I recently took pictures of Spotted doves (Spilopelia chinensis) during their courtship. The one on the right, is large with a off-white breast and the one on the left is comparatively small with dingy reddish white breast.

My professor and I presumed that the one on the right is the male and the other is the female. The larger one mounted the other during cloacal kiss.

I've checked Wikipedia and other sites which seem to copy Wikipedia, they say that the species does not show sexual dimorphism. On the other hand, this website claims that there is a difference.

Does it show sexual dimorphism?

Location: West Bengal, India



2 Answers 2


First I think that is a Western Spotted Dove (Spilopelia suratensis), now splitted from the Eastern spotted Dove (Spilopelia chinensis). In your area there should be both species but the red iris and eye-ring should indicate the Western. Sexes are alike so there are no signs you characteristics you can check (source, handbook of the bird of the world, which is the most updated and reliable source in many occasions). Males sing much more often than females (so you can observe this behaviour) and in many species, but I dunno about this one, is the male providing food to the female...so I think your guess is right!

All the best,

Have fun

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I am sorry I think there is not much more information that the one provided by wikipedia. Also this specialized website, which I trust, birdforum.net/opus/Spotted_Dove repeats the same information. $\endgroup$
    – have fun
    Oct 6, 2016 at 13:18
  • $\begingroup$ I took the liberty of adding hbw links to the two species. $\endgroup$
    – Tyto alba
    Jun 11, 2017 at 18:07

I currently have a pair of spotted dove visiting my backyard regularly for feeding. I noticed one of them has got a more blueish head top than the other, still trying to figure out which one is male. The one with blueish head top is comparatively smaller in size, and less courageous when it comes to having me around. My best guess is that the more blueish head is female and the bigger, more reddish head is male. In any case, this is just my best guess.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to Biology.SE. While anecdotes are potentially interesting, your answer is much more likely to receive a favorable response if you edit it to include supporting references (primary literature is best). Without that support, your answer is indistinguishable from opinion and thus is inappropriate for this site. ——— Please take the tour and then consult the help center pages for additional advice on How to Answer and How to Ask effectively on this site and then edit or delete your answer accordingly. $\endgroup$
    – tyersome
    Mar 5, 2022 at 19:43

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .