


    Season Sept–Dec over much of range, sometimes until Feb/Mar; breeding recorded also Apr–May in Ethiopia, May–Jul in Kenya... read more


    Generally resident. Local movements reported during rains in Mauritania; apparently present only... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread and locally common; rather local in NW Uganda (West Nile region). Occurs primarily in regions not suited to agriculture or intensive human... read more

    Recommended citation

    Craig, A. (2020). Speckle-fronted Weaver (Sporopipes frontalis). 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 24 February 2020).