Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Madagascar Flufftail (Sarothrura insularis)


French: Râle insulaire German: Hovaralle Spanish: Polluela malgache

Corethrura insularis


, 1870,

Nossi Vola, Madagascar


Closely related to S. affinis. Monotypic.


Madagascar, mainly in E.

Descriptive notes

14 cm; one female 30 g. Tail short and fluffy. Male distinctive, being most similar to wholly allopatric S. affinis, with rich chestnut head, neck, breast and tail;... read more


Common call, probably given by both sexes, a characteristic, loud, high-pitched, ringing series of... read more


Tolerant of wide variety of habitats: grassland of edges and clearings of undisturbed and degraded... read more

Food and feeding

Only insects and seeds recorded.


Poorly known. Lays Feb in NE Madagascar and Oct in S Magasgascar (both months during the local wet seasons), probably also Sept and... read more


Unknown: probably none.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Widespread, apparently common over most of its range, especially in E region; seems to adapt readily to degraded environments.

Recommended citation

Taylor, B. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Madagascar Flufftail (Sarothrura insularis). 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 3 April 2020).