Cape Grysbok

Cape Grysbok, Kaapse Grysbok, Raphicerus melanotis
Cape Grysbok (Kaapse Grysbok - Raphicerus melanotis)
English: Cape Grysbok
Afrikaans: Kaapse Grysbok
Scientific: Raphicerus melanotis

A small antelope with a reddish-brown color and distinct white hair spread over the majority of the body. Only the males have horns, which are small and straight. Large, fairly wide, ears. The scent glands are often clearly visible near the eyes. The belly is not white. No prominent tail. Often walks or stands with a hunched posture (especially towards the hind legs).

Prefers dense vegetation for food and cover. Often found in the vicinity of water, but not dependent on having access to water. Limited to coastal fynbos and mountain slopes in the southern parts of the Western Cape province of South Africa. Spreading north along the coast and east into the Eastern Cape.

Unique Features
  • Distribution
    • The distribution ranges of the Cape Grysbok and Sharpe's Grysbok don't come close to overlapping, making it easy to know which species can be found in the area.
  • Grey Hair
    • The two Grysbok species are the only antelope with a reddish-brown coat with lots of white hair in between fur.
  • No White Belly
    • The underparts of the animal does not show prominent white areas. (Some white can be visible deep inside the flanks of the legs, but it is not prominent compared to other species.)

Compared To Similar Species
  • Steenbok
    • The Steenbok has a distinctly visible white belly, especially noticeable under the tail.
    • The Steenbok prefer much more open habitat than the Cape Grysbok.
    • The Steenbok does not have grey hair on the body.
  • Sharpe's Grysbok
    • Easily separated based on distribution ranges, with Sharpe's Grysbok occurring in the north-eastern parts of southern Africa, and the Cape Grysbok in the south-west.
    • Sharps' Grysbok has a somewhat lighter body color, and has slightly more cream or whitish areas on the belly.
  • Common Duiker
    • The Common Duiker is much larger, has a more noticeable (black and white) tail.
    • The Common Duiker has longer, thinner ears.
    • The Common Duiker does not have white hair grizzled over the body.
    • The Common Duiker has black markings in the lower legs and top of the nose.