LOCAL MASK ORDER RESCINDED Read More
adult blue duiker

Duiker, Blue

Share:

Description

Blue duikers are one of the smallest antelope species in the world! They sometimes exhibit reverse sexual dimorphism, with females tending to be slightly larger than males. A fully grown male will weigh about 8.6 – 12 lbs (3.9 – 5.4 kg), while a full grown female will weigh about 8.4 – 16 lbs (3.8 – 7.3 kg). This is not quite as small as the royal antelope, which is the smallest antelope species, weighing in at around 4.4 – 6.6 lbs (2 – 3 kg).

There is substantial regional variation in the coat colors of the blue duiker, but their name comes from the blue sheen seen in the coats of some of the more northern populations. The southern populations tend to have more orange-brown on sections of their coat, especially their legs. This coat color is ideal for camouflaging into their forest habitats. Blue duikers stand on tiny stilt-like legs that have 2 small hooves at the bottom of each. They have a substantial preorbital gland on each side of their face, which will secrete a substance that they use to mark their territory and communicate with other duikers. They also have 2 small horns on their head, that are typically 1 – 4 in (2 – 10 cm) long in males, and may be shorter or occasionally absent in females.

Cover Photo: Adult blue duiker by Mark Pressler

Classification

Overview
The blue duiker is an antelope in the Cephalophini, or duiker tribe of bovids. The blue duiker has up to 16 proposed subspecies, although most taxonomists designate closer to 10 – 12 different subspecies.
Class
Mammalia
Order
Cetartiodactyla
Family
Bovidae
Tribe
Cephalophini
Genus
Philantomba
Species
P. monticola

Key Facts

Conservation Status
Least Concern
Lifespan
Up to 12 years old in the wild, average 10 – 15 under human care but a few individuals have lived into their mid 20s
Height
12 – 16 in (~30 – 40 cm)
Weight
Males 8.6 – 12 lbs (3.9 – 5.4 kg), females 8.4 – 16 lbs (3.8 – 7.3 kg)

The IUCN Red List describes the blue duiker as a species of Least Concern, meaning conservationists around the world are not currently worried about the continuation of this species. Due to their secretive nature, small size, and forest habitat, it is extremely difficult to make an accurate population estimate. A 1999 estimate placed their total population size at around 7 million individuals, but this is likely an underestimate.

Social Life
Living in monogamous pairs with their young, blue duikers are mostly active during the day, primarily at dawn and dusk. They defend territories patrolled by both sexes, regularly marking their scent throughout. When invaders are encountered or males are competing they ram one another repeatedly with their horns.

Habitat and Range
Blue duikers are found in a variety of forested habitats including rain forests, riverine forests, dense thickets, and montane forests. They are found in abundance throughout central and southern Africa.

Diet
Blue duikers are primarily herbivores eating fruit, leaves, buds, shoots, grains, nuts and grasses, but will also consume insects and eggs.

Predators
The small size of blue duikers leaves them vulnerable to many species, including but not limited to leopards, small cats, civets, eagles, crocodiles, wild dogs, pythons, monitors, baboons, hyenas, and humans.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 12-18 months, Female: 9-12 months
Mating Season: Year-round
Birth Season:     Year-round
Gestation:          7.5 months
No. of Young:     1, rarely twins

Information

Description

Blue duikers are one of the smallest antelope species in the world! They sometimes exhibit reverse sexual dimorphism, with females tending to be slightly larger than males. A fully grown male will weigh about 8.6 – 12 lbs (3.9 – 5.4 kg), while a full grown female will weigh about 8.4 – 16 lbs (3.8 – 7.3 kg). This is not quite as small as the royal antelope, which is the smallest antelope species, weighing in at around 4.4 – 6.6 lbs (2 – 3 kg).

There is substantial regional variation in the coat colors of the blue duiker, but their name comes from the blue sheen seen in the coats of some of the more northern populations. The southern populations tend to have more orange-brown on sections of their coat, especially their legs. This coat color is ideal for camouflaging into their forest habitats. Blue duikers stand on tiny stilt-like legs that have 2 small hooves at the bottom of each. They have a substantial preorbital gland on each side of their face, which will secrete a substance that they use to mark their territory and communicate with other duikers. They also have 2 small horns on their head, that are typically 1 – 4 in (2 – 10 cm) long in males, and may be shorter or occasionally absent in females.

Cover Photo: Adult blue duiker by Mark Pressler

Classification

Overview
The blue duiker is an antelope in the Cephalophini, or duiker tribe of bovids. The blue duiker has up to 16 proposed subspecies, although most taxonomists designate closer to 10 – 12 different subspecies.
Class
Mammalia
Order
Cetartiodactyla
Family
Bovidae
Tribe
Cephalophini
Genus
Philantomba
Species
P. monticola

Key Facts

Conservation Status
Least Concern
Lifespan
Up to 12 years old in the wild, average 10 – 15 under human care but a few individuals have lived into their mid 20s
Height
12 – 16 in (~30 – 40 cm)
Weight
Males 8.6 – 12 lbs (3.9 – 5.4 kg), females 8.4 – 16 lbs (3.8 – 7.3 kg)

The IUCN Red List describes the blue duiker as a species of Least Concern, meaning conservationists around the world are not currently worried about the continuation of this species. Due to their secretive nature, small size, and forest habitat, it is extremely difficult to make an accurate population estimate. A 1999 estimate placed their total population size at around 7 million individuals, but this is likely an underestimate.

Social Life
Living in monogamous pairs with their young, blue duikers are mostly active during the day, primarily at dawn and dusk. They defend territories patrolled by both sexes, regularly marking their scent throughout. When invaders are encountered or males are competing they ram one another repeatedly with their horns.

Habitat and Range
Blue duikers are found in a variety of forested habitats including rain forests, riverine forests, dense thickets, and montane forests. They are found in abundance throughout central and southern Africa.

Diet
Blue duikers are primarily herbivores eating fruit, leaves, buds, shoots, grains, nuts and grasses, but will also consume insects and eggs.

Predators
The small size of blue duikers leaves them vulnerable to many species, including but not limited to leopards, small cats, civets, eagles, crocodiles, wild dogs, pythons, monitors, baboons, hyenas, and humans.

Reproduction
Sexual maturity: Male: 12-18 months, Female: 9-12 months
Mating Season: Year-round
Birth Season:     Year-round
Gestation:          7.5 months
No. of Young:     1, rarely twins

adult blue duiker

Adult blue duiker by Mark Pressler

young blue duiker

Young blue duiker by Mark Pressler

adult blue duiker

Adult blue duiker by Mark Pressler