Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Dwarf Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus nainus)


French: Ptilope nain German: Zwergfruchttaube Spanish: Tilopo enano
Other common names: Least Fruit-dove

Columba naina


, 1835,

Lobo Bay, New Guinea


Affinities uncertain, but genetic data suggest close to Chrysoena and P. melanospilus#R; in past, sometimes placed in a species-group with P. melanospilus, P. hyogastrus, P. granulifrons, P. iozonus and P. insolitus. Races probably represent no more than the extremes of a W–E size cline, and species may be better treated as monotypic. Often listed as P. nanus, based on a later emendation by Temminck himself, but this is an incorrect subsequent spelling. Two subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. n. minimus Stresemann & Paludan, 1932 – W Papuan Is (Waigeo, Batanta, Salawati, Misool).
  • P. n. nainus (Temminck, 1835) – mainland New Guinea from Vogelkop to Papuan Peninsula; absent from lower Fly R and from N between Geelvink Bay and Huon Gulf.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–15 cm; 49 g. Smallest fruit-dove; generally green with yellow edges to secondaries and scapulars forming three yellow bands on closed wing; inner wing-coverts and... read more


    A high-pitched. slow, soft, prolonged upslur repeated six or so times at one-second intervals.


    Inhabits forest; also visits fruiting trees in clearings and partly cleared areas. Occurs in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Frugivorous, but little detailed information available; 8 birds collected near Port Moresby had eaten only figs (Mora­ceae); also... read more


    Nests found Sept and Nov. A nest under construction was located 12 m up in the outer foliage of a small tree, and placed on top of dead... read more


    Little information; apparently sedentary near Port Moresby, but reported to be highly nomadic at... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Scarce but apparently not rare; rather locally distributed and inconspicuous, so often overlooked; sometimes locally common; present... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2019). Dwarf Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus nainus). 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 14 December 2019).