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Band-tailed Pigeons.jpg
Band-tailed pigeons (Patagioenas fasciata)
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Subfamily: Columbinae
Genus: Patagioenas
L. Reichenbach, 1853

17, see text.


Chloraenas Bonaparte, 1854 (unjustified emendation)
Chloraenos Bonaparte, 1856 (lapsus)
Chloroenas Reichenbach, 1852
Lepidaenas Bonaparte, 1854 (unjustified emendation)
Lepidoenas Reichenbach, 1852
Oenoenas Salvadori, 1893
Patagiaenas Bonaparte, 1854 (unjustified emendation)

Patagioenas is a genus of New World pigeons whose distinctness from the genus Columba was long disputed but ultimately confirmed. It is basal to the Columba-Streptopelia radiation. Their ancestors diverged from that lineage probably over 8 million years ago. While the biogeographic pattern of this group suggests that the ancestors of the typical pigeons and turtle-doves settled the Old World from the Americas, Patagioenas may just as well be the offspring of Old World pigeons which only radiated into different genera later, given that the cuckoo-doves (Macropygia) of Southeast Asia also seem to be closely related.[1]


There are 17 species of Patagioenas, which can be assigned to 4 groups based on mtDNA cytochrome b, cytochrome c oxidase subunit I, and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 2, as well as the nuclear β-fibrinogen intron 7 data combined with analyses of vocalizations and morphology. They could be considered subgenera, but one of them remains unnamed as such and thus they are only informally listed here:[2]

caribaea/band-tailed group (Chloroenas): Tails with terminal bands and iridescent neck; rows of low single coos. Apparently the most basal group.[1]

leucocephala group (Patagioenas sensu stricto): Iridescent neck and dark plumage, or white edged outer wing coverts, or scaly appearance; groups of triple coos with the first call in each drawn out except in speciosa

cayennensis group: No display plumage except iridescent head in cayennensis; groups of double or triple coos with the first call in each short

plumbea group (Oenoenas): Small size, plain plumage, rounded tails, small bills, phrase composed of high single coos

A fossil species (Curtis pigeon) initially placed in Chloroenas, Patagioenas micula (Early Pliocene of Curtis Ranch, USA) is known. A small member of this genus, it probably indeed belonged to the band-tailed group.


  1. ^ a b Johnson et al. (2001), Cheke (2005)
  2. ^ Johnson et al. (2001), Mahler & Tubaro (2001)


  • Cheke, Anthony S. (2005). Naming segregates from the Columba–Streptopelia pigeons following DNA studies on phylogeny. Bull. B.O.C. 125(4): 293-295. PDF fulltext
  • Johnson, Kevin P.; de Kort, Selvino; Dinwoodey, Karen, Mateman, A. C.; ten Cate, Carel; Lessells, C. M. & Clayton, Dale H. (2001). A molecular phylogeny of the dove genera Streptopelia and Columba. Auk 118(4): 874-887. DOI:10.1642/0004-8038(2001)118[0874:AMPOTD]2.0.CO;2 PDF fulltext
  • Mahler, Bettina & Tubaro, Pablo L. (2001). Relationship between song characters and morphology in New World pigeons. Biol. J. Linn. Soc. 74(4): 533–539. doi:10.1006/bijl.2001.0596 (HTML abstract)

Further reading[edit]

  • Couve, E. & Vidal, C. (2003): Aves de Patagonia, Tierra del Fuego y Península Antártica. Editorial Fantástico Sur Birding Ltda. ISBN 956-8007-03-2