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Bushbuck female.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Genus: Tragelaphus
T. scriptus
Binomial name
Tragelaphus scriptus
(Pallas, 1766)

The bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) is the nominate taxon of the bushbuck. It is a small to medium-sized antelope widespread in Africa. The Cape bushbuck is a southern and eastern subspecies which is recognised by some authors, which found evidence to consider the northern and southern populations to belong to a different subspecies in 2007.[1][2]


19 genetically-based groupings were found in a 2007 study, some do not correspond to previously described subspecies, eight of these were grouped under the nominate taxon. Former subspecies included as synonyms to the nominate taxon are phaleratus, bor and dodingae.[3]

As the first of the bushbucks to be described by Pallas in 1766 as Antilope scripta from Senegal, it retains the original species name for the bushbuck.


Bushbucks in general smaller are than other tragelaphines, with a mainly red or yellow-brown ground colour. According to Moodley et al., the males of the West African population are more often striped than those in East or Southern Africa, although bushbuck with striping occur throughout the range.


The nominate taxon occurs in Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Ghana and in the Niger Basin in Nigeria as far east as the Cross River, south of the Bamenda Highlands through Cameroon, Chad, the Central African Republic to the Nile in South Sudan (?) and northern Uganda, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo to northern Angola.[3]


It is common across its broad geographic distribution and is found in wooded savannas, forest-savanna mosaics, rainforests, in montane forests and semi-arid zones. It does not occur in the deep rainforests of the central Congo Basin.


  1. ^ Moodley Y, Bruford MW, Bleidorn C, Wronski T, Apio A, Plath M (2008) Analysis of mitochondrial DNA data reveals non-monophyly in the bushbuck (Tragelaphus scriptus) complex. Mammalian Biology, doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2008.05.003
  2. ^ Wronski T, Moodley Y. (2009) Bushbuck, harnessed antelope or both? Gnusletter, 28(1):18-19.
  3. ^ a b Moodley Y, Bruford MW. (2007) Molecular biogeography: Towards an integrated framework for conserving pan-African biodiversity. PLoS ONE. 2:e454.