Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Black-naped Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus melanospilus)


French: Ptilope turgris German: Schwarzkappen-Fruchttaube Spanish: Tilopo nuquinegro

Jotreron melanospila


, 1875,

Menado, Sulawesi


A distinctive form of uncertain affinities; genetic data suggest close to Chrysoena and P. nainus#R; in past, was associated with a species-group that included P. hyogastrus, P. granulifrons, P. iozonus and P. insolitus; P. nainus was sometimes included in this group. At least eleven races have been described, based on slight differences in size and coloration, but even those listed here are doubtfully distinct#R; in addition, talautensis (Talaud Is) and loloda (Doi I) are included in xanthorrhous, pelingensis (Banggai Is) in chrysorrhous, and massoptera (Kangean Is and Matasiri), aurescentior (Kaledupa, in Tukangbesi Is) and margaretha (Kalaotoa) in melanauchen; further study needed to establish which of the described forms merit subspecific recognition. Species has sometimes erroneously been listed as P. melanocephalus. Five subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. bangueyensis A. B. Meyer, 1891 – SW & S Philippines (Palawan, Cagayan Sulu, Mindanao, Basilan, and Sulu Is from Jolo S to Sipangkot) and islands N of Borneo (Balambangan, Banggi).
  • P. m. xanthorrhous (Salvadori, 1875) – Talaud Is and Sangihe Is (N of Sulawesi), and Doi (N Moluccas).
  • P. m. melanospilus (Salvadori, 1875) – Sulawesi and islands off NE (Manadotua, Manterawu, Talisei, Bangka, Lembeh) and E (Togian Is).
  • P. m. chrysorrhous (Salvadori, 1875) – Banggai and Sula Is (off E Sulawesi) and Obi and Seram (C Moluccas).
  • P. m. melanauchen (Salvadori, 1875) – Matasiri (S of Borneo) and Kangean Is, Java and Bali E through Lesser Sundas to Alor, and islands S of Sulawesi (Salayar, Muna, Butung, Tukangbesi, Tanahjampea, Kalao, Kalaotoa, Madu).
  • Descriptive notes

    21–27 cm; 92–120 g. Silvery grey head with black nape and yellow throat patch; lower breast and upperparts green or greenish yellow; vent yellow, red or orange;... read more


    Advertising call is a series of repeated double notes, sometimes introduced by a few single coos.... read more


    Inhabits forest, forest edge and patches of scrub or forest in open country; will visit isolated... read more

    Food and feeding

    An obligate frugivore, known to take fruits and berries from branches. In N Sulawesi pairs and flocks of up to eight birds have been... read more


    Nesting reported February–September and December on Java; September on Butung; May on Sumbawa. Deember and February on the Togian... read more


    No information, but recent records on small islands where previously unknown suggest that species... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common on larger islands of Java, Bali and Sulawesi, but also on medium-sized islands. In conjunction with apparent nomadic... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Black-naped Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus melanospilus). 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 8 December 2019).