Laceneck Dove
Streptopelia chinensis chinensis

AKA: Spotted Dove; Necklace Dove; Pearl-necked Dove; Spotted-necked Dove; Chinese Turtle Dove; Spotted Turtle Dove

©John Pire

©John Pire

©Monte Nord                                                                 ©John Pire

S.c.suratensis                                          S.c.tigrina
Use links above to view these two races & descriptions once found in US Collections.

Tangerine Laceneck Project

Distribution: Frequently found in the woodlands, forest edges, agricultural country & gardens of India, Ceylon & Indo-Malayan regions. Has been introduced & established in Australia, southern California, Hawaii & the West Indies where it is mainly found in the cultivated regions & near human habitation. 

Races: there are 3 distinct groups centered in China, India & South-East Asia; varying in the degrees of black & pale buff markings on the upperparts & wing shields. Within these 3 groups there have been several races described. Group 1 - Found in China & Formosa; S. chinensis which includes S. c. hainana, (the latter is slightly smaller & paler); Group 2 - Found in India & Ceylon; S. c. suratensis which also includes S. c. ceylonensis; Group 3 - Found in Burma  & the Malayan regions; S. c. tigrina which includes S. c. forresti & S. c. vacillans (both of the latter forms hardly differ from tigrina & neither is worthy of recognition). It is preferred by most authors to accept the 3 distinct groups: chinensis, suratensis & tigrina.
S. c. chinensis (Scopoli 1786); S. c. hainana (Hartert 1910)
S. c. suratensis (Gmelin 1789); S. c. ceylonensis (Reichenbach 1851)
S. c. tigrina (Temminck 1810); S. c. forresti (Rothschild 1925); S. c. vacillans (Hartert 1916)


Description: Length 31 cm. Forehead, crown & face bluish grey with pinkish tinges. Nape, side sof neck throat & breast wine vinous shading to buff & grey on belly & undertail coverts. Has a narrow black stripe from bill to eye. Has a broad patch of black - white tipped feathers on sides & back of neck; the lower area of this display plumage having buffish tips. Back, wings, rump, upper tail coverts & central tail feathers dull grey brown. Outer tail feathers greyish black with broad white tips; tail feathers distinctly graduated towards central tail feathers. Wing edge & under wing coverts blue grey. Eyes yellow to orange yellow; thin dull purplish red eye cere; bill blackish or dark brown; legs & feet purplish red or reddish pink. Sexes similar. Juveniles generally paler brown with reddish buff feather edges, pale brown display patch with no white spotting.

I've had Lacenecks in my collection several times; the nominate race & the tigrina race. Sexing this species is difficult at best, but with careful & close observations the percentage of being correct can be in your favor. This species is not easy to sex by casual visual inspection of plumage color. Garrie Landry has kept & bred this species many years & has shared his insight with IDS (Thanks Garrie). My observations of the birds I kept fall within the criteria Garrie mentions. Below are Garrie's comments after reading a post & my reply on the Doves& Pigeons Group List.

Yes there are differences but they are often very subtle and not discernible from a distance. I have bred this species for many decades and have observed the following males are slightly larger than females. Males have a more pronounced grey crown (top of head); whereas females have grey mixed with brown and not a bright grey as males. Males have a slightly more even and brighter color to the breast, females often have the breast color dull and dingy.

SO TO CONFIRM WHAT John Pire wrote in his posted reply:

Males do have a brighter color to the head and breast, BUT it is very subtle and best observed with birds in hand, and not from a distance. Even then the colors are so very subtle that the variability of the birds in general means that some are not easy to sex by color, while others are.

And as John said, males coo and display often, females rarely ever behave like males.


Voice: Advertising Call   Courting Call

Nesting: 2 white eggs, incubation 14 days, fledging within another two weeks.