Family Pigeons, Doves (Columbidae)

Near Threatened

White-throated Ground-dove (Alopecoenas xanthonurus)


French: Gallicolombe pampusane German: Jungferntaube Spanish: Paloma perdiz de las Marianas
Other common names: Mariana Quail-dove

Columba xanthonura


, 1823,



Closely related to A. jobiensis, A. kubaryi and A. erythropterus; this group also has somewhat more distant affinities with A. sanctaecrucis, A. stairi and †A. salamonis. In the past, A. kubaryi was listed as a race of present species. Monotypic.


Northern Mariana Is on Asuncion, Pagan, Alamagan, Saipan, Tinian, Agiguan and Rota (probably extirpated from Guam#R); also Yap I, in Caroline Is.

Descriptive notes

25 cm; male 117–154 g, female 58–150 g. Shows strong sexual dimorphism in plumage. Male has crown, nape, hindneck and ear-coverts pale pinkish rufous; rest of... read more


Advertising call is a repeated, single, mournful hoot lasting c. 1 second on an almost even pitch... read more


Occurs in all types of forested habitat, and seems to be equally at home in native forest and... read more

Food and feeding

Primarily frugivorous, but also eats seeds and flowers, and occasionally leaves. Reported food plants include: fruits of Aglaia (... read more


Nests reported from Guam in Jan–Mar, May and Aug; recently fledged males, and courtship and mating, in Sept and Nov; males with... read more


In Marianas, frequently makes long, solitary flights above the canopy, unusual behaviour for the... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Uncommon to rare in the Northern Marianas, the largest population being on Rota; the total population on Rota... read more

Recommended citation

Baptista, L.F., Trail, P.W., Horblit, H.M., Christie, D.A., Kirwan, G.M., Boesman, P. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). White-throated Ground-dove (Alopecoenas xanthonurus). 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).