Coturnix coromandelicarain quail

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Geographic Range

Rain quail are found in India, Sri Lanka,and Myanmar. (Harper, 1986; Kuz'mina, 1992; Robbins, 1979)

Habitat

These quail are found in monsoonal areas (Finn, 1911) and open grasslands (Kuz'mina, 1992). They are terrestrial birds and are adapted to tropical areas (Harper, 1986). They may be found at heights of 2000 to 2500 m in the Himalayas (Johnsgard, 1988; Alderton, 1992). (Alderton, 1992; Finn, 1911; Harper, 1986; Johnsgard, 1988)

  • Range elevation
    2500 (high) m
    8202.10 (high) ft

Physical Description

Rain quail are approximately 15 cm (Robbins, 1979; Harper, 1986) to 16 cm (Alderton, 1992) in length. The male's wing and tail measurements are 93 to 96 mm and 29 to 32 mm, respectively. The females' wings are 90 to 97 mm and their tails are 28 to 31 mm (Johnsgard, 1988). Males have black throat markings and their breast feathers are buff with black streaking. The streaking becomes a patch as the bird increases in age (Finn, 1911). Females lack these markings (Harper, 1986). (Alderton, 1992; Harper, 1986; Robbins, 1979)

  • Sexual Dimorphism
  • sexes colored or patterned differently
  • Range length
    15 to 16 cm
    5.91 to 6.30 in

Reproduction

The pair-bond of rain quail is very strong (Johnsgard, 1988). (Johnsgard, 1988)

Breeding occurs during the wet season and depends on local rainfall patterns. Generally, rain quail breed from March to October. Their nests are constructed in standing crops or thin grasses in unlined hollows in the ground (Finn, 1911) and are sometimes hidden in scrub, low bush (Johnsgard, 1988), or grass (Alderton, 1992).

Clutch size is usually four to six eggs, occasionally more may be laid (Alderton, 1992). Sometimes more than one female lays eggs in a single nest. The eggs are approximately 27.4 mm by 20.8 mm and weigh 6.5 g (Johnsgard, 1988). Incubation usually lasts 16 (Alderton, 1992) to 17 days (Robbins, 1979), but may last 18 to 19 days (Johnsgard, 1988). The chicks remain with their parents for approximately eight months (Johnsgard, 1988). (Alderton, 1992; Finn, 1911; Johnsgard, 1988; Robbins, 1979)

  • Breeding interval
    Rain quail breed yearly
  • Breeding season
    March to October
  • Range eggs per season
    4 to 6
  • Range time to hatching
    16 (low) days
  • Average time to hatching
    19 days
  • Average time to independence
    8 months

Incubation usually lasts 16 (Alderton, 1992) to 17 days (Robbins, 1979), and may last 18 to 19 days (Johnsgard, 1988). Males sometimes become aggressive soon after the chicks hatch (Alderton, 1992). Males have been reported to help females in the care of the brood. Chicks are precocial and remain with their parents for approximately eight months (Johnsgard, 1988). (Alderton, 1992; Johnsgard, 1988; Robbins, 1979)

  • Parental Investment
  • no parental involvement
  • precocial
  • pre-fertilization
  • pre-hatching/birth
    • protecting
  • pre-weaning/fledging
    • provisioning
      • male
      • female

Lifespan/Longevity

We do not have information on lifespan/longevity for this species at this time.

Behavior

Rain quail are partially migratory, prefering, for example, the monsoon season in India and Myanmar. They shift their residence according to the rain, hence their common name (Finn, 1911). (Finn, 1911)

Home Range

We do not have information on the home range of this species at this time.

Communication and Perception

Males utter a two note call that sounds like "whit-whit" (Finn, 1911). (Finn, 1911)

Food Habits

Rain quail eat grass and weed seeds as well as small insects and insect larvae (Finn, 1911; Johnsgard, 1988; Alderton, 1992). (Alderton, 1992; Finn, 1911; Johnsgard, 1988)

  • Animal Foods
  • insects
  • Plant Foods
  • seeds, grains, and nuts

Predation

We do not have information on predation for this species at this time.

Ecosystem Roles

Rain quail have an impact on the plants and insects they eat.

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Sometimes, these quail are kept in aviaries.

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known adverse affects of rain quail on humans.

Conservation Status

Rain quail are not listed by either the IUCN or Cites.

Other Comments

Rain quail are also known as black-breasted quail (Finn, 1911). The earliest account of captive breeding is in England by Seth-Smith (Finn, 1911) in 1903 (Hopkinson, 1926; Alderton, 1992).

Rain quail are closely related to harlequin quail, Coturnix delegorguei (Johnsgard, 1988). (Alderton, 1992; Finn, 1911; Hopkinson, 1926)

Contributors

Alaine Camfield (editor), Animal Diversity Web.

Janice Pappas (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.

Glossary

Australian

Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.

World Map

acoustic

uses sound to communicate

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.

chemical

uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

endothermic

animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.

fertilization

union of egg and spermatozoan

internal fertilization

fertilization takes place within the female's body

iteroparous

offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).

migratory

makes seasonal movements between breeding and wintering grounds

monogamous

Having one mate at a time.

motile

having the capacity to move from one place to another.

mountains

This terrestrial biome includes summits of high mountains, either without vegetation or covered by low, tundra-like vegetation.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.

omnivore

an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals

oriental

found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

World Map

oviparous

reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.

pet trade

the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.

seasonal breeding

breeding is confined to a particular season

sexual

reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female

tactile

uses touch to communicate

terrestrial

Living on the ground.

tropical

the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.

savanna

A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.

visual

uses sight to communicate

young precocial

young are relatively well-developed when born

References

Alderton, D. 1992. The Atlas of Quails. Neptune City, NJ: T.F.H. Publications.

Finn, F. 1911. Game Birds of India and Asia. Calcutta: Thacker, Spink & Co.

Harper, D. 1986. Pet Birds for Home and Garden. London: Salamander Books Ltd.

Hopkinson, E. 1926. Records of Birds Bred in Captivity. London: H.F. & G. Witherby.

Johnsgard, P. 1988. The Quails, Partridges, and Francolins of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Kuz'mina, M. 1992. Tetraonidae and Phasianidae of the USSR: Ecology and Morphology. Washington, D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Libraries.

Robbins, G. 1979. Quail in captivity. Avicultural Magazine, 85(4): 217-223.