Family Turacos (Musophagidae)

Least Concern

Purple-crested Turaco (Gallirex porphyreolophus)


French: Touraco à huppe splendide German: Glanzhaubenturako Spanish: Turaco crestimorado
Other common names: Purple-crested Lourie

Corythaix porphyreolopha


, 1831,

Durban, South Africa


Previously included in Tauraco. Has been placed with G. johnstoni in genus Musophaga by some authorities; recent phylogenetic study, however, indicates that these two species belong together in a separate genus#R. Races intergrade in Zambezi Valley. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • G. p. chlorochlamys Shelley, 1881 – SE Kenya through Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda to Zambia (Victoria Falls, Luano and Luangwa Valleys), Malawi and N Mozambique.
  • G. p. porphyreolophus (Vigors, 1831) – Zimbabwe and Mozambique S to NE & E South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    42–46 cm; male 225–303 g, female 218–328 g. Adult has forehead, super­ciliary area, cheeks and ear-coverts glossy emerald-green; rounded crown, crest... read more


    Main call is a cackling series that starts fast, with short subdued notes that gradually become... read more


    Typically in moist woodland, evergreen thickets and riparian growth, but also frequents coastal... read more

    Food and feeding

    Frugivorous. Favourite fruits include Ficus sycamorus, Ficus soldanella, Strychnos decussata, Strychnos... read more


    Breeds Jan–Mar in Tanzania, Jan in Malawi, Dec in Zambia, Oct–Jan in Zimbabwe, Nov–Dec in S Africa. Nest a flimsy unlined... read more


    Limited movements appear to occur, as birds are often liable to turn up at fruiting trees in areas... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. CITES II. An essentially resident species which, although localized, is quite common in several parts of its southern African range. Owing to severe... read more

    Recommended citation

    Turner, D.A. & Boesman, P. (2018). Purple-crested Turaco (Gallirex porphyreolophus). 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 22 January 2018).