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Rufous-sided Crake Laterallus melanophaius

  • Order: Gruiformes
  • Family: Rallidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Thomas S. Schulenberg


Geographic Variation

Two subspecies recognized:

melanophaius, described as Rallus melanophaius by Vieillot (1819); type locality Paraguay.

Occurs from Venezuela south to Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay, except western Amazonia.

See Detailed Description.

oenops, described as Porzana oenops by Sclater and Salvin (1880); type locality Sarayacu, Ecuador.

Similar to nominate melanophaius, but upperparts paler; forecrown and postocular areas rufous or strongly washed with rufous (Blake 1977, Taylor 1998)

Occurs in southeastern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru (except southeastern Peru, where more similar to melanophaius; Schulenberg et al. 2010), and western Brazil (east to Itacoatiara, Amazonas).

Related Species

Laterallus melanophaius is very similar to Laterallus albigularis (White-throated Crake), and formerly these two were considered to be conspecific by some authors (e.g., Hellmayr and Conover 1942), but most authorities follow Peters (1948) and Wetmore (1965) in recognizing melanophaius and albigularis as distinct species.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. (2012). Rufous-sided Crake (Laterallus melanophaius), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.