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Galapagos Rail Laterallus spilonota

  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Rallidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Evan Hill


Geographic Variation

Galapagos Rail is monotypic.

Related Species

Described as Zapornia spilonota (Gould 1841); type locality Galapagos Islands, James Island [Santiago Island]

Old names for this species include 

Zapornia spilonota: Gould 1841, Zoological Voyage of the Beagle, part 3, page 132.

Ortygometra spilonota: Gray 1844, List of Birds British Museum, Grallae, page 119.

Porzana spilonota: Sclater and Salvin 1868, Zoological Society of London, page 456.

Creciscus spilonotus: Sharpe 1894, List Birds British Museum, part 23, page 137.

Porzana galapagoensis: Sharpe 1894, List Birds British Museum, part 23, page 113.

Laterallus spilonotus: Peters 1934, Check-list Birds of World, part 2, page 190.

Phylogenetic relationships within Laterallus have not been resolved. Laterallus spilonota is widely recognized as closely related to Laterallus jamaicensis (Black Rail). Most authors recognize spilonota as a separate species, although sometimes grouping spilonota and jamaicensis is a superspecies (e.g. Taylor 1998), but Fjeldså (1983) classified spilonota as a subspecies of jamaicensis.

Recommended Citation

Hill, E. (2013). Galapagos Rail (Laterallus spilonota), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.