Sexual size dimorphism and morphometric sexing in a North African population of Laughing Doves (Spilopelia senegalensis)

Ayadi, T., Hammouda, A., Kididi, S., Yahyaoui, M. H. & Selmi, S. (2016). Sexual size dimorphism and morphometric sexing in a North African population of Laughing Doves Spilopelia senegalensis. Ostrich 87: 173–177. doi: 10.2989/00306525.2016.1188173


Like the majority of Columbiformes, the Laughing Dove Spilopelia senegalensis is sexually monomorphic in plumage, but seems to be slightly dimorphic in size. However, due to the lack of studies little is known about the sexual size dimorphism in this species. In this work, we used morphometric data on a sample of 61 Laughing Doves from southern Tunisia, and sexed using a DNA-based method, to assess size differences between males and females and to determine a discriminant function useful for sex identification. The results showed that wing length was the most dimorphic trait, which could be due to the effects of sexual selection. The best function for the discrimination between sexes included wing length and head length, which is comparable with findings on other dove species. This discriminant function accurately classified 89% of birds, providing a rapid and accurate tool for sex identification in the studied population. Further data from different populations are needed for firmer conclusions about the extent of sexual size dimorphism and the reliability of the morphometric sexing approach in this dove species.

Nest-niche differentiation in two sympatric Streptopelia species from a North African agricultural area

Hanane, S. (2015). Nest-niche differentiation in two sympatric Streptopelia species from a North African agricultural area: the role of human presence. Ecological Research 30: 573–580. doi: 10.1007/s11284-015-1259-1


Studies of niche partitioning among Columbidae species have mainly addressed food habits and foraging activities, while partitioning in relation to nest-niche differentiation has been little studied. The recent expansion of Laughing dove Streptopelia senegalensis distribution throughout Morocco has raised concerns regarding its effects on native species, particularly Turtle doves S. turtur. The study, conducted in May 2008 and 2009, attempted to determine the factors that may play a role in nest-niche differentiation among the two sympatric dove species in the Tadla’s agricultural area (central Morocco). I used Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Linear Discriminant Analysis (LDA) to test the relevance of nest placement and human presence variables in the nest distribution of the two species. The results show substantial niche segregation in the olive nest-trees selected by Turtle and Laughing doves, with selection depending primarily on human presence and, to a lesser extent, the vertical distribution of nests. Observed nest-niche partitioning may diminish the potential for competition between these species and enhance opportunities for their coexistence. I further suggest guidelines for future studies that seek to understand the spatio-temporal dynamics of Laughing and Turtle dove coexistence in the region.

Breeding biology of sympatric Laughing (Streptopelia senegalensis) and Turtle (Streptopelia turtur) Doves in NE Algeria

Brahmia, H., Zeraoula, A., Bensouilah, T., Bouslama, Z., & Houhamdi, M. 2015. Breeding biology of sympatric Laughing Streptopelia senegalensis and Turtle Streptopelia turtur Dove: a comparative study in northeast Algeria. Zoology and Ecology  25(3): 220–226.   doi: 10.1080/21658005.2015.1049470
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The Turtle Dove and Laughing Dove display distinct behavior and are morphologically and genetically different. However, microhabitat selection and reproductive success details of the two species are still poorly studied. The geographic distribution of the Laughing Dove in North Africa has clearly expanded nowadays. The breeding ecology and nest placement of this species have been studied previously, but little is currently known about its life history in Algeria. This study aimed to provide the basic information on the breeding biology of the Laughing Dove in Algeria. During two consecutive breeding seasons (2013–2014), the clutch size, brood size, chick survival, timing of breeding, densities of breeding pairs, nest placement, and the main causes of nest failure of the sympatric Laughing Dove and Turtle Dove were studied in an olive orchard in Guelma region, northeast Algeria. Clutch size, brood size, chick survival, the estimated productivity, and nest placement of the two species were similar but timing of breeding and population densities were significantly different. Finally, the largely coincident egg-laying period and the similar clutch size of the two species seem to be the main factors behind their similar survival rate and productivity in our study area.

Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis), Helwan, Egypt

Laughing Dove (Streptopelia senegalensis), Helwan, Egypt (Rachid H., flickr)