Family Weavers (Ploceidae)

Least Concern

Zanzibar Red Bishop (Euplectes nigroventris)


French: Euplecte de Zanzibar German: Brandweber Spanish: Obispo de Zanzíbar
Other common names: Zanzibar Bishop

Euplectes nigroventris


, 1848,



Sometimes included in E. orix, on basis of genetic data#R. Proposed race rufigula (described from C Kenya), having some red on throat and breast, is considered no more than a variant. Monotypic.


Coastal region from SE Kenya (irregularly inland to Tsavo) S, including offshore islands of Zanzibar and Pemba, to N Mozambique (S to Mocuba); in SW Tanzania W to Songea.

Descriptive notes

10 cm; 11–14 g. Small, short-tailed bishop. Male breeding has forehead, crown and nape red, mantle bright rufous-brown, rest of upperparts, including uppertail-coverts... read more


Song a soft sizzling, interspersed with chattering, nasal "zhhhnn" or "djeeeeen... read more


Coastal grassland and cultivated areas, below 1000 m.

Food and feeding

Diet mainly seeds, especially those of Echinochloa haploclada and Panicum maximum, also rice (Oryza) and sorghum... read more


Breeds May–Oct in Kenya, and recorded in all months in Tanzania; on Zanzibar, May–Jul and possibly again Nov–Dec.... read more


Mainly resident, with some local movements; irregular visitor to Tsavo, in Kenya.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common.

Recommended citation

Craig, A. (2020). Zanzibar Red Bishop (Euplectes nigroventris). 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).