Philetairus Socius Bird
Protonym: Loxia socia IndexOrn. 1 p.381
Taxonomy: Passeriformes / Ploceidae / Philetairus
Taxonomy Code: socwea1
Type Locality: inland of Cape of Good Hope. Restricted to Warmbad, South West Africa, by Macdonald, 1957, Contr. Orn. W. South Africa, p. 156.
Publish Year: 1790
IUCN Status: Least Concern
(Ploceidae; Ϯ Sociable Weaver P. socius) Gr. φιλεταιρος philetairos fond of one's comrades < φιλος philos loving, fond of < φιλεω phileō to love; ἑταιρος hetairos companion; "Under such circumstances, the Sociable Finch of Southern Africa presents itself to our notice. ... By the most accurate enquirers, it has either been placed in the Ploceus of Cuvier or the Euplectes of Swainson. ... For the reception of this South African bird, I would, then, propose the subgenus PHILETAIRUS. Bill rather long, and pointed, higher than broad, and entering between the feathers of the forehead; culmen rounded and curved; commissure sinuated; edges of mandibles slightly inflexed; nostrils near base of upper mandible, round, and behind edged with feathers; a few short rigid bristles at angles of mouth. Wings moderate; when closed, covering half the tail; three outermost quill-feathers nearly of equal length, and the longest. Tail rounded. Legs strong, scutellated in front; middle toe considerably longer than the lateral ones, which are nearly of equal length, and shorter than the hinder one. Claws strong, compressed, curved, and pointed. PHILETAIRUS LEPIDUS. (Ploceus socius Cuvier, Euplectes lepidus Swainson.) ... Inhabits the interior of southern Africa, and is generally found in dry arid situations. A great many individuals are usually found associated together; and under one common roof they build their nests, which in some cases form such large and weighty masses as to break the strong branches of large and lofty trees, upon which they usually place them. In its manners, it resembles the Pyrgitæ, and still more, perhaps, the Plocepasser, a small African group, first indicated by me in June, 1836." (A. Smith 1837); "Philetairus A. Smith, 1837, Charlesworth's Mag. Nat. Hist., 1, p. 536. Type, by original designation [= by monotypy], Euplectes lepidus Swainson = Loxia socia Latham." (Moreau in Peters 1962, XV, 7).
Var. Philetaerus, Philaeterus, Philhetaerus, Philoetaerus.
L. socius sharing, allied, joint < sequi to follow.
● ex “Social Grosbeak” of Paterson 1789 (Philetairus).
UPPERCASE: current genus
Uppercase first letter: generic synonym
● and ● See: generic homonyms
lowercase: species and subspecies
●: early names, variants, mispellings
†: type species
Gr.: ancient Greek
<: derived from
syn: synonym of
/: separates historical and modern geographic names
ex: based on
TL: type locality
OD: original diagnosis (genus) or original description (species)