Salt's dik-dik

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Salt's dik-dik
Рыжебрюхий дикдик 1.jpg
Mounted M. saltiana phillipsi
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Genus: Madoqua
Species: M. saltiana
Binomial name
Madoqua saltiana
Desmarest, 1816

Salt's dik-dik (Madoqua saltiana) is a small antelope found in semidesert, bushland and thickets in the Horn of Africa, but marginally also in northern Kenya and eastern Sudan.[1]

Description[edit]

Salt's sik-dik are 52–67 cm (20–26 in) long, 33–41 cm (13–16 in) high and weigh 2.5–4.0 kg (5.5–8.8 lb).[2] As in other dik-diks, the small, pointed horns are only present in the male.[3] The colour varies significantly depending on the subspecies.

Taxonomy[edit]

Together with the closely related silver dik-dik, this species forms the subgenus Madoqua in the genus Madoqua (other dik-diks are also in the genus Madoqua, but the subsgenus Rhynchotragus).[4][5] The taxonomy of this subgenus is complex and a matter of dispute. Today, the most widely used treatment is based on a review in 1978,[6][7] but a significantly different treatment was presented in a review in 1972.[4] Following the review in 1978, the silver dik-dik is treated as a separate monotypic species, and the Salt's dik-dik has five subspecies:[2][7]

  • M. s. saltiana: Found from northern Ethiopia to Eritrea and far eastern Sudan, it is relatively large with a reddish-grey back.
  • M. s. hararensis: Found in the Hararghe region in eastern Ethiopia, it has a gingery back and dark red flanks.
  • M. s. lawrenci: Found in eastern and southeastern Somalia, it has a silvery back and russet flanks.
  • M. s. phillipsi: Found in northern Somalia, its back is grey and the flanks are orange.
  • M. s. swaynei: Found in the Jubba Valley region of southern Ethiopia, southern Somalia and far northern Kenya, its back is brown-grey.

In 2003, each of the above was proposed to represent an evolutionary species,[8] but at present, most maintain them as subspecies.[1][7] The review in 1972 differed significantly from the above. Under that treatment, three species are recognized in the subgenus Madoqua: Salt's sik-dik (M. saltiana with the subspecies saltiana and cordeauxi), Phillip's dik-dik (M. phillipsi with the subspecies phillipsi, gubanensis, hararensis and lawrencei) and Swayne's dik-dik (M. swaynei with the subspecies swaynei, erlangeri and piancentinii).[4] Of these taxa, cordeauxi, gubanensis and erlangeri were considered entirely invalid in 1978.[6]

Behavior[edit]

Salt's dik-dik are shy animals. They are active at night and dusk to avoid the midday heat, and are considered crepuscular. Dominant dik-dik flare their crests. The animals are most often found in pairs and small groups, and Salt's dik-dik mainly eat leaves and shoots of acacia trees. Not much is known about the species' reproduction behavior.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Heckel, J.-O., Wilhelmi, F., Kaariye, X.Y., Rayaleh, H.A. & Amir, O.G. (2008). Madoqua saltiana. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 29 March 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
  2. ^ a b Kingdon, J. (1997). The Kingdon Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press. ISBN 0-12-408355-2
  3. ^ Haltenorth, T., and H. Diller (1980). Mammals of African including Madagascar'. HarperCollins. ISBN 0 00 219778 2
  4. ^ a b c Ansell, W. F. H. (1972). Order Artiodactyla. Part 15. Pp. 1-84. in: Meester, J., and H. W. Setzer, eds (1972). The mammals of Africa: An identification manualSmithsonian Institution Press, Washington, D.C.
  5. ^ Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  6. ^ a b Yalden, D. (1978). A revision of the dik-diks of the subgenus Madoqua (Madoqua). Monitore Zoologico Italiano, n.s. suppl. 11: 245-264.
  7. ^ a b c Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  8. ^ Cotterill, F. P. D. 2003. Species concepts and the real diversity of antelopes. in: Plowman, A., eds (2003). Proceedings of the Ecology and Conservation of Mini-antelope: An International Symposium on Duiker and Dwarf Antelope in Africa. Filander Verlag: Füürth. pp. 59-118.

External links[edit]