Tag Archives: Ptilinopus sp. Gambier Islands

Ptilinopus sp. ‘Gambier Islands’

Gambier Islands Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus sp.)

The Atoll Fruit-Dove (Ptilinopus coralensis Peale) is distributed all over the Tuamotu Archipelago and was formerly also believed to have occurred on the Gambier Islands, however, no such specimen appears to have ever been collected and thus the former occurence of fruit-doves on these islands is actually known only from accounts. [1][2][3]

There are, however, at least three subfssil bones found on the island of Taravai, the second largest of the Gambier Islands, that can be assigned to the genus Ptilinopus, but apparently not to the Atoll Fruit-Dove. [2]


The Atoll Fruit-Dove is actually a species that appears to be very well adapted to the low coral atolls it is inhabiting, thus the form that once occurred on the Gambier Islands most likely was a distinct one; its native name is given as having been kuku. [2]



[1] David Gibbs, Eustace Barnes, John Cox: Pigeons and Doves, A Guide to the Pigeons and Doves of the World. Pica Press, Sussex 2001
[2] Jean-Claude Thibault; Alice Cibois: From early Polynesian settlement to the present: bird extinctions in the Gambier Islands. Pacific Science 66(3): 271-281. 2012
[3] Stanislas Rigal; Patrick V. Kirch; Trevor H. Worthy: New prehistoric avifaunas from the Gambier Group, French Polynesia. Palaeontologia Electronica 21.3.4A 1-35. 2018


edited: 17.03.2020