Rallus Linn., Syst. Nat., 10th ed., p. 153, Jan. 1758.
Type, Rallus aquaticus Linn.
In this genus the bill is as long as the tarsus or a little longer, straight or slightly curved and compressed; the nostrils are linear and are placed in an elongate groove on each side of the mandible. The wings are short, the second quill usually longest, the first between the sixth and eighth. The tail is short. The tarsus is slender; shorter than the middle toe in the typical species and always shorter than the middle toe and claw; the toes are long, slender and free. The feathers of the forehead bristly.
The genus is almost cosmopolitan and one species is represented in India,