Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Bismarck Imperial-pigeon (Ducula melanochroa)


French: Carpophage noir German: Mohrenfruchttaube Spanish: Dúcula negra
Other common names: Black Imperial-pigeon

Carpophaga melanochroa

P. L. Sclater

, 1878,

Duke of York Island, Bismarck Archipelago


Often placed in a species-group with D. pinon, D. salvadorii and D. mullerii, and shows some plumage characters intermediate between them; affinities between this group and the D. latrans complex have also been suggested. Monotypic.


Bismarck Archipelago (Umboi, New Britain, Watom, Duke of York, New Ireland).

Descriptive notes

38 cm; 661–665 g. Plumage mainly slaty black, with silvery fringes to wing-coverts and back, creating lacy scaled pattern; undertail-coverts dark chestnut; undertail... read more


Poorly documented. The single recording is of repeated, low-pitched, booming sounds (duration c. 0·... read more


Forest, principally in hills and mountains, but seasonally in lowlands of New Britain, down to 150... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Frugi­vorous; known to take wild figs. Feeds primarily in the canopy; usually seen singly or in small flocks. ... read more


Single nest known from late Jan 1994 on New Ireland. Nest was 23 cm in diameter, constructed solely of layered twigs, with no lining; it... read more


No information. Reported to become locally common seasonally in lowlands of New Britain, perhaps... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Virtually no information available on status, although species has been described as common in New Britain; it appears able to... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Bismarck Imperial-pigeon (Ducula melanochroa). 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 7 April 2020).