Rostratula benghalensis   (Linnaeus,  1758) (Bird)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Aves

Image copyrights: Ron Saldino

Size: 25 cm.

Voice: When flushed makes explosive kek.

Habits: A crepuscular species, active in early morning, evening and night, solitary or in small flocks, forages by probing into mud, wags rear ends while feeding. Breeds almost throughout the year, but chiefly July to September, nests on grass padding hidden in thick vegetation.

Adult: Polyandrous, female larger than male, sexes more or less alike and difficult to distinguish in non-breeding season, a colourfully mottled snipe with long, flesh-pink bill, slightly downcurved at tip. Breeding (female). Head and neck chestnut with a broad, median and buff stripe on head down to bill, a pure white circle around and a short band behind the eye, remaining upperparts metallic bronze-green spotted and streaked with black and buff, broad white bands over shoulder to sides of breast, chin, throat and breast chestnut, lower breast blackish. Remaining underparts white. Breeding (male): Duller and lacking the chestnut and black on neck and breast. Juvenile: Similar to adult male but with white throat, lower throat and foreneck washed with brown, with some dusky streaks.

Nesting: Season- practically all year. Nest- a pad of rush stems on marshy ground or on bunds separating irrigated rice fields. Eggs- 3 or 4, yellowish stone color, blotched and streaked with brown.

Synonym (s)
Rallus benghalensis (Linnaeus, 1758)

Common Name (s)
• Greater Painted-Snipe (English)
• Painted Snipe (English)
• Rajchaha (Hindi)
• Ohadi (Hindi)
• Greater Painted Snipe (English)
• Bannada zellange (Kannada)
• Kalikata (Malayalam)
• Mayil ullan (Tamil)
• Pan lauva (Gujarati)
• Panlauva, Hirva panlauva, Rangit kekas, Chaha (Marathi)
Economic Importance and Threats

Habitat:  Estuarine
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Omnivorous, comprising molluscs, crustacean, aquatic insects and arable crops.
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Delhi, Okhla barrage bird sanctuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Chennai, Pallikaranai Wetlands INDIA
• Andhra Pradesh, Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary INDIA
• Tamil Nadu, Muthupet Mangroves (Lat: 10.33) (Long: 79.58) INDIA
• Orissa, Bhitarkanika INDIA
• Goa, Agarwaddo marshes INDIA (Record: 28/02/1988)
• Goa, Baga marsh INDIA
• Goa, Candolim marsh INDIA
• Goa, Nerul marsh INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.66) (Long: 76.55) INDIA
• Kerala, Vembanad Lake (Lat: 9.28) (Long: 76.31) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Kumar, A; Sati, JP; Tak, PC and Alfred, JRB (2005) Handbook on Indian wetland birds and their conservation Zoological Survey of India, Dehra Dun 468 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lainer, H (2004) Birds of Goa : A reference book The Goa Foundation, Goa 244 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ali, S (1977) The book of Indian birds Bombay Natural History Society 175 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Birds of India Available at -
  • Nameer, PO (2005) Wetlands and waterfowl conservation in kerala with special reference to Ramsar sites kerala environment congress 2005 Centre for environment and development 97-112 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Srinivasulu, C (2004) Birds of kawal wildlife sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh , India Journal of the Bombay Natural History Society 101(1) 3-25 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Ali S and Ripley SD (1969) Handbook of the birds of India and Pakistan Oxford university press 2 1-337pp Available at - NIO
  • Vernacular names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent Buceros, Envis newsletter: Avian Ecology & Inland Wetlands 62pp Available at -
  • Manakadan R and Pittie A (2001) Standardized English names of the Birds of the Indian Subcontinent BUCEROS Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetland 6(1) 26pp Available at -
  • Kumar A, sati JP and Tak CK (2003) Checklist of Indian Waterbids Buceros Envis Newsletter: Avian ecology and inland wetlands 8(1) 30pp Available at -
  • Deiva Oswin S (1999) Avifaunal diversity of Muthupet mangrove forest Zoo's print journal 14(6) 47-53 Available at -
  • Gopi GV and Pandav B (2007) Avifauna of Bhitarkanika Mangroves, India Zoo's print journal 22(10) 2839-2847pp Available at -
  • Rao VV, Anjaneyulu M, Nagulu V, Srinivasulu C and Satyanarayana D (2004) Water fowl Status at Coringa Wildlife Sanctuary, Andhra Pradesh EPTRI - ENVIS Newsletter 10(4) 7-12pp Available at -,%20No.4,%202004.pdf
  • Narayanan SP, Thomas AP and Sreekumar B (2011) Ornithofauna and its conservation in the Kuttanad wetlands, southern portion of Vembanad-Kole Ramsar site, India Journal of Threatened Taxa 3(4) 1663–1676 Available at -
  • Urfi AJ (2003) The birds of Okhla barrage bird sanctuary, Delhi, India Forktail 19 39-50pp Available at -

Page last updated on:2012-08-29

Back to Search