Blue Duiker

© Roger de la Harpe/Africa Imagery

Name

Blue duiker (Philantomba monticola)

Appearance

Measuring only 30 cm at the shoulders, the blue duiker is the smallest antelope in Southern Africa. Does (females) weigh approximately 4.7 kg, and buck (males) only 4 kg. Their coats are blue-gray in colour, and both sexes have short, sharp horns often covered by a tuft of hair.

Blue Duiker Diet

The blue duiker consumes fresh leaves and flowers, and fruits dropped from the forest canopy.

Blue Duiker Breeding

Blue duikers have no specific breeding season. Single fawns are born after a gestation period of approximately 210 days, weighing about 400 grams. The parents hide their young for the first few weeks after birth and drive them from their territory about 388 days later when the young have sexually matured.

Where they are found

Distributed widely across the continent, the blue duiker can be found from the Eastern Cape in South Africa to parts of West Africa. Due to its preference in habitat, they can only be found where there are indigenous evergreen forests. The species is classified as rare by the South African Red Data Book for Mammals.

Field Notes

Although primarily feeding on vegetation, blue duikers are omnivorous - known to eat insects and birds eggs. They are preyed on by eagles, particularly the crowned eagle monitoring the forest.