Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Barred Rail (Hypotaenidia torquata)


French: Râle à collier German: Zebraralle Spanish: Rascón acollarado

Rallus torquatus


, 1766,



Sometimes placed in Rallus or Gallirallus. Closely related to H. okinawae and H. insignis. Proposed Philippine races maxwelli (from Manila, in C Luzon), quisumbingi (S Luzon) and sanfordi (W Mindanao) included in nominate; remigialis (SE Sulawesi and Muna I) synonymized with celebensis, and simillima (Peleng I) with sulcirostris. When species was treated in genus Rallus, name saturatus became preoccupied and was replaced by limarius; owing to continued use of limarius/limaria thereafter, name saturatus became permanently invalid, as being a junior secondary homonym replaced prior to 1961#R. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • H. t. torquata (Linnaeus, 1766) – Philippine Is.
  • H. t. celebensis (Quoy & Gaimard, 1830) – Sulawesi and adjacent islands.
  • H. t. sulcirostris (Wallace, 1863) – Peleng (Banggai Is) and Sula Is, off EC Sulawesi.
  • H. t. kuehni Rothschild, 1902 – Tukangbesi Is, SE of Sulawesi.
  • H. t. limaria (J. L. Peters, 1934) – W Papuan Is (Salawati) and NW New Guinea.
  • Descriptive notes

    32–35 cm; 241–300 g. Sexes alike; some white barring on inner webs of outer primaries. Easily separable from sympatric rallids on plumage. H. insignis... read more


    Loud, very discordant, harsh croaking, often lasting several seconds; one bird starting to call... read more


    Occurs in open grassland, rice and maize fields, dry second growth and coastal swamps, and at edges... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food not recorded. Sometimes forages along roadsides.


    Luzon, Apr, Nov; Sulawesi, Dec. Nest not described; built on ground. Usually three eggs, sometimes four or five, whitish-tan ground colour... read more


    None recorded.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Very shy and retiring; no information on current status. Nominate race formerly common on Philippines; celebensis reported... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2019). Barred Rail (Hypotaenidia torquata). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 7 December 2019).