Vertebrata: Birds: Columbiformes

Doves & Pigeons

There are 41 groups of doves & pigeons under the order: COLUMBIFORMES. This family represents over 300 species. The doves & pigeons are predominantly granivorous (grains/seeds) or frugivorous (fruits). Many of species also consume leaves, flowers, buds, worms, snails & insect larvae.

The terms "doves" & "pigeons" can be interchangeable for any of the species. There is no difference between the two. The larger members of the family Columbidae are usually referred to as the "pigeons" & the smaller members are referred to as "doves". There is no set "size" which is the defining size to use either term. The Victoria Crowned Pigeon can be called the world's largest "dove" & likewise the Diamond Dove can be called the world's smallest "pigeon".

The true wild species of "rock dove or rock pigeon" is found in only a few remaining areas in Europe. This species is the ancestor of the many breeds of the domestic pigeon and the many, many populations around the world of "feral pigeon".

A quick terminology tip for species listed: There are many common names in use around the world by the different fanciers for the same species, thus the use of LATIN names helps keep confusion at a minimum & the exact species can be determined. I have tried to use the most common name used in US collections and have listed many of the common names which may also be used in other parts of the world for each different species. The Latin name however stays quite constant for each species.

The Latin name of a species can be up to three names. The first name is the genus, second name is the species & the third name is a known subspecies.

The "nominate race" is the first one of each family which was discovered & described and has the same second & third name. If no subspecies are known then using a single second Latin name is preferred.

Seeing how the names are written will be easier to understand. This way of doing the Latin names follows this criteria in all areas & not just the doves & pigeons. The 1st letter of the "genus" name is always capitalized; the names of the species & subspecies are always in small letters (never capitalized). Abbreviations of the first & second Latin names can be utilized (see examples below) if any subspecies are known.

Example: African Collared Dove - there are two races now recognized; the nominate race and one subspecies. The genus is "streptopelia"; the specie is "roseogrisea"; the subspecies is "arabica".
Thus the Latin names are written as follows:

African Collared Dove (Streptopelia roseogrisea roseogrisea) = nominate race.
African Collared Dove (Streptopelia roseogrisea arabica) = subspecies from Arabia.
The Latin names can also be written for each as:
African Collared Dove (S. r. rosogrisea) = nominate
African Collared Dove (S. r. arabica) = subspecies

Example: Ringneck Dove - no subspecies or races are known. Thus the Latin name is written either: Streptopelia risoria or S. risoria.
It is not done & is redundant to write it as: Streptopelia risoria risoria.

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