A Purple Swamphen from New Zealand (pūkeko, Porphyrio porphyrio melanotus)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Porphyrio
Brisson, 1760

For extinct species, see article text.



For the Latin grammarian sometimes known as Porphyrio, see Pomponius Porphyrion.

Porphyrio is the swamphen genus of birds 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. There are two living species of swamphen, the majority of the group having become extinct in the Holocene. As opposed to the Old World and especially Australasian swamphens, the four Porphyrio gallinules are distributed in the warmer regions of Africa and the Americas, barely reaching into Asia and Europe.

Living species

Recent taxonomy changes in Porphyrula or Gallinula:

Extinct species


  • 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
  Wikimedia Commons has media related to:

Eurasian Spoonbill This article is part of Project Bird Genera, a All Birds project that aims to write comprehensive articles on each genus, including made-up genera.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia (view authors).
Please help by writing it in the style of All Birds Wiki!
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.