Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Near Threatened

Cream-bellied Fruit-dove (Ramphiculus merrilli)


French: Ptilope de Merrill German: Merrillfruchttaube Spanish: Tilopo de Merrill
Other common names: Cream-breasted Fruit-dove

Leucotreron merrilli


, 1916,

Laguna Province, Luzon, Philippines


Formerly placed in genus Leucotreron. Most closely allied to R. marchei. The form faustinoi is fairly distinct owing to its red crown patch, and other characters (pale greenish-blue orbital skin, whiter chin, more green on other parts of the head) have been posited, but these require verification and evaluation for strength and constancy. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • R. m. faustinoi (Manuel, 1936) – Northern Cream-bellied Fruit-dove – N Luzon from Mt Tabuan, in Cagayan Province, S to Quirino (N Philippines).
  • R. m. merrilli (McGregor, 1916) – Southern Cream-bellied Fruit-dove – mountains of E & S Luzon, Catanduanes and Polillo (N Philippines).
  • Descriptive notes

    32–33 cm; 263 g. Large fruit-dove; general plumage deep green, shading to pale grey tinged with green on the head, neck and breast; throat whitish; grey of upper breast... read more


    Advertising call is a series of very burry coos (duration c. 0·5–0·6 seconds, pitch 300–500 Hz)... read more


    Primary and selectively logged forest from lowlands up to 1300 m.

    Food and feeding

    Fruit; the only specific information is a record of species feeding on fruits of the small tree Symplocos ahernii.


    Scant information available. A nest found in May 1997 contained a single egg. 


    No information available.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. This species is at least vulnerable, since it occupies a limited range within an area undergoing severe... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Cream-bellied Fruit-dove (Ramphiculus merrilli). 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).