Water rail Rallus aquaticus, photographed by Do Van Dijck.

Belongs within: Rallidae.

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 others have placed them in separate genera such as Gallirallus. The type species of the genus is the water rail R. aquaticus of the western Palaearctic, characterised by a red bill, olive-brown upperparts, slate-blue underparts, and a white undertail.

<==Rallus Linnaeus 1758G-RGT14
    |  i. s.: R. adelus Oberholser 1869 (see below for synonymy)M02
    |         R. bernieriS66
    |         R. gularisS66
    |         R. lariformis Linnaeus 1758L58
    |         R. nigra Miller 1784 (n. d.)L98
    |         R. richmondi Olson 1977 [=R. dubius Portis 1887 non Piller & Mitterpacher 1783]M02
    |--R. wetmori Zimmer & Phelps 1944L98, G-RGT14
    `--+--+--R. elegans Audubon 1834G-RGT14 [incl. R. beldingiL98, R. longirostris levipesUSDI77, L98]
       |  |    |--R. e. elegansS05
       |  |    `--R. e. obsoletus Ridgway 1874S05 [=R. longirostris obsoletusUSDI77]
       |  `--R. longirostris Boddaert 1783G-RGT14 (see below for synonymy)
       |       |--R. l. longirostrisUSDI77
       |       `--R. l. yumanensisUSDI77
       `--+--R. limicola Vieillot 1819G-RGT14
          `--+--R. antarcticus King 1828L98
             |--R. semiplumbeus Sclater 1856L98
             `--+--R. caerulescens Gmelin 1789G-RGT14
                `--+--*R. aquaticus Linnaeus 1758G-RGT14 [incl. R. hibernansL98, R. korejewiL98]
                   `--R. indicus Blyth 1849G-RGT14 [=R. aquaticus indicusVP89]

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

Rallus longirostris Boddaert 1783G-RGT14 [incl. R. caribeusL98, R. coryiL98, R. crepitansL98, R. insularumL98, R. pallidusL98, R. wayneiL98]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[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.

[L58] Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per Regna Tria Naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Laurentii Salvii: Holmiae.

[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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