Ploceidae is a family of small passerine birds, many of which are called weavers, weaverbirds or weaver finches. These names come from the nests of intricately woven vegetation that many birds of the family make. In most recent classifications, Ploceidae is a clade, which excludes some birds that have historically been placed in the family, such as some of the sparrows, but which includes the monotypic subfamily Amblyospizinae. The family is believed to have originated in the mid-Miocene. All birds of the Ploceidae are native to the Old World, most in Africa south of the Sahara, though a few live in tropical areas of Asia. A few species have been introduced outside their native range. The family Ploceidae was introduced (as Ploceïdes) by the Swedish zoologist Carl Jakob Sundevall in 1836. These species are not closely related to the sparrows (Passeridae) nor to the Emberizid, according to Luis Allende and colleagues. The family is divided into the buffalo, sparrow, typical, and widow weavers. Weavers get their name because of their elaborately woven nests.