Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)


Plain-flanked Rail (Rallus wetmorei)


French: Râle de Wetmore German: Wetmoreralle Spanish: Rascón de Wetmore

Rallus wetmorei

J. T. Zimmer and Phelps, Sr

, 1944,

La Ciénaga, Aragua, Venezuela


Suggested to be conspecific with R. longirostris, but ranges overlap with no known interbreeding. Monotypic.


Coastal N Venezuela (E Falcón to W Aragua).

Descriptive notes

33 cm. Possibly flies poorly: remiges and rectrices appear soft. Sexes alike. Similar to sympatric R. longirostris phelpsi, but smaller; lacks grey on side of head... read more


Advertising call a series of loud, rapid “kek-kek-kek...kek-kek-kek” notes. Often given... read more


Coastal mangroves, “mangrove swamp”, and shallow saltwater or brackish lagoons and... read more

Food and feeding

Nothing recorded; presumably similar to R. longirostris.


Breeding condition: female, Apr; male, May. A Sept specimen is apparently a juvenile. Nine nests found in May 2012 at Morrocoy National... read more


Apparently sedentary.

Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Extremely rare and very poorly known. Restricted to a 100 km stretch of the central Caribbean coast of N Venezuela, where known historically from 7 localities in... read more

Recommended citation

Taylor, B., Boesman, P., Sharpe, C.J. & de Juana, E. (2019). Plain-flanked Rail (Rallus wetmorei). 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 11 December 2019).