Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Rarotonga Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus rarotongensis)


French: Ptilope de Rarotonga German: Rarotongafruchttaube Spanish: Tilopo de Rarotonga
Other common names: Cook (Island) Fruit-dove, Lilac-crowned Fruit-dove

Ptilinopus rarotongensis

Hartlaub and Finsch

, 1871,

Rarotonga, Cook Islands


Belongs to the large species-group centred on P. purpuratus (which see), forming part of the subgroup centred on that same species. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. r. rarotongensis Hartlaub & Finsch, 1871 – Rarotonga (Cook Is).
  • P. r. goodwini Holyoak, 1974 – Atiu (Cook Is).
  • Early historical records from Aitutaki and Mauke, and fossils from Mangaia#R.

    Descriptive notes

    20–24 cm. Crown bright magenta; rest of head, neck and breast pale grey with less green than in the similar P.porphyraceus; back, wings and tail green with... read more


    Two main vocalizations. A cooing phrase lasting c. 7–9 seconds, starting with drawn-out coos that... read more


    On Rarotonga found only in dense low hillside forest, mostly in the interior of the island; on Atiu... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily frugivorous; known food plants include banyans (Ficus, Moraceae), Elaeocarpus (Elaeocarpaceae) and Pipturus... read more


    Specimens in breeding condition collected in Jul and Sept.


    No evidence of inter-island movements. Flight is direct, with quick wingbeats; has been seen to... read more

    Status and conservation

    VULNERABLE. Previously considered Near Threatened. Remains common in rugged makatea limestone forests on Atiu, but this habitat totals less than 1000 ha. The nominate race on... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., de Juana, E., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Rarotonga Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus rarotongensis). 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 25 February 2020).