Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

Striped Flufftail (Sarothrura affinis)


French: Râle affin German: Streifenralle Spanish: Polluela estriada
Other common names: Red-tailed Flufftail

Crex affinis

A. Smith

, 1828,

Cape Province, South Africa


This species was formerly known as S. lineata, before current, earlier name came to light. Closely related to S. insularis. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. a. antonii Madarász & Neumann, 1911 – extreme S South Sudan S to E Zimbabwe.
  • S. a. affinis (A. Smith, 1828) – E & S South Africa and Swaziland.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; male 25–30 (28·5) g; wingspan 23–24 cm. Tail short and fluffy; upperparts heavily streaked whitish with yellowish wash. Most similar in... read more


    Vocal repertoire extensive. Song of male a hoot, lower-pitched than that of S. rufa,... read more


    Under existing climatic conditions, distribution essentially discontinuous and relict. Over most of... read more

    Food and feeding

    Takes insects, including beetles (Carabidae and Curculionidae), bugs, Diptera, Hempitera, adult and larval Lepidoptera, ants, termites,... read more


    Normally breeds during the rains. Sudan, breeding condition May; Kenya, May; Tanzania, Jan; Zambia, breeding condition Jan; Malawi, Apr;... read more


    Normally regarded as sedentary, with local movements when grassland habitat becomes too dry or is... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon in some parts of range, and classed as Rare in South African Red Data Book. Race antonii has not been recorded in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Striped Flufftail (Sarothrura affinis). 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).