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
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
The pair-bond of rain quail is very strong (Johnsgard, 1988). (Johnsgard, 1988)
- Mating System
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)
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- 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
We do not have information on lifespan/longevity for this species at this time.
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)
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)
- Communication Channels
- Primary Diet
- Animal Foods
- Plant Foods
- seeds, grains, and nuts
We do not have information on predation for this species at this time.
Rain quail have an impact on the plants and insects they eat.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Sometimes, these quail are kept in aviaries.
- Positive Impacts
- pet trade
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known adverse affects of rain quail on humans.
Rain quail are not listed by either the IUCN or Cites.
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).
Alaine Camfield (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Janice Pappas (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Living in Australia, New Zealand, Tasmania, New Guinea and associated islands.
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.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
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.
union of egg and spermatozoan
- internal fertilization
fertilization takes place within the female's body
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).
makes seasonal movements between breeding and wintering grounds
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
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.
an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
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
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
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.
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.
uses sight to communicate
- young precocial
young are relatively well-developed when born
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.