Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Dark-backed Imperial-pigeon (Ducula lacernulata)


French: Carpophage mantelé German: Schwarzrücken-Fruchttaube Spanish: Dúcula dorsioscura
Other common names: Javanese Imperial-pigeon

Columba lacernulata


, 1822,



Probably closely related to D. cuprea, D. badia and D. cineracea. Subspecies williami moderately distinctive, while sasakensis more notably so, differing from williami in pattern of crown (3), cinnamon vs chestnut undertail-coverts (2), and slightly blacker wings and back (1); work to establish other differences clearly important. Three subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. l. lacernulata (Temminck, 1822) – West Java Imperial-pigeon – W Java.
  • D. l. williami (E. J. O. Hartert, 1896) – East Java Imperial-pigeon – E Java and Bali.
  • D. l. sasakensis (E. J. O. Hartert, 1896) – Lombok Imperial-pigeon – Lombok, Sumbawa and Flores.
  • Descriptive notes

    39–45 cm. Forehead, face, and crown bluish grey; throat, neck and breast mauve-pink with a silvery grey wash, shading to buffy grey on belly; upperparts dark brownish... read more


    Commonest vocalization is a short phrase of 2–3 even-pitched hoots of which the first is slightly... read more


    Forest in foothills and mountains, usually in canopy; also Casuarina woodland on Flores,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Frugivorous; diet includes figs (Ficus). Forages in canopy of large forest trees; occasionally alone or in pairs, but usually in... read more


    Nesting or other breeding activity recorded in March, August, October and November. The nest is a flat platform of twigs placed high up.... read more


    Variable abundance in some areas suggests species may be nomadic to some extent.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Locally common in medium-altitude and montane forests, especially in areas that are well away from human disturbance. It is intensely... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Dark-backed Imperial-pigeon (Ducula lacernulata). 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).