Chimp & See Talk

Identifying Duikers

  • Quia by Quia moderator

    We see so many Duikers on Chimp & See, you'd be forgiven for thinking the project is about them, not chimps! When annotating videos, we identify two individual species, Jentink's and Zebra Duikers, and three groups, Red, Small Grey, and Dark Duikers, and the field guide is pretty good at helping you figure out which category a duiker fits into... Some of us like to dig a little deeper, though, and that's what this guide is for.

    Each species has a bit of information about it, and of course, pictures and videos! The size given is height at the shoulders.

    Jentink's Duiker

    Jentink's Duiker Cephalophus jentinki #jentinks_duiker

    Sites: 5-8, 12

    Nocturnal, 80 cm, black and white.

    Jentink's Duikers are mostly gray, with a black head and neck, and a white band across the shoulders and down the front leg. Similar in size to the Yellow Backed Duiker, the white shoulder band is the most distinguishing characteristic.

    Zebra Duiker

    Zebra Duiker Cephalophus zebra #zebra_duiker

    Sites: 5-8, 12

    Diurnal, 40-50 cm, red with black stripes

    The Zebra Duiker is reddish brown with distinct black vertical stripes across most of its body. The legs have black markings near the knees and feet.

    Small Grey Duiker

    There are two species in this group, and they are not always gray! Maxwell's duiker is freqently a dull brown, whereas the blue duiker is more often a slate blue-gray.

    Maxwell's Duiker Philantomba maxwellii #small_grey_duiker

    Sites: 3-8, 12

    Diurnal, 35-42 cm, gray-brown.

    Maxwell's Duiker has a coat colour varying from gray to gray-brown, with white markings on the face around the eyes. Its most distinctive feature is the wide tail with a dull white fringe, that it flaps up and down almost constantly. They often travel in mated pairs, with or without young.

    Blue Duiker Philantomba monticola #small_grey_duiker

    Sites: 1-2

    Diurnal, 30-40 cm, gray.

    The Blue Duiker lacks the white facial markings of the Maxwell's Duiker, and has a distinct blueish tint to its coat colour, with lighter underbelly fur. The white fringe on the tail is brighter than on Maxwell's duiker. They often travel in mated pairs, with or without young.

    Dark Duiker

    The two species in this group are very different from each other in size and secondary colours, but both are nearly entirely black.

    Yellow Backed Duiker Cephalophus silvicultor #yellow_backed

    Sites: 1-8

    Mostly nocturnal, 65-80 cm, black with yellow markings.

    The Yellow Backed duiker is a solid dark brown-black, except for a yellow triangle on its back, pale markings on the muzzle and ears, and a red tuft of hair between the horns. Similar in size to the Jentink's Duiker, when the back triangle is not visible, they can be told apart by the solid colouration of the Yellow Backed Duiker.

    Black Duiker Cephalophus niger #black_duiker

    Sites: 5-8, 12

    Diurnal, 45-50 cm, black and red.

    The Black Duiker is black, with a red head and neck, and a white tip on the tail. When seen in black and white videos, its body is much darker than similarly sized red duikers.

    Red Duiker

    Finally, the red duikers! This list is by no means exhaustive, but it does cover the mostly commonly seen species, and a few of the less common ones. If it doesn't look like one of the species in the above categories, it's a red duiker.

    Bay Duiker Cephalophus dorsalis #bay_duiker

    Sites: 1-8, 12

    Nocturnal, 45-52 cm, dark brown and black

    Bay Duikers have a strongly defined black dorsal stripe that is continuous from the blaze down the face, all the way to the tip of the tail. When seen in the daylight, their coat is a dark brown, and they have distinct white spots over the eyes. When born they are completely dark, and slowly lighten up. Juveniles may have irregular black markings on their coats.

    Brooke's Duiker Cephalophus brookei #brookes_duiker

    Sites: 4-8, 12

    Diurnal, 55 cm, buff-gold and black.

    Brooke's Duikers have a strongly defined black dorsal stripe that starts at the shoulders, and narrows to a point before the tail, with no blaze on the face. Their coat colour varies from a dull buff to a brighter, almost orange gold.

    Bush Duiker, Common Duiker, Gray Duiker Sylvicapra grimmia #bush_duiker

    Sites: 11

    Diurnal, 45-60 cm, gray-buff

    There are 19 subspecies of the ‘common duiker,’ ranging from gray to reddish brown in colour. Whatever their coat colour, their belly tends to be lighter, and they may have black and white markings on the face and tail.

    Red-flanked Duiker Cephalophus rufilatus #red-flanked_duiker

    Sites: 11

    Diurnal, 30-40 cm, red-brown and black

    Red-flanked Duikers have a wide, fuzzy edged, black dorsal stripe that continues down the entirely black tail. Their coat is bright reddish brown, and their legs are black. They have a dark blaze down the face, and dark muzzles, with a long tuft of black hair on the forehead between the horns.