Emerald Dove RFI: Pacific or Common?

To: Carl Weber <>, "" <>
Subject: Emerald Dove RFI: Pacific or Common?
From: Mick Roderick <>
Date: Thu, 1 Nov 2012 19:32:24 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Carl,
>From memory, I botched it up. Check the archives for David James' responses. I 
>have copied some text from his replies as well, below. But there may have been 
>more on the subject (it was late November last year that the thread was 
[David's text]:
"The Pacific Emerald Dove is the name for birds that occur on mainland Aus and 
the Pacific Islands. In Aus territory, Indian Emerald Dove occurs only on 
Christmas Island
Pacific Koel is the bird on the mainland and has been recorded at Ashmore Reef. 
Asian Koel is now regular on Christmas and Cocos so keep a look out for it in 
the NW."
 "Hi Mick, 
You reminded me of something odd about the Emerald Dove split that I had 
forgotten to look into, does the Pacific Emerald Dove have the right species 
name. The splitting of Emerald Dove in 2 gives us Pacific Emerald Dove 
Chalcophaps longirostis. HANZAB lisats the east coast subspecies as 
chrysochlora, which is an older name (1827) than longirsotris (1842). Under the 
rules of nomenclature the species should take the name of the oldest valid 
subspecies, so unless there is something wrong with chrysochlora it should be 
the Pacific Emerald Dove Chalcophaps chrysochlora. Christidis & Boles did not 
split the emerald doves but they indicated that if they were split the one in 
Australia would be C. chrysochlora. However, it seems that chrysochlora must be 
invalid, rogersi Mathews 1912 is the subspecies in the east, and longirostris 
is the species name after all.  
This is how the IOC classify the emerald doves
Chalcophaps indica Common Emerald Dove
C.longirostris Pacific Emerald Dove
C. l. longirostris 
C.stephani Stephan's Emerald Dove
C. s. wallacei

David James, 

From: Carl Weber <>
Sent: Friday, 2 November 2012 1:10 PM
Subject: Emerald Dove RFI: Pacific or Common?
Hi Birders,

There appear to be inconsistencies in the naming of Pacific Emerald Dove and
Common Emerald Dove.  At least some birders have adopted the name Pacific
(Chalcophaps longirostris) for birds from eastern Australia and Lord Howe
Island etc, and Common (Chalcophaps indica) for birds from the Top End. This
would seem to be a logical thing to do.  However, according to both bird
guide books Pizzey & Knight and Simpson & Day, the former race longirostris
applies to birds from the Top End. If so, the abovementioned naming practice
would seem to be back to front.

So, has someone got something wrong? Was it the guide books, who some years
ago incorrectly reversed the locations of the 2 dove races? Or was it the
IOC, who accidentally ascribed the names Pacific and Common to the wrong
species? Certainly, the name Pacific should logically apply to the species
that inhabits the Pacific coast of Australia and adjacent islands.

A summary of some public information is set out below:

P&K; S&D

Chalcophaps indica - race rogersi  (formerly chrysochlora) - eastern
Australia, Lord Howe Is - picture shows plain green back.

Chalcophaps indica - race longirostris - Kimberley & Top End - picture shows
grey & white bars on back. 

IOC Checklist 3.1

4859.  Common Emerald Dove  - Chalcophaps indica - OR, AU - widespread.

4866.  Pacific Emerald Dove - Chalcophaps longirostris - AU - Australasia.

Birding for Devils

366 - 14 Feb - Common Emerald Dove - Christmas Island

130 - 19 Jan - Pacific Emerald Dove - Lake Eacham, Qld

M Roderick on B.Aus

re: Emerald Doves, but as far as I understand it C. indica ("Common") occurs
in the Top End and Kimberley and this species also ranges into SE Asia.
whereas C. longirostris ("Pacific") is the one found on the East Coast of
Australia and Pacific Islands (including Lord Howe). C. natalis (from
Christmas Island) is retained as a subspecies of (presumably) C. indica.  

Hoping that someone out there can bring all this to the attention of those
in power.

Carl Weber

If I could tick both species I wouldn't be so concerned, but as I can only
tick one, I do need to know which one.


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