Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Grey-green Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus purpuratus)


French: Ptilope de Tahiti German: Tahitifruchttaube Spanish: Tilopo de Tahití
Other common names: Society Island Fruit-dove, Tahiti Fruit-dove

Columba purpurata

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

Tahiti, Society Islands


Member of a large species-group distributed from Australia to Micronesia and Polynesia; monophyly of this group (and subgroups) supported by genetic data#R; forms a subgroup with P. perousii, P. huttoni, P. insularis, P. chalcurus, P. coralensis, P. chrysogaster and P. rarotongensis, with P. dupetithouarsii and †P. mercierii also sometimes included, although the genetic data place these last two apart; the other large subgroup consists of P. pelewensis, P. richardsii, P. roseicapilla, P. ponapensis, P. hernsheimi, P. greyi, P. porphyraceus and P. fasciatus; other, more distant members of the species-group are P. coronulatus and P. regina; in past, P. superbus (with P. temminckii) sometimes included in the group, but the genetic data place it elsewhere. Taxonomic limits of present species have been variously interpreted: hitherto considered conspecific with P. chrysogaster but differs from that species in yellowish-grey vs greenish-yellow mid-belly to pale yellow vs bright yellow vent, with yellowish-grey vs bright yellow on lower belly (3); indistinct superciliary line and darker, mauve, crown (1); narrow, vague part-white subterminal tailband vs broad clear whitish-yellow terminal tailband(2). Some authors consider P. coralensis and P. chalcurus, and perhaps also P. insularis, to be races of present species; others treat P. chalcurus and P. chrysogaster as races of P. coralensis. Race frater differs only rather slightly from nominate, and may be of questionable validity. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. frater Ripley & Birckhead, 1942 – Moorea (E Society Is).
  • P. p. purpuratus (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – Tahiti (E Society Is).
  • Descriptive notes

    20–24 cm; 82–95 g. Tends to show typical plump Ptilinopus body shape in contrast to the more slender form of closely related P. chalcurus and... read more


    Very vocal, from c. 1 hour before dawn, throughout the day and up to one hour after dusk; main... read more


    Lowland forests, plantations and river valleys, preferring areas with a varied flora and well-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Frugivorous, taking berries 2–17 mm in diameter, some swallowed whole, but pecks pieces from others; feeds on a variety of native and... read more


    Breeds year-round, with records in every month except Sept. Nest is a slight platform of twigs, usually at least 4 m above ground; one nest... read more


    No information on movements or home range. Flight strong and direct on rapid, rather shallow... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Confined to the Society Islands Endemic Bird Area. Common, and both Moorea and Tahiti are  thought to support populations numbering a few... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Grey-green Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus purpuratus). 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).