Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Beautiful Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus)


French: Ptilope mignon German: Rotkappen-Fruchttaube Spanish: Tilopo bonito

Columba pulchella


, 1835,

Lobo Bay, New Guinea


Related to the large species-group centred on P. purpuratus (which see); genetic data indicate present species and P. monacha are basal to this group#R; traditionally linked with P. coronulatus. Races scarcely differ and doubtfully valid. Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. pulchellus (Temminck, 1835) – W Papuan Is (Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, Misool) and lowland NW, SC & SE New Guinea.
  • P. p. decorus Madarász, 1910 – N New Guinea lowlands from E shore of Geelvink Bay E to Astrolabe Bay.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–20 cm; 68–76 g. Forehead and crown purplish red; sides of head, foreneck and breast grey; throat and forepart of face white; many feathers of lower breast... read more


    The ‘hoo’ series is high-pitched and accelerates moderately; the pitch varies and... read more


    Primary and secondary forest, mainly at medium altitude up to 750 m, though locally in lowlands and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Frugivorous, taking fruit from a variety of trees, shrubs, palms and vines;  including Tristiropsis cynaroides, ... read more


    Active nests have been found in Jun–Aug but only limited information available; in Port Moresby area, morphological data on several... read more


    No information on local or regional movements. Flight swift and direct.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Few details available but reported to be common in many areas; said typically to be commoner than P. coronulatus in areas of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Beautiful Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus). 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 19 February 2020).