Water rail Rallus aquaticus, photographed by Do Van Dijck.

Belongs within: Rallini.

The genus Rallus contains the Eurasian and Neotropical long-billed rails (Livezey 1998). Many authors have also included various species of the Pacific rails in Rallus, but Livezey (1998) placed these species in separate genera such as Gallirallus.

Rallus Linnaeus 1758 M02
    |  i. s.: R. adelus Oberholser 1869 (see below for synonymy) M02
    |         R. bernieri S66
    |         R. gularis S66
    |         R. nigra Miller 1784 (n. d.) L98
    |         R. pacificus Gmelin 1789 (n. d.) L98
    |         R. richmondi Olson 1977 [=R. dubius Portis 1887 non Piller & Mitterpacher 1783] M02
    |--R. wetmorei Zimmer & Phelps 1944 L98
    `--+--R. longirostris Boddaert 1783 (see below for synonymy) L98
       |    |--R. l. longirostris USDI77
       |    `--R. l. yumanensis USDI77
       `--+--R. elegans Audubon 1834 L98 [incl. R. beldingi L98, R. longirostris levipes USDI77, L98]
          |    |--R. e. elegans S05
          |    `--R. e. obsoletus Ridgway 1874 S05 [=R. longirostris obsoletus USDI77]
          |--R. limicola Vieillot 1819 L98
          `--+--R. antarcticus King 1828 L98
             |--R. semiplumbeus Sclater 1856 L98
             `--+--R. caerulescens Gmelin 1779 L98
                `--+--R. aquaticus Linnaeus 1758 L98, M02 [incl. R. hibernans L98, R. korejewi L98]
                   `--R. indicus Blyth 1849 L98 [=R. aquaticus indicus VP89]

Rallus adelus Oberholser 1869 [=Ludiortyx adelus, R. intermedius Milne-Edwards 1869 non Hermann 1804, Quercyrallus intermedius, Q. ludianus Brodkorb 1963] M02

Rallus longirostris Boddaert 1783 [incl. R. caribeus, R. coryi, R. crepitans, R. insularum, R. pallidus, R. waynei] L98

*Type species of generic name indicated


[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.

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

[S66] Schlegel, H. 1866. Communication from, on mammals and birds collected in Madagascar. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London 1866: 419-426.

[S05] Steinheimer, F. D. 2005. Eduard Rüppel’s avian types at the Natural History Museum, Tring (Aves). Senckenbergiana Biologica 85 (2): 233-264.

[USDI77] USDI (United States Department of the Interior). 1977. Endangered and threatened wildlife and plants - republication of list of species. Federal Register 42: 36420-36431.

[VP89] Viney, C., & K. Phillipps. 1989. Birds of Hong Kong 5th ed. Government Printer: Hong Kong.

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