Claret-breasted Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus viridis)
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Columbiformes
Family Columbidae
Genus Ptilinopus

Ptilinopus or fruit doves and fruit pigeons, is a family of pigeons in the Columbidae family. These colorful, frugivorous doves are found in forests and woodlands in Southeast Asia and Oceania. It is a large genus with about 50 species, some threatened or already extinct.


These small- to medium-sized doves generally have short, fan-shaped tails, and are remarkable for their colorful and often glossy plumage, as evidenced in the aptly named orange fruit dove, flame-breasted fruit dove, and pink-headed fruit dove. Males and females of many fruit dove species look very different. For example, the female many-coloured fruit dove shares the male’s crimson crown and deep pink undertail feathers, but is otherwise green, whereas the male has a crimson on the upper back and has areas of yellow, olive, cinnamon, and grey.

Distribution, Behavior, and Habitat

This is a large genus, most diverse in and around the island of New Guinea, in the Philippines, and in the biogeographical region of Wallacea. Some species have ranges as far west as the Sunda Islands, others north to Taiwan, south to Australia, and east into Polynesia.

Fruit doves, as their name implies, eat fruit—ficus is especially important—and live in various kinds of forest or woodland. Some species are restricted to primary forest, such as lowland rainforest, montane forest, or monsoon forest, while others prefer secondary forest or disturbed areas. Some species specialize in particular habitats, from lowland coastal forest to the cloud forest or moss forest of high altitudes. Some species of fruit doves are only found in habitats dominated by particular plants, such as mangrove, eucalyptus, or pandanus. Only a few species can commonly be seen around human habitation, these include the knob-billed fruit dove, Makatea fruit dove, and black-naped fruit dove, which are known to visit gardens and such.

Much is still to be learned about fruit doves. Many species are shy and difficult to observe in their natural habitat. For example, there are several species in the Philippines, and for most of them, little or nothing is known of their breeding or nesting behavior.


The many species of this genus can be further grouped by geography and by certain shared characteristics. The fruit doves of the Sunda Islands and northern Australia, such as the pink-headed fruit dove and banded fruit dove, have comparatively longer tails than other species, and are notable for their solid colouration on the head, neck and breast, with a black band across the belly. Another grouping can be made of certain fruit doves endemic to New Guinea, the Moluccas, and the Bismarck Archipelago, including the carunculated fruit dove, knob-billed fruit dove, and others; these are notable for their grey colouration on the head or shoulder and/or enlarged cere (part of the bill). This group is uncharacteristically not sexually dimorphic, meaning males and females look alike. The orange dove, golden fruit dove, and whistling fruit dove, all endemic to Fiji and sometimes placed in their own genus Chrysoenas, have in common their small size, compact shape, yellow or orange colouration in the males, and hair-like body feathers. They also are known for their rather un-pigeon-like vocalizations, which sound like snapping, barking, or whistling, respectively. Finally, the Pacific Islands provide homes to a number of species that share generally green colouration with crimson caps or crowns, ventriloquial cooing or hooting, and a distinct texture of the breast feathers. The grey-green fruit dove is typical of this group. Recent evidence suggests Ptilinopus as presently defined is paraphyletic as Alectroenas and Drepanoptila are embedded within it. The generic name Ptilinopus comes from the Ancient Greek words ptilon "feather," and pous, "foot."


