Family Rails, Gallinules, Coots (Rallidae)

Least Concern

White-throated Rail (Dryolimnas cuvieri)


French: Râle de Cuvier German: Cuvierralle Spanish: Rascón de Cuvier

Rallus Cuvieri


, 1845,



Sometimes included in genus Canirallus, but skeletally very close to Lewinia pectoralis, with which sometimes considered congeneric. Two extant subspecies, aldabranus flightless, recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. c. aldabranus (Günther, 1879) – Aldabra Rail – Aldabra Is, in W Indian Ocean.
  • D. c. abbotti (Ridgway, 1894) – Assumption I, in Aldabra Group (recently extinct).
  • D. c. cuvieri (Pucheran, 1845) – White-throated Rail – Madagascar; formerly also Mauritius.
  • Descriptive notes

    30–33 cm; volant race cuvieri, male 276 g, female 258 g; flightless race aldabranus, male 145–218 (189) g, female 138–223 (176) g. Fairly... read more


    Rather vocal. Contact call a muffled staccato grunt “mp”, often followed by “yeah... read more


    Inhabits a wide variety of diverse habitats on Madagascar: forest with luxuriant herbaceous ground... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet consists chiefly of invertebrates, including small molluscs, ghost crabs and many types of insect, including flies, beetles, termites... read more


    In Madagascar, possibly breeds mostly during rains, laying Oct, Feb, Mar, and breeding condition Nov, Jan; on Aldabra lays Dec. Monogamous... read more


    On Aldabra populations may be transient to some degree, and large numbers of birds may be attracted... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Race aldabranus has been considered Rare. Abundant over much of range in Madagascar but generally appears to be rarer on... read more

    Recommended citation

    Taylor, B. (2019). White-throated Rail (Dryolimnas cuvieri). 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 15 November 2019).