The Red-headed Weaver was first described in 1839 by a French collector, Lafresnaye. He used the name Ploceus melanotis which was pre-occupied (already used) and thus melanotis is invalid, even though Lafresnaye's name is no longer in use. The first valid scientific name to be used was Ploceus rubriceps by Sundevall who described several specimens collected by the Swedish big game hunter, Johan August Wahlberg, in November 1843 at Mohapoani (North West Province). All world checklists (recent editions) and the recent Handbook of Birds of the World Vol 15 use the correct name Anaplectes rubriceps. The name P. melanotis used in Roberts 7 is incorrect and authors of southern African bird books need to use the name Anaplectes rubriceps.