Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Slaty-breasted Rail (Lewinia striata)


French: Râle strié German: Graubrustralle Spanish: Rascón rufigrís

Rallus striatus


, 1766,

Manila, Philippines


Sometimes placed in Rallus, Gallirallus or Hypotaenidia. Race paraterma subsumed within striata by some authors, and nicobariensis often synonymized with obscurior; taiwana possibly not reliably distinguishable from jouyi, which itself is difficult to separate from gularis. Proposed race reliqua (from Simeulue, off NW Sumatra) regarded as a synonym of gularis. A rail lacking white bars on primaries, originally described as subspecies deignani of L. pectoralis, is in fact an aberrant individual of nominate race of present species#R. Eight subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. s. albiventer (Swainson, 1838) – India and Sri Lanka to SC China (Yunnan) and Thailand; some may winter in S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.
  • L. s. obscurior (A. O. Hume, 1874) – Andaman Is.
  • L. s. nicobariensis (Abdulali, 1966) – Nicobar Is.
  • L. s. jouyi (Stejneger, 1887) – SE China and Hainan.
  • L. s. taiwana (Yamashina, 1932) – Taiwan.
  • L. s. gularis (Horsfield, 1821) – Vietnam, Laos#R and Cambodia through Peninsular Malaysia to Sumatra (with Simeulue), Java and S Borneo.
  • L. s. striata (Linnaeus, 1766) – Philippines, Sulu Is, N Borneo; also Sulawesi, where perhaps not resident.
  • L. s. paraterma (Oberholser, 1924) – Samar I, in EC Philippines.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–30 cm; adult 100–142 g. Flight often described as weak. Distinctive medium-sized rail, easily distinguished from sympatric rallids by combination of chestnut... read more


    Said to call infrequently. Has sharp whistle, repeated sharp “kerrek”, and noisy “ka-ka-ka”. Race... read more


    Wetlands of many types, including marshy meadows, reedmarsh, paddyfields, and mangroves. Also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Worms, molluscs, crustaceans, insects (including ants) and their larvae, spiders, and the seeds and shoots of marsh plants. Takes much food... read more


    India and Sri Lanka, Jun–Oct; Sumatra, Jun, Dec; Java, Jan–Jul and Sept–Nov, but most in Mar–May; Philippines, Aug... read more


    Normally regarded as resident and no regular movements recorded, but it is speculated that some... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Little recent information available: striata apparently uncommon, but very secretive, in Philippines. Formerly, ... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2020). Slaty-breasted Rail (Lewinia striata). 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 19 January 2020).