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NOTES ON ORIGINS OF THE RINGNECK DOVE by Wilmer J. Miller and W. F. Hollander
Ringneck or laughing doves are not native to America or even to Europe--they have been bred in cages since biblical times, as pets and for magicians' acts. Only two types were kept until the 20th century: white (often called sacred), and blond (=fawn).
There are several wild species of "collared" doves in Africa and Asia. Our domestic ringnecks clearly originated from the"rosy-gray" species of N.E. Africa. Apparently the dove keepers of a thousand or more years ago liked the white and blond variants and got rid of the dark wild-colored birds, but we have obtained "darks" again. They have a lovely violet shading of the head and neck plumage.
Scientific studies of the doves began by the end of the 1800's at the University of Chicago, by Prof. Charles O. Whitman and his students. Soon after, other researchers began using doves, notably Prof. Leon J. Cole and his students at the University of Wisconisn, and Prof. Alessandro Ghigi and his students in Italy, Whitman first noted sex-linkage of the white color, and he also discovered pied coloration. Cole worked out the relationships of white, blond, and dark--all are simple alternatives, and are sex-linked.
Prof. M. Tange in Japan reported an albino type, unrelated to ordinary white (which is really an extreme-dilute condition). The albino mutant is not sex-linked. We imported it from Japan in 1967. A cross of albino male with white female can give 100% colored squabs (not albino or white).
The "peach" coloration was discovered in the USA. We have determined that it is really the combination effect of a new recessive mutation, which we named "rosy", with blond.
"Ivory" was found and named in Italy. The same recessive mutation was also later found in the USA. Crossing ivory with rosy has led to producing the "cream" coloration.
The "pied" mutation was again found in the USA and has been crossed with others to give combinations.
The "tangerine" (or "Mandarin") mutation was discovered in Austria and later imported to America. This was the first dominant mutation (really codominant) known in the doves. Crossing it with other color types has produced several new important combinations, such as "pink", "orange", and "apricot".
The latest discovery in the USA has been the "frosty" mutant also dominant (or possibly codominant). Crossing with tangerine has produced the combination effect "ash", and with rosy, "coral".
In Europe several new mutations have been discovered recently by H. van Grouw of Holland, but have not been imported yet to the USA (1998).
The end is not in sight!
Cole, L. J. 1930 "A study of hybrid doves." Aviculture 2 (Feb): 27-30.
Delacour, J. 1980 "Wild pigeons and doves." TFH publications. [error on species name], with photos by Axelrod.
Goodwin, D. 1970 "Pigeons and doves of the World." 2nd Edition. British Museum Natural AHistory Publication #663
Miller, W. J. Genetics of the ringneck dove, Streptopelia risoria, I. Overview American Dove Association Newsletter (ADAN) (May/Jun 84): 3-5
_______II. Description of mutants-albino, autosomal recessive = al ADAN (Sep/Oct 84): 3-5
_______III. _______-Ivory-autosomal recessive-iv. ADAN (Nov/Dec 84): 6-8
_______IV. _______-pied-autosomal recessive-pi ADAN (Jan/Feb 85): 9-1
______ V. _______-rosy-autosomal recessive-ry ADAN (Sep/Oct 85): 4-5 &(May/Jun 88): 5-6
______ Dark-Blond-White: Sex-linked alternatives in ringneck doves. ADAN (Jan/Feb): 6-10
Miller, W. J. and W. F. Hollander 1993 "Kurze Geschichte der Farbschlage bei Lachtauben" Geflügel-Börse (Munich, Germnany) 119 (13): 10-13. with color photos English translation "Short history of color types in ringneck doves" DoveLine 1999?
Whitman, C. D. 1919 Posthumous works on doves and pigeons. Carnegie Institution of Washington publication 257 (3 volumes).
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