Caudal flagging in muntjaks (Muntiacus), relative to comparable bovids

Muntjaks (Cervidae: Muntiacus) occur in southern and East Asia. They are comparable with duikers (Bovidae: Cephalophus), which occur in Africa.

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/51907267

Muntiacus feae
https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-fea-muntjac-deer-s-tenasserim-muntiacus-feae-rare-species-native-to-china-laos-myanmar-thailand-image51955354 and https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-fea-muntjac-deer-s-tenasserim-muntiacus-feae-rare-species-native-to-china-laos-myanmar-thailand-image51955105

Muntiacus reevesi
https://www.dreamstime.com/stunning-stag-muntjac-deer-muntiacus-reevesi-feeding-edge-woodland-beautiful-stag-muntjac-deer-muntiacus-reevesi-image139600368

Muntiacus vaginalis
https://www.dreamstime.com/southern-red-muntjac-crossing-path-forest-kaziranga-deer-species-native-to-south-asia-southern-red-image286131596

However, there is a categorical difference between muntjaks and duikers, w.r.t. caudal flagging.

In muntjaks, the tail is relatively large, with white pelage on its ventral side (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41672710 and https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-muntjac-deer-muntiacus-reevesi-tail-uplifted-visual-signal-of-apprehension-27334104.html).

The white extends variably around the perineum and on to the inner surface of the upper hind legs (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/196475597 and https://www.dreamstime.com/side-profile-barking-deer-muntjac-indian-muntjac-red-muntjac-muntiacus-muntjak-antler-winter-season-evening-image290333571).

The white surface is starkly displayed by erecting the tail.

Muntiacus reevesi (https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-chinese-muntjac-muntiacus-reevesi-also-known-as-reeves-s-wildlife-animal-image56542499 and https://newforestguide.uk/biodiversity/new-forest-deer/muntjac-deer/):

displayed when fleeing

https://www.alamy.com/stock-photo-muntjac-deer-running-away-showing-white-flash-under-tail-21609669.html

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/194582416

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/193973921

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/106546121

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/80361071

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/48649354

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41828696

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/10593946

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/203262951

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/153367326

https://www.alamy.com/rear-view-of-a-muntjac-deer-with-its-tail-up-in-the-forest-of-dean-image416053307.html

displayed by infants and juveniles during suckling

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/46359553

Muntiacus vaginalis:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/110068081

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-muntjac-national-park-photo-taken-resting-tree-image89607003

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-muntjac-national-park-photo-taken-resting-tree-image89606944

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photo-muntjac-national-park-photo-taken-resting-tree-image89606982

Posted on April 01, 2024 05:18 PM by milewski milewski

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