Australasian Swamphen

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Greg.G
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Australasian Swamphen

Is a Purple Swamphen and an Australasian Swamphen the same bird?

dwatsonbb
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Hi Greg, I believe the Australasian Swamp Hen (Porphyrio melanotus) is a sub species of the Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio Porhyrio) of which other sub-species can be found elsewhere in the world. This is only a relatively recent change to the taxanomic name. They were (and mostly still are) locally known as Purple Swamphens, just a new sub species (not sure when the change was made). I think the term Purple Swamphen is somewhat a well known common name.There is also the Western Australian Purple Swamphen (Porphyrio porphyrio bellus), which is another sub-species.

Essentially the same bird with perhaps some slight subtle local differences. See this link from Wikipedia which I think explains it well.

interstingly there a some six species of Purple Swamphen, with numerous sub-species.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Purple_swamphen

The birdfinder link on BIBY still has them as Purple Swamphen (Porhyrio Porhyrio), with no listing for Australasian Swamphen.

As usual happy to get further information from others more expert than I.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

dwatsonbb
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Probably going to bore you now! The names were changed/posted in 2015.

Sorry in advance.

http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/2015-updates-corrections/

pages 84-85, Purple Swamphen  Porphyrio porphyrio

Purple Swamphen is split, following Garcia-R. and Trewick (2015), and each of the six previously recognized groups is elevated to species rank:

Western Swamphen Porphyrio porphyrio, which is monotypic;

Black-backed Swamphen Porphyrio indicus, which includes subspecies viridis and indicus; African Swamphen, Porphyrio madagascariensis, which is monotypic;

Australasian Swamphen Porphyrio melanotus, which includes subspecies pelewensis, melanopterus, bellus, melanotus, and samoensis;

Philippine Swamphen Porphyrio pulverulentus, which is monotypic; and

Gray-headed Swamphen Porphyrio poliocephalus, which includes subspecies caspius, seistanicus, and poliocephalus.

Reference:

Garcia-R., J.C., and S.A. Trewick. 2015. Dispersal and speciation in purple swamphens (Rallidae: Porphyrio). Auk 132: 140–155.

Dale Huonville, Tasmania

Greg.G
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Thank you for taking the time to reply. The information you forwarded was very helpful.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Regards, Greg.G, Queensland

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