Negros Fruit Dove (Ripley & Rabor, 1955) (Ptilinopus arcanus)
Orange-fronted Fruit Dove (Gray, 1858) (Ptilinopus aurantiifrons)
Scarlet-breasted Fruit Dove (Schlegel, 1863) (Ptilinopus bernsteinii)
Makatea Fruit Dove (Gray, 1859) (Ptilinopus chalcurus)
Banded Fruit Dove (Temminck, 1810) (Ptilinopus cinctus)
Atoll Fruit Dove (Peale, 1848) (Ptilinopus coralensis)
Coroneted Fruit Dove (Gray, 1858) (Ptilinopus coronulatus)
Red-naped Fruit Dove (Rothschild, 1896) (Ptilinopus dohertyi)
White-capped Fruit Dove (Neboux, 1840) (Ptilinopus dupetithouarsii)
Oberholser's Fruit Dove (Oberholser, 1918) (Ptilinopus epius)
White-headed Fruit Dove (Gould, 1856) (Ptilinopus eugeniae)
Red-eared Fruit Dove (Brüggemann, 1876) (Ptilinopus fischeri)
Carunculated Fruit Dove (Hartert, 1898) (Ptilinopus granulifrons)
Red-bellied Fruit Dove (Bonaparte, 1857) (Ptilinopus greyii)
Rapa Fruit Dove (Finsch, 1874) (Ptilinopus huttoni)
Grey-headed Fruit Dove (Temminck, 1824) (Ptilinopus hyogaster)
Knob-billed Fruit Dove (Schlegel, 1863) (Ptilinopus insolitus)
Henderson Fruit Dove (North, 1908) (Ptilinopus insularis)
Orange-bellied Fruit Dove (Gray, 1858) (Ptilinopus iozonus)
Jambu Fruit Dove (Gmelin, 1789) (Ptilinopus jambu)
Whistling Fruit Dove (Elliot, 1878) (Ptilinopus layardi)
Black-chinned Fruit Dove (Bonaparte, 1855) (Ptilinopus leclancheri)
Golden Fruit Dove (Hombron & Jacquinot, 1841) (Ptilinopus luteovirens)
Wompoo Fruit Dove (Temminck, 1821) (Ptilinopus magnificus)
Sula Fruit Dove (Rothschild, 1898) (Ptilinopus mangoliensis)
Flame-breasted Fruit Dove (Oustalet, 1880) (Ptilinopus marchei)
Black-naped Fruit Dove (Salvadori, 1875) (Ptilinopus melanospilus)
†Red-moustached Fruit Dove (Des Murs & Prévost, 1849) (Ptilinopus mercierii)
Cream-breasted Fruit Dove (McGregor, 1916) (Ptilinopus merrilli)
Blue-capped Fruit Dove (Temminck, 1824) (Ptilinopus monacha)
Dwarf Fruit Dove (Temminck, 1835) (Ptilinopus nainus)
Yellow-breasted Fruit Dove (Gray, 1844) (Ptilinopus occipitalis)
Ornate Fruit Dove (Schlegel, 1871) (Ptilinopus ornatus)
Palau Fruit Dove (Hartlaub & Finsch, 1868) (Ptilinopus pelewensis)
Pink-spotted Fruit Dove (Temminck, 1835) (Ptilinopus perlatus)
Many-coloured Fruit Dove (Peale, 1848) (Ptilinopus perousii)
Crimson-crowned Fruit Dove (Temminck, 1821) (Ptilinopus porphyraceus)
Grey-green Fruit Dove (Gmelin, 1789) (Ptilinopus purpuratus)
 †Ebon Purple-capped Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus porphyraceus marshallianus)
Pink-headed Fruit Dove (Temminck, 1822) (Ptilinopus porphyreus)
Beautiful Fruit Dove (Temminck, 1835) (Ptilinopus pulchellus)
Lilac-crowned Fruit Dove (Hartlaub & Finsch, 1871) (Ptilinopus rarotongensis)
Rose-crowned Fruit Dove (Swainson, 1825) (Ptilinopus regina)
Silver-capped Fruit Dove (Ramsay, 1882) (Ptilinopus richardsii)
White-bibbed Fruit Dove (Prévost, 1843) (Ptilinopus rivoli)
Mariana Fruit Dove (Lesson, 1831) (Ptilinopus roseicapilla)
 †Mauke Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus rarotongensis "byronensis")
Yellow-bibbed Fruit Dove (Gray, 1870) (Ptilinopus solomonensis)
†Tubuai Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus sp.)
Banggai Fruit Dove (Meyer & Wiglesworth, 1896) (Ptilinopus subgularis)
Superb Fruit Dove (Temminck, 1809) (Ptilinopus superbus)
Tanna Fruit Dove (Latham, 1790) (Ptilinopus tannensis)
Orange Fruit Dove (Gould, 1872) (Ptilinopus victor)
Claret-breasted Fruit Dove (Linnaeus, 1766) (Ptilinopus viridis)
Wallace's Fruit Dove (Gray, 1858) (Ptilinopus wallacii)
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