Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Least Concern

Spice Imperial-pigeon (Ducula myristicivora)


French: Carpophage cuivré German: Schwarzhöcker-Fruchttaube Spanish: Dúcula de la nuez moscada
Other common names: Black-knobbed Imperial-pigeon

Columba myristicivora


, 1786,

New Guinea


Hitherto considered conspecific with D. geelvinkiana but has a black knob on the bill (3); a pale vinous wash on hindneck (2); brown vs yellow iris (at least 2); paler grey head, breast and mantle, with paler lower underparts (ns[1]);  bluer-glossed vs greener-glossed rump (inconstant character; entire upperparts of geelvinkiana tend to be more strongly green [ns]); larger size (wing length effect size –1.636; score 1). Closely related to that species and D. rubricera; a close relationship with D. concinna has also been suggested. Monotypic.


Widi Is (off SE Halmahera) and W Papuan Is.

Descriptive notes

41–43 cm; 535 g. Head, neck and breast pale silvery grey tinged pink; a creamy white band at base of bill, and a white ring around eye in some populations; hindcrown... read more


Advertising call a relatively high-pitched, bubbling “crrruooo” or “urwoow”, upslurred towards the... read more


Wooded areas including primary, secondary and logged forest; also mangroves. Found mainly on small... read more

Food and feeding

No dietary information available, beyond fruits. Feeds singly or in pairs, less frequently in small groups.


Nothing known.


Regularly moves short distances between islands and occasionally wanders long distances over water... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Scarce and local in W Papuan Is, especially the larger islands, e.g. it is reported as very common on Sinapang I, but rare on... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Kirwan, G.M. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Spice Imperial-pigeon (Ducula myristicivora). 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 21 January 2020).