Superb Fruit-Dove
The Superb Fruit Dove also known as the Purple-crowned Fruit Dove (leading to easy confusion with the Purple-capped Fruit Dove), is a medium-sized (22–24 cm long), colourful fruit-dove
The fruit doves are a genus in the pigeon and dove family . These colourful, frugivorous doves are found in forests and woodlands in Southeast Asia and Oceania...

 in the family Columbidae.


It is sexually dimorphic
Sexual dimorphism
Sexual dimorphism is a phenotypic difference between males and females of the same species. Examples of such differences include differences in morphology, ornamentation, and behavior.-Examples:-Ornamentation / coloration:...

. Males are superbly coloured with a fiery orange nape, green ears, and a purple crown. The breast is grey, and divided from the abdomen by a wide, dark blue band. Their wings are olive green covered with dark spots, and the tail is tipped with white. Females are mostly green, with a white abdomen, blue wing tips, light blue breast, and a small, dark blue spot on the back of the head. Both sexes have yellow eyes and eye-rings. Despite its colourful plumage, the Superb Fruit Dove is well-camouflage
Camouflage is a method of concealment that allows an otherwise visible animal, military vehicle, or other object to remain unnoticed, by blending with its environment. Examples include a leopard's spotted coat, the battledress of a modern soldier and a leaf-mimic butterfly...

d amongst the rainforest foliage.


Native to Australasia
Australasia is a region of Oceania comprising Australia, New Zealand, the island of New Guinea, and neighbouring islands in the Pacific Ocean. The term was coined by Charles de Brosses in Histoire des navigations aux terres australes...

, the Superb Fruit Dove lives in the rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

s of New Guinea
New Guinea
New Guinea is the world's second largest island, after Greenland, covering a land area of 786,000 km2. Located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, it lies geographically to the east of the Malay Archipelago, with which it is sometimes included as part of a greater Indo-Australian Archipelago...

, Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands
Solomon Islands is a sovereign state in Oceania, east of Papua New Guinea, consisting of nearly one thousand islands. It covers a land mass of . The capital, Honiara, is located on the island of Guadalcanal...

, the Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 and Sulawesi
Sulawesi is one of the four larger Sunda Islands of Indonesia and is situated between Borneo and the Maluku Islands. In Indonesia, only Sumatra, Borneo, and Papua are larger in territory, and only Java and Sumatra have larger Indonesian populations.- Etymology :The Portuguese were the first to...

 of Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

. In Australia, it is found from southern New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

 around the town of Moruya and extends further north, where it becomes more common to Cape York
Cape York Peninsula
Cape York Peninsula is a large remote peninsula located in Far North Queensland at the tip of the state of Queensland, Australia, the largest unspoilt wilderness in northern Australia and one of the last remaining wilderness areas on Earth...

 in Queensland
Queensland is a state of Australia, occupying the north-eastern section of the mainland continent. It is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean...

. In some areas of its range, such as the New Guinean rainforest, it is a resident bird; in more marginal or seasonal habitats such as those in Australia, flocks are known to move about according to the availability of food (Frith et al. 1976).


The Superb Fruit Dove feeds primarily upon fruits and berries. In the Port Moresby
Port Moresby
Port Moresby , or Pot Mosbi in Tok Pisin, is the capital and largest city of Papua New Guinea . It is located on the shores of the Gulf of Papua, on the southeastern coast of the island of New Guinea, which made it a prime objective for conquest by the Imperial Japanese forces during 1942–43...

 area, the bulk of its diet was found to consist of fig
Ficus is a genus of about 850 species of woody trees, shrubs, vines, epiphytes, and hemiepiphyte in the family Moraceae. Collectively known as fig trees or figs, they are native throughout the tropics with a few species extending into the semi-warm temperate zone. The Common Fig Ficus is a genus of...

s, notably Ficus albipila and Ficus benjamina, Canarium australianum
Canarium australianum
Canarium australianum is a tree native to Australia and Papua New Guinea. Its flowers are white and its fruits are smooth, blue in colour, and about 2 centimetres long. Torres Strait Pigeons eat them.-External links:**...

drupes, and Archontophoenix
Archontophoenix is a plant genus comprising six palm species that are native to New South Wales and Queensland in eastern Australia. They are tall, slender and unbranched.Species include:...

, Calamus and Livistona
Livistona is a genus of 36 species of palms , native to southern and southeastern Asia, Australasia, and the Horn of Africa...

palm fruit. Also frequently eaten were the fruits of various cinnamon trees
Cinnamomum is a genus of evergreen aromatic trees and shrubs belonging to the Laurel family, Lauraceae. The species of Cinnamomum have aromatic oils in their leaves and bark. The genus contains over 300 species, distributed in tropical and subtropical regions of North America, Central America,...

, Litsea
Litsea is a genus of evergreen or deciduous trees or shrubs belonging to the Laurel family, Lauraceae. The genus includes 200 to 400 species in tropical and subtropical areas of both hemispheres.-Overview:Trees or shrubs, dioecious...

, Neolitsea
Neolitsea is a genus of 80 species of evergreen shrub and small tree in the laurel family Lauraceae. They range from tropical Asia, Malesia to Australia...

and Cryptocarya
Cryptocarya is a genus of evergreen trees belonging to the Laurel family, Lauraceae. The genus includes more than 350 species, distributed through the Neotropic, Afrotropic, Indomalaya, and Australasia ecozones.-Overview:...

. Less important food were fruits of Ylang-ylang
Cananga odorata, commonly called Ylang-ylang , cananga tree, ilang-ilang, kenanga , fragrant cananga, Macassar-oil plant or perfume tree),is a tree valued for its perfume...

 (Cananga odorata), Syzygium
Syzygium is a genus of flowering plants that belongs to the myrtle family, Myrtaceae. The genus comprises about 1100 species, and has a native range that extends from Africa and Madagascar through southern Asia east through the Pacific...

, and Vitex cofassus
Vitex cofassus
Vitex cofassus is a species of plant in the Lamiaceae family. It is found in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines.It yields one of two woods from the same genus called Molave Wood, the other being Vitex parviflora....

. They eat smaller fruit than some other fruit doves; the maximum recorded volume was 2.5 cm³; in a spherical fruit, a 1.7 cm diameter.


Superb Fruit Doves' wings whistle when they fly, and their call is a steady coo-coo-coo-coo.

The breeding season lasts from September to January. A small platform of twigs is built 5–30 metres off the ground, in which the female lays one small, white egg. She incubates
Avian incubation
Incubation refers to the process by which certain oviparous animals hatch their eggs, and to the development of the embryo within the egg. The most vital factor of incubation is the constant temperature required for its development over a specific period. Especially in domestic fowl, the act of...

 it during the night. The male takes his turn during the day.


Habitat loss is a primary threat, but the Superb Fruit Dove is still fairly widespread and common throughout its large range. The IUCN Red List
IUCN Red List
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species , founded in 1963, is the world's most comprehensive inventory of the global conservation status of biological species. The International Union for Conservation of Nature is the world's main authority on the conservation status of species...

 of Threatened Species ranks it as least concern
Least Concern
Least Concern is an IUCN category assigned to extant taxon or lower taxa which have been evaluated but do not qualify for any other category. As such they do not qualify as threatened, Near Threatened, or Conservation Dependent...

. In New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...

, however, the Superb Fruit Dove is considered vulnerable, meaning it is likely to become endangered.

External links

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