This order comprises just one family, the Columbidae (doves and pigeons).

Genus-level timetree of extant Columbidae according to Oliver at al. (2023, supplementary material figure S2), with the distribution of each taxon being indicated by the colour-code used throughout this website (Distribution code).


Species-level classification of extant Columbidae (following John H. Boyd‘s website “Aves - Taxonomy in Flux”, link). 


Banks RC, Weckstein JD, Remsen JV, and Johnson KP (2013), Classification of a clade of New World doves (Columbidae: Zenaidini), Zootaxa 3669, 184-188. (abstract)

Besnard G, Bertrand JAM, de la Haie B, Bourgeois YXC, Lhuillier E, and Thebaud C (2016), Valuing museum specimens: high-throughput DNA sequencing on historical collections of New Guinea, Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 117, 71-82. (free pdf)

Bruxaux J, Gabrielli M, Ashari A, Prys-Jones R, Joseph L, Mila B, Besnard G, and Thebaut C (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. (abstract)

Cibois A, Thibault JC, Bonillo C, Filardi CE, Watling D, and Pasquet E (2014), Phylogeny and biogeography of the fruit doves (Aves: Columbidae), Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 70, 442-453. (abstract)

Cibois A, Thibault JC, Meyr JY, and Pasquet E (2015), On the origin of sympatric fruit doves in a small and remote Pacific archipelago, Pacific Science 69, 299-312. (abstract)

Cibois A, Thibault JC, Bonillo C, Filardi CE, and Pasquet E (2017), Phylogeny and biogeography of the imperial pigeons (Aves: Columbidae) in the Pacific Ocean, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 110, 19-26. (abstract)

Fulton TL, Wagner SM, Fisher C, and Shapiro B (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, Delgado Castro G, Garcia del Rey E, Berger C, and Wink M (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, Tu F, and Liu X (2015), Determinaton of the complete mitogenome of Spotted Dove, Spilopelia chinensis (Columbiformes: Columbidae), Mitochondrial DNA Part A. 27, e:6. (abstract)

Heupink TH, van Grouw H, and Lambert DM (2014), The mysterious Spotted Green Pigeon and its relation to the Dodo and its kindred, BMC Evol. Biol. 14: e:136. (pdf)

Johnson KP, and Weckstein JD (2011), The Central American land bridge as an engine of diversification in New World doves, J. Biogeogr. 38, 1069-1076. (abstract)

Jonsson KA, Irestedt M, Bowie RCK, Christidis L, and Fjeldsa J (2011), Systematics and biogeography of Indo-Pacific ground-doves, Mol. Phylogenet. Evol. 59, 538-543. (abstract)

Lapiedra O, Sol D, Carranza S, and Beaulieu JM (2013), Behavioural changes and the adaptive diversification of pigeons and doves, Proc. R. Soc. B 280: e:20122893. (pdf)

Lapiedra O, Sayol F, Garcia-Porta J, and Sol D (2021), Niche shifts after island colonization spurred adaptive diversification and speciation in a cosmopolitan bird clade, Proc. Roy. Soc. B 288, (free pdf)

Moyle RG, Jones RM, and Andersen MJ (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) 

Nash JA, Harrington RC, Zyskowski K, Near TJ, and Prum RO (2024), Species status and phylogenetic relationships of the enigmatic Negros Fruit Dove (Ptilinopus arcanus), Ibis , (abstract)

Nowak JE, Sweet AD, Weckstein JD, and Johnson KP (2019), A molecular phylogenetic analysis of the genera of fruit doves and their allies using dense taxonomic sampling, INHS Bulletin 42: e:2019001. (pdf)

Oliver PM, Hugall AF, Prasteya A, Slavenko A, and Zahirovic S (2023), Oligo-Miocene radiation within South-west Pacific arc terranes underpinned repeated upstream continental dispersals in pigeons (Columbiformes), Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 138, 437-452. (free pdf)

Pereira SL, Johnson KP, Clayton DH, and Baker AJ (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)

Peters C, Geary M, Nelson HP, Rusk BL, Von Hardenberg A, and Muir A (2023), Phylogenetic placement and life history trait imputation for Grenada Dove Leptotila wellsi, Bird Conserv. Int. 33, e:11, 1-11. (pdf)

Prum RO, Berv JS, Dornburg A, Field DJ, Townsend JP, Lemmon EM, and Lemmon AR (2015), A comprehensive phylogeny of birds (Aves) using targeted next-generation DNA sequencing, Nature 526, 569-573. (abstract)

Sangster G, Sweet AD, and Johnson KP (2018), Paraclaravis, a new genus for the Purple-winged and Maroon-chested ground-doves (Aves: Columbidae), ground-doves, Zootaxa 4461, 134-140. (abstract)

Soares AER, Novak BJ, Haile J, Heupink TH, Fjeldsa J, Gilbert MTP, Poinar H, Church JM, and Shapiro B (2016), Complete mitochondrial genomes of living and extinct pigeons revise the timing of the columbiform radiation, BMC Evol. Biol. 16: e:230. (pdf)

Sweet AD, and Johnson KP (2015), Patterns of diversification in small New World ground doves are consistent with major geologic events, Auk 132, 300-312. (pdf)

Sweet AD, Maddox JD, and Johnson KP (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, Zhang Q, Wie Y, Mao Y, and Liu H (2020), The complete mitochondrial genome of diamond dove (Geopelia cuneata) and its phylogeny, Mitochondrial DNA Part B 5, 16657-68. (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)