Jun 7, 2017

The Grysbok Family


Edited: Jan 23, 2018


Cape Grysbok. (Raphicerus melanotis) Rowland Ward minimum: 3".

The Afrikaans "grys" refers to the appearance of grey hair mingling with the rich rufous hair on the back and sides which gives this species a wiry, grizzled appearance. A small, shy antelope with a thick-set body and a coarse coat of hair. Only males have horns. It stands 21"at the shoulder and adults weigh 22 lbs.

Predominantly a browser and not dependant of free water.

The Cape Grysbok is usually solitary, lying up during the heat of day and grazing and browsing at night.

It habituates the southern mountain valleys and scrub-covered flats of the Western and Eastern Cape Provinces in South Africa. It is endemic to the Fynbos Biome while Sharpe's Grysbok is similar in appearance and habit, but found in the Lebombo mountain range of north-eastern Mpumalanga and further north. The country in between these two extremes does not have any grysbok at all.



Sharpe's Grysbok (Raphicerus sharpei) Rowland Ward minimum: 1 3/8".

A shy antelope, It stands 19" at the shoulder and weighs 17 lbs. as an adult. Only rams have horns. Principally a browser, feeding on the leaves and young shoots of shrubs and bushes. Cultivated crops are also taken at night.

Because of its secretive nature very little has been recorded of this animal's habits.


It is usually solitary, lying up during the heat of day and grazing and browsing at night and early hours of the morning.


Found in the north-eastern Lebombo mountain range and further north.  Males and females have their own territories independent of each other and they mark territories by dung middens. They have been seen to take cover in burrows such as those of the Aardvark.



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