Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)


Red-moustached Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus mercierii)


French: Ptilope de Mercier German: Rotbart-Fruchttaube Spanish: Tilopo de Mercier
Other common names: Marquesas Fruit-dove, Moustached Dove

Kurukuru Mercierii

Des Murs and Prévost

, 1849,

Valley of Mohana, Nukuhiva, Marquesas Islands


A member of the large P. purpuratus species-group, and most closely related to P. dupetithouarsii (which see); within the group, usually associated with the P. purpuratus subgroup. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. mercierii (Des Murs & Prévost, 1849) – Nuku Hiva (N Marquesas Is).
  • P. m. tristrami (Salvadori, 1892) – Hiva Oa (S Marquesas Is).
  • Nominate mercierii known only from the type specimen, collected during the Venus voyage of 1836–1839, and was not found during the 1922 Whitney Expedition#R; date of extinction estimated at 1849#R. At least eleven specimens of race tristrami known, last of which collected by the Whitney Expedition in 1922#R. The taxon was presumed extinct by middle of 20th century, and reports from Hiva Oa in 1980#R were apparently mistaken#R. Causes of extinction of these two taxa uncertain; introduction of Great Horned Owl Bubo virginianus to Hiva Oa may have played a part, but introduction of rats and cats to both islands more likely to have been responsible.

    Descriptive notes

    21–23 cm. Plump and compact, with a short, nearly square tail. Cap and malar streak crimson red; head, neck and breast blue-grey; rest of underparts golden yellow;... read more


    Little information. A bird of the forest canopy; apparently more montane than the commoner,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Frugivorous; diet reported to be similar to that of P. dupetithouarsii, with which sometimes seen feeding together.


    Birds collected in breeding condition in Jan and Nov.


    No information.

    Status and conservation

    EXTINCT. Had apparently disappeared from Nukuhiva by 1922; searches on Hivaoa in 1970s and mid-1980s failed to find it; reports of this species on Hivaoa in 1980 were... read more

    Recommended citation

    Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W. & Horblit, H.M. (2018). Red-moustached Fruit-dove (Ptilinopus mercierii). 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 December 2018).