Luzon Bleeding-heart, Gallicolumba luzonica
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Genus: Gallicolumba
Heck, 1849[1]
[[#Species|16-17 living species,
at least 7 extinct since c.3000 BC]]

Phlegoenas Reichenbach, 1852

Gallicolumba is a mid-sized genus of ground-dwelling doves (family Columbidae) which occur in rainforests on the Philippines, Indonesia, and in the Pacific region. They are not closely related to the American ground-doves (genus Columbina). Rather, the present genus is closest to the monotypic Thick-billed Ground Dove genus Trugon.

This genus includes the Pacific ground-doves and the bleeding-hearts known from the Philippines. The latter are named for their vivid-red patch on the breast, which looks startlingly like a bleeding wound in some species and has reminded naturalists of a dagger stab. The diet of doves of this genus consists of fruits and seed.

Systematics and extinctions

Trugon and Gallicolumba might be ranked as a (very small) subfamily, but the available data suggests that they are better considered part of a quite basal radiation of Columbidae which consists of many small and often bizarre lineages (e.g. Goura and Otidiphaps which are ecologically convergent to Galliformes, and maybe even the famous didines (Raphinae). Currently not quite 20 species of Gallicolumba are extant. Of the larger genera of Columbidae, Gallicolumba is the one most affected by extinction. 3-4 species have disappeared since the 18th century, and most of the remaining are decreasing in numbers, threatened with extinction or have lost subspecies due to habitat destruction, invasive species, or overhunting. In addition, there are several species never studied alive but known from subfossil bones. These became extinct during the human settlement of the Southern Pacific region (c. 3000 BC - 1400).

The bones of Gallicolumba are distinct enough to usually recognize this genus with ease. Still, the evolutionary affiliation of extinct species is often uncertain. A considerable number of recognizably distinct now-extinct Polynesian taxa used to inhabit the area where the white-headed lineage (G. jobiensis, G. erythroptera) and the Melanesian expansion that brought about G. sanctaecrucis and G. stairi (and possibly G. rubescens) would have met.



  1. ^ Johann Georg Heck: Bilder-Atlas zum Conversations-Lexikon. Verlag Leipzig, Brockhaus, 1849.


External links

Commons-logo.svg Media related to Gallicolumba at Wikimedia Commons 16x16px Data related to Gallicolumba at Wikispecies

Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
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