The Columbiformes are represented by a single family, the Columbidae (pigeons and doves). The phylogeny is not yet fully resolved, but parts of it have already been worked out:

Timetree of Columbidae, with the distribution of each genus being indicated by the colour-code used throughout this website (see Distribution code). Subfamily interrelations are still unresolved and monophyly of Raphinae is uncertain. Relationships within Columbinae are primarily based on Pereira et al. (2007), Johnson & Weckstein (2011), Banks et al. (2013), Lapiedra et al. (2013), and Soares et al. (2016). Relationships within Claravinae are based on Sweet & Johnson (2015) and Sangster et al. (2018), and relationships among Raphinae are primarily based on Pereira et al. (2007), Gibb & Penny (2010), Jonsson et al. (2011), Moyle et al. (2013), Cibois et al. (2013, 2017), Soares et al. (2016), and Bruxaux et al. (2018). 



Banks, R.C., J.D. Weckstein, J.V. Remsen, Jr., and K.P. Johnson (2013), Classification of a clade of New World doves (Columbidae: Zenaidini), Zootaxa

3669, 184-188. (pdf)

Besnard, G., J.A.M. Bertrand, B. de la Haie, Y.X.C. Bourgeois, E. Lhuillier, and C. Thebaud (2016), Valuing museum specimens: high-throughput DNA

sequencing on historical collections of New Guinea, Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 117, 71-82. (pdf) 

Cibois, A., J.-C. Thibault, C. Bonillo, C.E. Filardi, D. Watling, and E. Pasquet (2014), Phylogeny and biogeography of the fruit doves (Aves: Columbidae),

Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 70, 442--453. (abstract)

Cibois, A., J.-C. Thibault, J.-Y. Meyr, and E. Pasquet (2015), On the origin of sympatric fruit doves in a small and remote Pacific archipelago, Pacific Science

69, 299-312. (abstract)

Cibois, A., J.-C. Thibault, C. Bonillo, C.E. Filardi, and E. Pasquet (2017), Phylogeny and biogeography of the imperial pigeons (Aves: Columbidae) in the

Pacific Ocean, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 110, 19-26. DOI:10.1016/j.ympev.2017.02.016 . (abstract)

Bruxaux, J., M. Gabrielli, A. Ashari, R. Prys-Jones, L. Joseph, B. Mila, G. Besnard, and C. Thebaut (2018), Recovering the evolutionary history of crowned

pigeons (Columbidae: Goura): Implications for the biogeography and conservation of New Guinean lowland birds, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 120, 248-258. (pdf)

Fulton, T.L., S.M. Wagner, C. Fisher, and B. Shapiro (2012), Nuclear DNA from the extinct Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) confirms a single

origin of New World pigeons, Ann. Anat. 194, 52-57. (abstract)

Gonzalez, J., G. Delgado Castro, E. Garcia del Rey, C. Berger, and M. Wink (2009), Use of mitochondrial and nuclear genes to infer the origin of two

endemic pigeons from the Canary Islands, J. Ornithol. 150, 357-367. (abstract)

Huang, Z., F. Tu, and X. Liu (2015), Determinaton of the complete mitogenome of Spotted Dove, Spilopedia chinensis (Columbiformes: Columbidae), 

Mitochondrial DNA part A. 27: 6. (abstract)

Heupink, T.H., H van Grouw, and D.M. Lambert (2014), The mysterious Spotted Green Pigeon and its relation to the Dodo and its kindred, BMC

Evolutionary Biology 14: 136. (pdf)

Johnson, K.P., and J.D. Weckstein (2011), The Central American land bridge as an engine of diversification in New World doves, J. Biogeogr. 38, 1069-

1076. (abstract)

Jonsson, K.A., M. Irestedt, R.C.K. Bowie, L. Christidis and J. Fjeldsa (2011), Systematics and biogeography of Indo-Pacific ground-doves, Mol. Phylogenet.

Evol. 59, 538-543. (abstract)

Lapiedra, O., D. Sol, S. Carranza, and J.M. Beaulieu (2013), Behavioural changes and the adaptive diversification of pigeons and doves, Proc. R. Soc. B 280:

20122893. (pdf)

Moyle, R.G., R.M. Jones, and M.J. Andersen (2013), A reconsideration of Gallicolumba (Aves: Columbidae) relationships using fresh source material reveals

pseudogenes, chimeras, and a novel phylogenetic hypothesis, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 66, 1060-1066. (abstract)

Nowak, J.E., A.D. Sweet, J.D. Weckstein, and K.P. Johnson (2019), A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the genera of fruit doves and their allies using dense

taxonomic sampling, INHS Bulletin 42:2019001. (pdf)

Pereira, S.L., K.P. Johnson, D.H. Clayton, and A.J. Baker (2007), Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA sequences support a Cretaceous origin of Columbiformes

and a dispersal-driven radiation in the Paleogene, Syst. Biol. 56, 656-672. (pdf)

Prum, R.O., J.S. Berv, A. Dornburg, D.J. Field, J.P. Townsend, E.M. Lemmon, and A.R. Lemmon (2015), A comprehensive phylogeny of birds (Aves) using

targeted next-generation DNA sequencing, Nature 526, 569-573. (abstract)

Sangster, G., A.D. Sweet, and K.P. Johnson (2018), Paraclaravis, a new genus for the Purple-winged and Maroon-chested ground-doves (Aves: Columbidae),

Zootaxa 4461 (1), 134-140. (abstract)

Soares, A.E.R., B.J. Novak, J. Haile, T.H. Heupink, J. Fjeldsa, M.T.P. Gilbert, H. Poinar, J.M. Church, and B. Shapiro (2016), Complete mitochondrial

genomes of living and extinct pigeons revise the timing of the columbiform radiation, BMC Evolutionary Biology, 16: 230. (pdf)

 Sweet, A.D., and K.P. Johnson (2015), Patterns of diversification in small New World ground doves are consistent with major geologic events, Auk 132,

300-312. (pdf)

 Sweet, A.D., J.D. Maddox, and K.P. Johnson (2017), A complete molecular phylogeny of Claravis confirms its paraphyly within small New World Ground-

doves (Aves: Peristerinae) and implies multiple plumage state transitions, J.  Avian Biol. 48, 459-464. (abstract)

 Xu, N., Q. Zhang, Y. Wie, Y. Mao, and H. Liu (2020), The complete mitochondrial genome of diamond dove (Geopelia cuneata) and its phylogeny,

Mitochondrial DNA Part B 5(2), 1665´7-1668. DOI: 10.1080/23802359.2020.1748547. (pdf) 


Malagasy Turtle-Dove (Nesoenas picturata)

Diamond Dove (Geopelia cuneata), (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Southern Crowned Pigeon (Goura scheepmakeri), male, (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Pink-spotted Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus perlatus)


Pied Imperial-Pigeon (Ducula bicolor)

 Beautiful Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus pulchellus) (Foto: Carolin Pfeiffer)

Common Emerald-Dove (Chalcophaps indica)