Tag Archives: Ptilinopus mercierii ssp. tristrami

Ptilinopus mercierii ssp. tristrami (Salvadori)

Hiva Oa Red-mustached Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus mercierii ssp. tristrami 

The Hiva Oa Red-mustached Fruit-Dove is known only from the island of Hiva Oa, Marquesas, but might indeed have been more widespread in former times.   

This form, which differs from the nominate by the narrow yellow band below its pink head-cap, is known from several specimens and some rather scarce accounts like the following by the American ornithologist Rollo H. Beck in 1921.:

January 24

I went up onto the plateau and on up to Mt. Ootua several miles to the eastward, and around its base saw several red-capped doves of which three were secured. they were as reported, found near the heads of canyons and usually seen when flying to or from the canyon where the stream of water was flowing. As I stood on the top of the ridge with a brisk breeze sweeping over, one flew back and forth to windward of me several times looking at me. Their call notes did not seem to have the half douen rapid “Coos” at the end of the cooing as does the white-crowned and the Tahitian species. … The red-crown would come to my calling occasionally, but in the thick forest would fly past or light unseen. No white-crowns were seen where the reds were found, but they occurred just below them.” [1]

The white-capped Fruit-Dove (Ptilnopus dupetithouarsii (Neboux) is still found on most of the Marquesan Islands, it is thus somewhat strange that the Rad-capped Fruit-Dove is now extinct. [2]



[1] Whitney South Sea Expedition of the American Museum of Natural History. Extracts from the journal of Rollo H. Beck. Vol. 1, Sept 1920 – June 1923
[2] David Gibbs, Eustace Barnes, John Cox: Pigeons and Doves, A Guide to the Pigeons and Doves of the World. Pica Press, Sussex 2001  


Photo: Alexander Lang


edited: 16.03.2020