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Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Subtribe: Bubalina
Genus: Bubalus
C. H. Smith, 1827

Bubalus arnee
Bubalus bubalus
Bubalus depressicornis
Bubalus mindorensis
Bubalus quarlesi

Bubalus is a genus of bovines that was proposed by Charles Hamilton Smith in 1827. This genus comprises the following living species:[1]

The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and classification of domestic animals as species, subspecies, races or breeds has been discussed controversially for many years and was inconsistent between authors.[2] Assessors of the Food and Agriculture Organization consider domestic water buffalo populations as breeds.[3]


Bubalus skull
Kidney of a Bubalus

Smith described Bubalus as low in proportion to the bulk with very solid limbs, a small dewlap and a long, slender tail; the head is large with a strong convex-shaped narrow forehead, large eyes and funnel-shaped ears; horns are lying flat or bending laterally with a certain direction to the rear; the female udder has four mammae.[4] Lydekker added that the line of back is nearly straight with 13 pairs of ribs; the tail is tufted and reaching about to the hocks; the horns are more or less markedly triangular for the greater part of their length and situated low down on the skull; the muzzle is broad, and the hair sparse in adults.[5]

Fossil species[edit]

Bubalus murrensis horns

The following extinct fossil species have been described:

  • Cebu tamaraw Bubalus cebuensis Croft, Heaney, Flynn and Bautista, 2006[6]
  • Short-horned water buffalo Bubalus mephistopheles Hopwood, 1925[7]
  • European water buffalo Bubalus murrensis Berckhemer, 1927[8]
  • Long-horned Javan water buffalo Bubalus palaeokerabau E. Dubois, 1908[9]
  • Bubalus grovesi Rozzi, 2017[10]

Valid names[edit]

The 2013 checklist of the Catalogue of Life lists as "accepted" five species binomina in the genus Bubalus:

  • Bubalus bubalis Linnaeus, 1758
  • Bubalus depressicornis Smith, 1827
  • Bubalus mephistopheles Hopwood, 1925
  • Bubalus mindorensis Heude, 1888
  • Bubalus quarlesi Ouwens, 1910

Bubalus arnee is not listed here.[11]

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System lists the same five species binomina as valid; it also lists as valid six subspecies of Bubalus bubalis:[12]

  • Bubalus bubalis arnee Kerr, 1792
  • Bubalus bubalis bubalis Linnaeus, 1758
  • Bubalus bubalis fulvus Blanford, 1891
  • Bubalus bubalis kerabau Fitzinger, 1860
  • Bubalus bubalis migona Deraniyagala, 1952
  • Bubalus bubalis theerapati Groves, 1996

The specific epithet bubalus[edit]

Several species in a number of different genera have bubalus as a specific epithet. They include:[11]


  1. ^ Groves, C.; Grubb, P. (2011). Ungulate Taxonomy. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 1421400936.
  2. ^ Gentry, A.; Clutton-Brock, J.; Groves, C. P. (2004). "The naming of wild animal species and their domestic derivatives" (PDF). Journal of Archaeological Science. 31: 645–651.
  3. ^ FAO (2013). Breeds from species: Buffalo. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.
  4. ^ Smith, C. H. (1827). "Sub-genus I. Bubalus". In Griffith, E. (ed.). The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organization. Class Mammalia, Volume 5. London: Geo. B. Whittaker. pp. 371−373.
  5. ^ Lydekker, R. (1913). "Subgenus Bubalus". Catalogue of the ungulate mammals in the British Museum (Natural History). London: British Museum (Natural History). p. 40.
  6. ^ Croft, D. A., Heaney, L. R., Flynn, J. J., Bautista, A. P. (2006). Fossil remains of a new, diminutive Bubalus (Artiodactyla: Bovidae: Bovini) from Cebu island, Philippines. Journal of Mammalogy 87(#5): 1037–1051.
  7. ^ Hopwood, A. T. (1925). A new species of buffalo from the Pleistocene of China. Annals and Magazine of Natural History. Series 9, Vol. XVI: 238–239.
  8. ^ Schreiber, H. D., Munk, W. (2002). A skull fragment of Bubalus murrensis (Berckhemer, 1927) (Mammalia, Bovinae) from the Pleistocene of Bruchsal-Buchenau (NE-Karlsruhe, SW-Germany). Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie (12): 737–748.
  9. ^ http://fossilworks.org/bridge.pl?a=taxonInfo&taxon_no=162371.
  10. ^ Rozzi, Roberto. (2017). A new extinct dwarfed buffalo from Sulawesi and the evolution of the subgenus Anoa: An interdisciplinary perspective. Quaternary Science Reviews 157: 188-205.
  11. ^ a b Roskov Y., Kunze T., Paglinawan L., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Culham A., Bailly N., Kirk P., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Hernandez F., De Wever A., eds (2013). Bubalus. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2013 Annual Checklist. Reading, UK.
  12. ^ ITIS Results of: Search in every Kingdom for Scientific Name containing 'Bubalus' Archived March 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed january 2014.

See also[edit]