Tongan banded rail Gallirallus ecaudatus, photographed by Duncan.

Belongs within: Rallini.

Gallirallus is a genus of long-billed rails with a distribution centred around the southern Pacific. The taxonomy of this group differs between authors: some have restricted the name Gallirallus to the New Zealand wekas G. australis and G. greyi, while others have used it in a more expansive sense than here. Also subject to disagreement is the treatment of the buff-banded rails (G. dieffenbachii to G. goodsoni in the tree below) which are often treated as a single widespread species G. philippensis.

Gallirallus Lafresnaye 1841 B94 (see below for synonymy)
    |  i. s.: G. calayanensis JT12
    |         G. insignis JT12
    |         G. lafresnayanus Verreaux & Des Murs 1860 JT12, L98 (see below for synonymy)
    |         G. pacificus FS01
    |         G. ripleyi Steadman 1986 L98
    |         G. sylvestris M03
    |--+--G. mirificus (Parkes & Amadon 1959) L98
    |  |--G. muelleri (Rothschild 1893) L98 [=Dryolimnas muelleri HWT01, Rallus pectoralis muelleri HWT01, R85]
    |  `--G. pectoralis (Temminck 1831) L98 (see below for synonymy)
    |       |--G. p. pectoralis WS48
    |       `--‘Rallus’ pectoralis brachipus Swainson 1837 [incl. R. pectoralis clelandi Mathews 1911] WS48
    `--+--G. sharpei (Büttikofer 1893) [=Stictolimnas sharpei] L98
       |--G. striatus (Linné 1766) [=Hypotaenidia striata, Rallus striatus] L98
       `--+--G. owstoni (Rothschild 1895) [=Hypotaenidia owstoni, Rallus owstoni] L98
          `--+--+--G. rovianae Diamond 1991 L98
             |  `--G. wakensis (Rothschild 1903) [=Hypotaenidia wakensis, Rallus wakensis] L98
             `--+--+--G. australis (Sparrman 1786) L98, WH02 (see below for synonymy)
                |  |    |--G. a. australis R85
                |  |    |--G. a. hectori (Hutton 1873) R85
                |  |    `--G. a. scotti (Ogilvie-Grant 1905) R85
                |  `--G. greyi (Buller 1888) L98 [=G. australis greyi R85]
                `--+--G. dieffenbachii (Gray 1843) L98, WH02 (see below for synonymy)
                   `--+--G. philippensis (Linné 1766) L98, WH02 (see below for synonymy)
                      |    |--G. p. philippensis WS48
                      |    `--‘Eulabeornis’ p. mellori Mathews 1912 (see below for synonymy) WS48
                      `--+--G. macquariensis (Hutton 1879) WH02 [=Rallus philippensis macquariensis R85]
                         `--+--G. assimilis (Gray 1843) L98 [=Rallus philippensis assimilis R85]
                            `--+--G. christophori (Mayr 1939) L98
                               `--+--G. sethsmithi (Mathews 1911) L98
                                  `--+--G. ecaudatus (Miller 1783) [=Rallus ecaudatus] L98
                                     `--G. goodsoni (Mathews 1911) L98

‘Eulabeornis’ philippensis mellori Mathews 1912 [incl. Hypotaenidia australis Pelzeln 1873 non Gallirallus australis (Sparrman 1786), H. philippensis australis] WS48

Gallirallus Lafresnaye 1841 B94 [incl. Hypotaenidia Reichenbach 1853 L98, Nesolimnas Andrews 1896 WH02, Ocydromus Wagler 1830 B94; Ocydrominae]

Gallirallus australis (Sparrman 1786) L98, WH02 [incl. Ocydromus fuscus WH02, O. insignis Forbes 1892 WH02, O. minor Hamilton 1893 WH02, Gallirallus minor WH02, G. troglodytes L98]

Gallirallus dieffenbachii (Gray 1843) L98, WH02 [=*Nesolimnas dieffenbachii WH02, Cabalus dieffenbachii WH02, Rallus philippensis dieffenbachii WH02, R85]

Gallirallus lafresnayanus Verreaux & Des Murs 1860 JT12, L98 [=Eulabeornis lafresnayanus S13, Tricholimnas lafresnayanus S13]

Gallirallus pectoralis (Temminck 1831) L98 [=Rallus pectoralis HWT01, Dryolimnas pectoralis HWT01, *Hypotaenidia pectoralis L98; incl. G. alberti L98, G. captus L98, G. exsul L98, G. insulus L98, G. mayri L98]

Gallirallus philippensis (Linné 1766) L98, WH02 [=Rallus philippensis HWT01, Hypotaenidia philippensis HWT01]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B94] Bock, W. J. 1994. History and nomenclature of avian family-group names. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 222: 1-281.

[FS01] Flannery, T. & P. Schouten. 2001. A Gap in Nature: Discovering the World's Extinct Animals. Text Publishing: Melbourne.

[HWT01] Holdaway, R. N., T. H. Worthy & A. J. D. Tennyson. 2001. A working list of breeding bird species of the New Zealand region at first human contact. New Zealand Journal of Zoology 28: 119-187.

[JT12] Jetz, W., G. H. Thomas, J. B. Joy, K. Hartmann & A. Ø. Mooers. 2012. The global diversity of birds in space and time. Nature 491: 444-448.

[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.

[M03] Morcombe, M. 2003. Field Guide to Australian Birds, 2nd ed. Steve Parish Publishing.

[R85] Robertson, C. J. R. (ed.) 1985. Reader’s Digest Complete Book of New Zealand Birds. Reader’s Digest: Sydney.

[S13] Sarasin, F. 1913. Die Vögel Neu-Caledoniens und der Loyalty-Inseln. In Nova Caledonia: Forschungen in Neu-Caledonian und auf den Loyalty-Inseln. A. Zoologie vol. 1, Heft I (F. Sarasin & J. Roux, eds) pp. 1-78, pl. 1-3. C. W. Kreidels Verlag: Wiesbaden.

[WS48] Whittell, H. M. & D. L. Serventy. 1948. A systematic list of the birds of Western Australia. Public Library, Museum and Art Gallery of Western Australia, Special Publication 1: 1-126.

[WH02] Worthy, T. H., & R. N. Holdaway. 2002. The Lost World of the Moa: Prehistoric life of New Zealand. Indiana University Press: Bloomington (Indiana).

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