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Porphyrio porphyrio.jpg
Australasian swamphen, Porphyrio melanotus in New Zealand
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Porphyrio
Brisson, 1760
Type species
Fulica porphyrio
Linnaeus, 1758

see text



Porphyrio is the swamphen or swamp hen bird genus in the rail family. It includes some smaller species which are usually called "purple gallinules", and which are sometimes separated as genus Porphyrula or united with the gallinules proper (or "moorhens") in Gallinula. The Porphyrio gallinules are distributed in the warmer regions of the world.

The genus Porphyrio was introduced by the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson in 1760 with the western swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) as the type species.[1][2] The genus name Porphyrio is the Latin name for "swamphen",[3] meaning "purple".


The genus contains ten extant species and two that have become extinct in historical times:[4]

Extant species[edit]

Extinct species[edit]


  1. ^ Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode Contenant la Division des Oiseaux en Ordres, Sections, Genres, Especes & leurs Variétés (in French and Latin). Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. Vol. 1, p. 48, Vol. 5, p. 522.
  2. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1934). Check-list of Birds of the World. Volume 2. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 207.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A (2010). The Helm Dictionary of Scientific Bird Names. London: Christopher Helm. p. 314. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Gill, Frank; Donsker, David, eds. (2019). "Chats, Old World flycatchers". World Bird List Version 9.1. International Ornithologists' Union. Retrieved 3 April 2019.
  5. ^ Sangster, G. (1998). "Purple Swamp-hen is a complex of species" (PDF). Dutch Birding. 20 (1): 13–22.
  6. ^ García-R, J.C.; Trewick, S.A. (2015). "Dispersal and speciation in purple swamphens (Rallidae: Porphyrio)". Auk. 122 (1): 140–155. doi:10.1642/AUK-14-114.1.
  • Taylor, P. Barry & van Perlo, Ber (1998): Rails: a guide to the rails, crakes, gallinules, and coots of the world. Yale University Press, New Haven. ISBN 0-300-07758-0

External links[edit]