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Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Columbiformes
Family: Columbidae
Subfamily: Ptilinopinae
Genus: Hemiphaga
Bonaparte, 1854
Type species
Columba novaeseelandiae
Gmelin, 1789

See text

Hemiphaga is the genus containing two large species of pigeons from New Zealand.

There are two subspecies of New Zealand pigeon, Hemiphaga novaseelandiae: H. n. novaseelandiae of mainland New Zealand and the Norfolk pigeon (H. n. spadicea) of Norfolk Island, now extinct. The subspecies differed in their plumage colour and shape. [1]

In 2001, it was proposed that a third subspecies, H. n. chathamensis or the Chatham Island pigeon, was distinct enough to be raised to full species status as H. chathamensis. [2] This has since been accepted by most authorities. [3] [4]


The genus Hemiphaga was introduced by the French naturalist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1854 with the New Zealand pigeon (Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae) as the type species. [5] The name combines the Ancient Greek hēmi meaning "half-" or "small" with the end of the genus name Carpophaga introduced by Prideaux John Selby in 1835. [6]

The genus contains two species: [7]

Image Scientific name Common name Distribution
Kereru-Kapiti.jpg Hemiphaga novaeseelandiae New Zealand pigeon or kererū Northland to Stewart Island/Rakiura and offshore islands
Chatham Island Pigeon (Hemiphaga chathamensis).jpg Hemiphaga chathamensis Chatham pigeon or parea Chatham Islands in New Zealand


  1. ^ James, R. E. (1995). Breeding ecology of the New Zealand pigeon at Wenderholm Regional Park. p93. School of Environmental and Marine Science. University of Auckland, Auckland.
  2. ^ Millener, P. R., and R. G. Powlesland. (2001). The Chatham Island pigeon (Chatham pigeon) deserves full species status; Hemiphaga chathamensis (Rothschild 1891); Aves: Columbidae. Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand 31:365–383.
  3. ^ "Updates & Corrections – December 2009 | Clements Checklist". Retrieved 2020-01-23.
  4. ^ "SPECIES UPDATES-Version 1.5 (January 16, 2008)". 16 January 2008. Retrieved 2020-01-23.{{ cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status ( link)
  5. ^ Bonaparte, Charles Lucien (1854). "Coup d'oeil sur les pigeons (deuxième partie)". Comptes Rendus Hebdomadaires des Séances de l'Académie des Sciences (in French). 39: 1072–1078 [1076–1077].
  6. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 189. ISBN  978-1-4081-2501-4.
  7. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David; Rasmussen, Pamela, eds. (2020). "Pigeons". IOC World Bird List Version 10.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 16 March 2020.