Common moorhens Gallinula chloropus, photographed by Neil Phillips.

Belongs within: Rallidae.
Contains: Porzana, Fulica.

The genus Gallinula contains the moorhens, aquatic birds that are all fairly similar in appearance, with dark heads and bodies and commonly a red frontal shield. The typical moorhens of the subgenus Gallinula are found nearly worldwide; except for the dusky moorhen G. tenebrosa of Australasia and the lesser moorhen G. angulata of Africa, they are often treated as subspecies of a single widespread species, the common moorhen G. chloropus. The subgenus Porphyriornis includes two species from the islands of Tristan da Cunha and Gough Island in the South Atlantic (Livezey 1998), though the Tristan species (G. nesiotis) is now extinct. The native hens G. ventralis and G. mortierii of Australia are sometimes treated as a separate genus Tribonyx; they differ from the typical moorhens in having a green or yellow frontal shield. The spot-flanked gallinule G. melanops of South America has black and white-spotted sides and a yellow-green frontal shield; it is similar in overall appearance to the crakes of the genus Porzana and, indeed, may be more closely related to that genus than to other Gallinula species.

<==Gallinula Brisson 1760 (see below for synonymy)CC10
    |  i. s.: G. balcanica Boev 1999M02
    |         G. crassirostrisF43
    |         G. disneyi Boles 2005M09
    |         G. gigantea Tchernov 1980M02
    |         G. gularisS42
    |         G. hodgenorum (Scarlett 1955)CC10 (see below for synonymy)
    |         G. pacifica (Hartlaub & Finsch 1871) [=Pareudiastes pacificus]G-RGT14
    |         G. silvestris (Mayr 1933)G-RGT14 [=Edithornis silvestrisG-RGT14, Pareudiastes silvestrisL98]
    |--+--+--G. melanops (Vieillot 1819) [=Rallus melanops]G-RGT14
    |  |  `--PorzanaG-RGT14
    |  `--+--G. ventralis Gould 1836G-RGT14 (see below for synonymy)
    |     `--+--G. mortierii (DuBus 1840)G-RGT14 [=*Tribonyx mortieriiCC10; incl. *Brachyptrallus ralloidesCC10]
    |        `--‘Tribonyx’ repertus (De Vis 1888)L98
    `--+--G. (Porphyriornis Allen 1892)L98
       |    |--G. (P.) comeri (Allen 1892)L98 [=G. nesiotis comeriL81]
       |    `--G. (P.) nesiotis (Sclater 1861)L98
       `--G. (Gallinula)L98
            |--G. (G.) angulata Sundevall 1850G-RGT14
               `--+--G. (G.) tenebrosa Gould 1836G-RGT14 (see below for synonymy)
                  `--+--*G. (G.) chloropus (Linnaeus 1758)CC10, L98, CC10 (see below for synonymy)
                     |    |--G. c. chloropusFR98
                     |    |--G. c. guamiFR98
                     |    `--G. c. meridionalisL81
                     |--G. (G.) cachinnans Bangs 1815 [incl. G. cerceris]L98
                     |--G. (G.) galeata (Lichtenstein 1818) [=Crex galeata]G-RGT14
                     |    |--G. g. galeataG-RGT14
                     |    `--G. g. sandvicensis Streets 1877G-RGT14, L98 [=G. chloropus sandvicensisL81]
                     `--G. (G.) pyrrhorrhoa Newton 1861 [incl. G. seychellarum]L98
Inorganic: Gallinula chloropus minilorientalis Okamura 1987O87

Gallinula Brisson 1760 [=Hydrogallina Lacépède 1799, Stagnicola Brehm 1831; incl. Brachyptrallus Lafresnaye 1840, Microtribonyx Sharpe 1893, Pareudiastes Hartlaub & Finsch 1871 L98, Pyramida Oliver 1955, Tribonyx du Bus de Gisignies 1840; Gallinulinae]CC10

Gallinula hodgenorum (Scarlett 1955)CC10 [=Rallus hodgeniCC10, Capellirallus hodgeniCC10, Gallinula (Tribonyx) hodgeniCC10, *Pyramida hodgeniCC10, Tribonyx hodgenorumL98; incl. Gallirallus hartreei Scarlett 1970CC10]

Gallinula ventralis Gould 1836G-RGT14 [=*Microtribonyx ventralisCC10, Tribonyx ventralisL98; incl. T. ventralis territorii Mathews 1912CC10, T. ventralis whitei Mathews 1912CC10]

*Gallinula (Gallinula) chloropus (Linnaeus 1758)CC10, L98, CC10 [=Fulica chloropusCC10, *Hydrogallina chloropusCC10, *Stagnicola chloropusCC10; incl. G. correianaL98, G. chloropus indica Blyth 1842CC10, G. orientalisL98]

Gallinula (Gallinula) tenebrosa Gould 1836G-RGT14 [incl. G. tenebrosa magnirostris Mathews 1912CC10, G. tenebrosa subfrontata Mathews 1912CC10]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[CC10] Checklist Committee (OSNZ). 2010. Checklist of the Birds of New Zealand, Norfolk and Macquarie Islands, and the Ross Dependency, Antarctica 4th ed. Ornithological Society of New Zealand and Te Papa Press: Wellington.

[F43] Fraser, L. 1843. On the collection of birds brought to England by Mr. Bridges. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 11: 108–121.

[FR98] Fritts, T. H., & G. H. Rodda. 1998. The role of introduced species in the degradation of island ecosystems: a case history of Guam. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics 29: 113–140.

[G-RGT14] Garcia-R, J. C., G. C. Gibb & S. A. Trewick. 2014. Deep global evolutionary radiation in birds: diversification and trait evolution in the cosmopolitan bird family Rallidae. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 81: 96–108.

[L98] Livezey, B. C. 1998. A phylogenetic analysis of the Gruiformes (Aves) based on morphological characters, with an emphasis on the rails (Rallidae). Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Series B—Biological Sciences 353: 2077–2151.

[L81] Long, J. L. 1981. Introduced Birds of the World: The worldwide history, distribution and influence of birds introduced to new environments. Reed: Sydney.

[M09] Mayr, G. 2009. Paleogene Fossil Birds. Springer.

[M02] Mlíkovský, J. 2002. Cenozoic Birds of the World. Part 1: Europe. Ninox Press: Praha.

[O87] Okamura, C. 1987. New facts: Homo and all Vertebrata were born simultaneously in the former Paleozoic in Japan. Original Report of the Okamura Fossil Laboratory 15: 347–573.

[S42] Strickland, H. E. 1842. Account of the birds in the Chinese collection exhibited at Hyde Park Corner. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 10: 166–168.

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