The Coots, which constitute this, genus, are distinguished by having their long toes fringed by a broad membrane divided into convex lobes corresponding to the phalanges, and by the tarsus, which is considerably shorter than the mid-toe without claw, bearing a membranous fringe behind. The bill is of moderate length, compressed, and rather deep, terminating on the forehead in a frontal disk of varying form. The plumage of all species is dark grey or blackish. Sexes alike.
This genus is nearly cosmopolitan and includes about 12 species, of which one is Indian.