Rails, Gallinules and Coots (Rallidae)

Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio) - HBW 3, p. 197

French: Talève sultane German: Purpurhuhn Spanish: Calamón Común
Other common names: Purple Gallinule(!)

Taxonomy: Fulica Porphyrio Linnaeus, 1758, Asia, America (= lands bordering the western Mediterranean Sea).
Races madagascariensis, pulverulentus and poliocephalus (incorporating all remaining races except nominate) have at times been considered separate species; melanotus and bellus too might be separate species. Numerous other races described. Thirteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • porphyrio (Linnaeus, 1758) - E & S Spain, S France and Sardinia to Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
  • madagascariensis (Latham, 1801) - Egypt, sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar.
  • caspius Hartert, 1917 - Caspian Sea, NW Iran and Turkey.

     See all 13 subspecies
  • porphyrio (Linnaeus, 1758) - E & S Spain, S France and Sardinia to Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.
  • madagascariensis (Latham, 1801) - Egypt, sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar.
  • caspius Hartert, 1917 - Caspian Sea, NW Iran and Turkey.
  • seistanicus Zarudny & Härms, 1911 - Iraq and S Iran to Afghanistan, Pakistan and NW India.
  • poliocephalus (Latham, 1801) - India and Sri Lanka through Bangladesh, Andamans, Nicobars and N Myanmar to SC China (Yunnan) and N Thailand.
  • viridis Begbie, 1834 - S Myanmar, S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia through Indochina to S China.
  • indicus Horsfield, 1821 - Greater Sundas to Bali and Sulawesi.
  • pulverulentus Temminck, 1826 - Philippines.
  • pelewensis Hartlaub & Finsch, 1872 - Palau Is.
  • melanopterus Bonaparte, 1856 - Moluccas and Lesser Sundas to New Guinea.
  • bellus Gould, 1841 - SW Australia.
  • melanotus Temminck, 1820 - N & E Australia and Tasmania to New Zealand, Kermadec Is and Chatham Is; migrates to New Guinea.
  • samoensis Peale, 1848 - Admiralty Is S to New Caledonia and E to Samoa.