Porphyrio is thegenus of birds with a distribution in the warmer regions of Africa and the Americas, barely reaching into Asia and Europe.

Living species

Allen’s (Lesser) Gallinule, Afrikanisches Sultanshuhn, Bronzesultanshuhn, Porphyrio Alleni; Susuwe/Kwando River, Namibia

Extinct species

  • Lord Howe Swamphen, Porphyrio albus (early 19th century)
  • Réunion Swamphen or Oiseau bleu, Porphyrio coerulescens (18th century, hypothetical species)
  • Marquesas Swamphen, Porphyrio paepae (prehistoric or c.1900)
  • North Island Takahē or mōho, Porphyrio mantelli (prehistoric or 1890s)
  • New Caledonian Swamphen, Porphyrio kukwiedei (prehistoric or more recent)
  • Huahine Swamphen, Porphyrio mcnabi (prehistoric)
  • Buka Swamphen, Porphyrio sp. (prehistoric)
  • Giant Swamphen, Porphyrio sp. (prehistoric)
  • New Ireland Swamphen, Porphyrio sp. (prehistoric)
  • Norfolk Island Swamphen, Porphyrio sp. (prehistoric)
  • Rota Swamphen, Porphyrio sp. (prehistoric)
  • Mangaia Swamphen/Woodhen, ?Porphyrio sp. (prehistoric) – would belong into Porphyrula, Gallinula or Pareudiastes
Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) - adult with chicks
Photo of author

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