Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Buff-spotted Flufftail (Sarothrura elegans)


Taxonomy

French: Râle ponctué German: Tropfenralle Spanish: Polluela elegante
Taxonomy:

Gallinula elegans

A. Smith

, 1839,

near Durban, Natal, South Africa

.

Proposed races buryi, loringi and languens, known from single localities in Somalia, Kenya and Tanzania, respectively, are no longer accepted; all three synonymized with nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. e. reichenovi (Sharpe, 1894) – Guinea#R#R and Sierra Leone E to DRCongo and Uganda, and S to N Angola, including Bioko.
  • S. e. elegans (A. Smith, 1839) – S Ethiopia; extreme S South Sudan and W Kenya S through Zambia and Tanzania to E & S South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–17 cm; male 39·5–58 (46·4) g, female 40–60·5 (45·7) g; wingspan 25–28 cm. Tail short, not fluffy. Distin­guished by... read more

    Voice

    Vocal repertoire very extensive. Remarkable and unique song of male a series of hollow, hooting... read more

    Habitat

    Occupies wide range of habitats associated with forest or thick bush, from sea-level to 3200 m.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Studies in Natal show that species takes wide variety of invertebrate prey, principally earthworms, Amphipoda, Isopoda, Diplopoda, small... read more

    Breeding

    In S Africa breeds during rains (Sept–May), but few data from other regions: Cameroon, May, Sept, Oct; Zaire, Sept; Uganda, breeding... read more

    Movements

    Poorly understood: seasonality of occurrence and extent of movements highly complex and imperfectly... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread; locally common, especially in South Africa. Range in W Africa very poorly known and apparently patchy; only recently... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Buff-spotted Flufftail (Sarothrura elegans). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/53570 on 25 August 2019).