Rails, Gallinules and Coots (Rallidae)

King Rail (Rallus elegans) - HBW 3, p. 167

French: Râle élégant German: Königsralle Spanish: Rascón Elegante

Taxonomy: Rallus elegans Audubon, 1834, Charleston, South Carolina.
This largely freshwater-marsh bird is often considered conspecific with the largely saltwater-inhabiting R. longirostris; provisionally treated as forming superspecies. Race tenuirostris of C Mexico sometimes considered specifically distinct, or transferred to R. longirostris; Californian races of R. longirostris (levipes, obsoletus, yumanensis) sometimes placed in present species. Hybridization with R. longirostris occurs occasionally in areas of sympatry, and mitochondrial DNA studies of the two species have yielded inconclusive result.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Rallus elegans Audubon, 1834, Charleston, South Carolina.
This largely freshwater-marsh bird is often considered conspecific with the largely saltwater-inhabiting R. longirostris; provisionally treated as forming superspecies. Race tenuirostris of C Mexico sometimes considered specifically distinct, or transferred to R. longirostris; Californian races of R. longirostris (levipes, obsoletus, yumanensis) sometimes placed in present species. Hybridization with R. longirostris occurs occasionally in areas of sympatry, and mitochondrial DNA studies of the two species have yielded inconclusive results. Three subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • elegans Audubon, 1834 - E Canada and NE USA; winters S to E Mexico.
  • tenuirostris Ridgway, 1874 - C Mexico.
  • ramsdeni Riley, 1913 - Cuba and I of Pines.

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