African swamphen

African swamphen
Individual in Marievale Nature Reserve, Gauteng, South Africa
Not recognized (IUCN 3.1)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Gruiformes
Family: Rallidae
Genus: Porphyrio
Species: P. madagascariensis
Binomial name
Porphyrio madagascariensis
(Latham, 1801)

Porphyrio porphyrio madagascariensis

African Swamphen (Porphyrio madagascariensis) is a species of Swamphen occurring in Egypt, sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar, It used to be considered a subspecies of the Purple Swamphen, which it resembles, but with bronze green or green-blue back and scapulars.

The African Swamphen is a mainly sedentary species that can be found in sub-Saharan Africa, including southern Africa, where it is sometimes locally common. It is found in northern and eastern Botswana, part of Namibia, Zimbabwe, South Africa and the coast of Mozambique. In South Africa it is absent from the Northern Cape and the interior of the Eastern Cape.[1]

It has occurred as a vagrant in Israel with a record from Eilat in October 2015.[2]

The African Swamphen has a preference for freshwater or brackish ponds, slow flowing rivers, especially those flanked by reeds (Phragmites) and sedges, marshes, swamps, it also occurs on seasonally flooded wetlands.

The population is believed to be decreasing due to local disturbance and loss of habitat although it is not considered to be threatened.[3]


  1. "Porphyrio madagascariensis (African purple swamphen, Purple gallinule)". Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  2. "African Swamphen (Porphyrio madagascariensis)". Retrieved 2015-11-14.
  3. "Porphyrio madagascariensis (African purple swamphen, Purple gallinule)". Retrieved 2015-11-14.
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