Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)


Gough Moorhen (Gallinula comeri)


French: Gallinule de Gough German: Goughteichhuhn Spanish: Gallineta de Gough

Porphyriornis comeri

J. A. Allen

, 1892,

Gough Island


In the past was sometimes placed in genus Porphyriornis. Until recently, unclear whether present species monotypic or a subspecies of recently extinct population named †G. nesiotis of Tristan da Cunha, but molecular data suggest that, if comeri is accepted as distinct from G. chloropus, then †G. nesiotis should be treated as distinct from G. comeri#R. Monotypic.


Gough I, in S Atlantic.

Introduced to Tristan da Cunha.

Descriptive notes

25 cm; 3 adults 505–530 (513) g. Sexes alike. Superficially resembles G. chloropus but smaller, much more strongly built, short-winged, and almost completely... read more


Voice metallic and loud. Common call a harsh, staccato, high-pitched, far-carrying “koo-ik”, often... read more


Occurs throughout Gough I in very dense vegetation of tussock grass and bushes in the shrub and... read more

Food and feeding

Gough I birds appear to feed as much on vegetable matter, seeds and carrion as on invertebrates. Generally remains in cover but feeds in... read more


On Gough lays Sept–Mar; on Tristan probably breeds Dec–Mar. Monogamous and territorial; pair-bond apparently permanent. Nest circular and... read more



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Restricted-range species occurring only on Gough I, within Gough Island EBA. Introduced to nearby island of Tristan da Cunha in 1956. Numbers difficult to assess... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Sharpe, C.J. (2019). Gough Moorhen (Gallinula comeri). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 20 November 2019).