Crakes are small rails with short bills. The Black-banded Crake is named for the pattern of black barring on the brownish flanks, but this is not the most distinctive feature of this bird: the most prominent features are the rufous brown head and breast, and the dull olive brown upperparts.
The Black-banded Crake is sympatric with several superficially similar species. Rufous-sided Crake (Laterallus melanophaius) is smaller, paler in overall color, with a white throat and breast and yellow bill and tarsi. Uniform (Amaurolimnas concolor) and Chestnut-headed (Anurolimnas castaneiceps) crakes have yellow bills, and lack barring on the flanks.
The following description is based on Blake (1977):
Adult: Sexes similar. Head, throat and breast rufous; belly, vent, and undertail coverts paler (more cinnamon), heavily barred with black. Back, rump, and wings deep olive-brown, the inner remiges lightly tinged with reddish. Primaries fuscous. Underwing coverts and axillaries cinnamon, more or less mottled with dusky.
Immature: Head and breast paler than in adult; olive-brown of the upperparts is washed with chestnut. Barring on the underparts is less prominent, olive-brown and dull cinnamon rather than black and cinnamon (Taylor 1998).
Information needed. Contribute
Iris: dull red
Bill: dark horn or blackish
Tarsi and toes: bright coral red
Data from Blake (1977) and Taylor (1998).
Total length: 17-18 cm (Ridgley and Greenfield 2001b), 18 cm (Hilty and Brown 1986), 18-20 cm (Blake 1977, Taylor 1998),
Linear measurements (mm) of Anurolimnas fasciatus (Blake 1977)
| || || wing (flat)|| exposed culmen|| tarsus|
| male|| mean|| 95|| 19.8|| 37.4|
| n=5|| range|| 94-96|| 19-20|| 34-40|
| female|| mean|| 95.1|| 18 || 37.2|
| n=8|| range|| 92-99|| 17-19|| 34-40|