Antelope Hybrids

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Mammalian Hybrids



Thompson's gazelle
Thompson's gazelle

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Note: Engel (2004) says that "All oryx species will interbreed readily with each other and with addax Addax nasomaculatus, and oryx hybrids are usually fertile."

Addax nasomaculatus [Addax]
× Oyrx dammah (♂) [Scimitar-horned Oryx] CHR. HPF(♀♀). Hybrids are large bodied like an oryx and have oryx-like horns, but in coat color and body shape they are obviously similar to an addax. At Berlin Tierpark a female hybrid of this type produced offspring with an Arabian oryx (Wakefield in Engel 2004). Formerly, these animals were in breeding contact in northern Africa, but O. dammah is extinct in the wild, and A. nasomaculatus, critically endangered. Hybrids of this type are similar enough to addax that they have actually been sold as such. Dolan 1976; Engel 2004; Grimwood 1967; Kingdon and Hoffmann 2013; International Zoo Yearbook 1981 (p. 206); Mungall and Sheffield 1994; Ruhe 1993.

Note: Two forms of impala, melampus and petersi are treated as races of Aepyceros melampus, but formerly as separate species (Common Impala and Black-faced Impala, respectively). In Namibia, they formerly had disjunct ranges. However, they have been brought together on farms where Green and Rothstein (1998, p. 477) say “About 25% of privately owned black-faced impala (300 individuals on 10 farms are now in mixed herds with common impalas and, apparently, hybrids.” Moreover, common impalas have been moved to farms adjacent to the remaining range of the endangered Black Impala (i.e., the Etosha and Kaokaland populations) and are considered to pose a threat through escape and hybridization. The ban on U.S. import of Black-faced Impala trophies has increased the rate of hybridization on farms because farmers are less motivated to prevent their stocks from hybridizing.

Aepyceros melampus [Impala]
+ Damaliscus lunatus [Common Tsessebe | Sassaby | Topi] A wild Tsessebe at Sandibe (Okavango Delta, Botswana) was reported to be sexually imprinted on impalas, but no actual hybrid was reported. Anonymous 2002.

Note: Two populations (lelwel, swaynei), treated as races of Alcelaphus buselaphus, hybridize in southwestern Ethiopia, north of Lake Stephanie. The hybrid was described under the name rothschildi and is known as Newman’s Hartebeest. The Kenyan Highland Hartebeest is a hybrid between cokei and lelwel. Ansell 1972 (p. 53); Groves and Grubb 2011 (p. 211); Kingdon 1982 (pp. 503, 507). Internet Citations: ALBUS.

topi-hartebeest hybrid
Skull of a hartebeest-sassaby hybrid (Selous 1893)

Alcelaphus buselaphus [Hartebeest]
× Damaliscus lunatus [Common Tsessebe | Sassaby | Topi] NHR. A notice that appeared in the Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London for 1893 describes a hybrid of this type: “Mr. F. C. Selous, C.M.Z.S., exhibited the skull of an Antelope believed to be a hybrid between the Sassaby (Bubalis lunata) and the Hartebeest (B. caama), which he had transmitted to the British Museum in 1890, and read the following letter which he had addressed to Dr. Günther on the subject, dated Tati River Matabeleland, March 23rd, 1890:— ‘I am sending you the skull of a very curious animal which would puzzle you immensely if I did not tell you what it was. It is the skull of a male cross-bred animal between a Tsessebe Antelope (Bubalis lunata) and a Hartebeest (B. caama), the father probably being one of the former Antelopes and the mother one of the latter. This animal was shot a few miles from here, between the Tati and Shashi rivers, by my old friend Cornelius van Rooyen, the well-known Boer hunter. You will see that the skull of this animal closely resembles that of a Hartebeest, whilst the horns are neither like those of a Hartebeest nor those of a Tsessebe, but partake of the characters of both, standing, nearly straight up from the skull as in the Hartebeest, but yet being slightly lunate in form and ringed as in the Tsessebe. As regards the animal itself, van Rooyen tells me that the colour of its skin on the body, head, and legs was precisely the same as in an ordinary Tsessebe but that it had the comparatively large bushy tail of a Hartebeest. When it ran, it ran with its tail held out as Hartebeests do, and with the light springy gallop of those animals. There can I think be no doubt in the mind of any rational being that this curious animal is a cross between the Hartebeest and Tsessebe Antelopes.… P.S. You will notice that the prominent rings on the horns I am sending you agree with those which are present just at the backward turn of the horns of a Hartebeest.’” Selous 1893.
× Damaliscus pygargus [Bontebok | Blesbok] NHR. CON: South Africa. Kettlitz 1967; Robinson et al. 1991, 2000. Internet Citation: FLIK69.
× Sigmoceros lichtensteinii [Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest] CAONHR(e Africa). Parapatric contact zone (northern Tanzania). Rogers notes the occurrence of numerous probable natural hybrids. These taxa have sometimes been treated as conspecific. However, many workers have placed them in separate genera since Vrba (1979, p. 223) first did so. International Zoo Yearbook 1972 (p. 342); Kingdon 1982 (pp. 503, 507); Rogers (in Sale 1977); Ruxton and Schwarz 1929.

Alcelaphus cokii [Coke's Hartebeest]
× Alcelaphus lelwel [Lelwel Hartebeest] ENHR(e Africa). A hybrid zone exists in the northeastern Rift Valley. Taxa based on hybrids from this zone include keniae, kongoni and nakurae. Groves and Grubb 2011 (p. 211); Heller 1913; Ruxton and Schwarz 1929.

Alcelaphus lelwel [Lelwel Hartebeest]
See also: Alcelaphus cokii.
× Alcelaphus tora [Tora Hartebeest] ENHR(e Africa). A hybrid zone extends from the eastern shore of Lake Turkana northward to the Dinder river at the border between Sudan and Ethiopia. Taxa based on hybrids from this zone include digglei, neumanni and rahatenis (although Grubb expresses doubts about the hybrid status of neumanni). Groves and Grubb 2011 (p. 211); Rothschild, W. 1897; Ruxton and Schwarz 1929.

Antilope cervicapra [Blackbuck]
× Gazella dorcas (♂) [Dorcas Gazelle] CHR. Three hybrids, two males and a female, were produced, in three separate pregnancies, at the Marseilles Zoo in 1862. The hybrids reached adulthood. Lapommeraye provides a detailed physical description of one of the males. It partook of the features of both the sire and the dam. Lapommeraye 1862.
× Gazella subgutturosa [Goitered Gazelle] A hybrid was born at the Dublin Zoo on Aug. 20th, 1899. Anonymous 1900 (p. 52); Peel 1903 (p. 229). Internet:
× Gazella thomsonii (♂) [Thomson’s Gazelle] CHR. DRS. International Zoo Yearbook 1978 (p. 402).

Cephalophus callipygus [Peters’ Duiker]
× Cephalophus harveyi [Harvey’s Duiker] ONHR(southwestern Kenya). Hybrids occur on the Mau escarpment. Intermediate specimens were described as a species (C. ignifer). Kingdon 1982 (pp. 278, 297, 305).

Cephalophus dorsalis [Bay Duiker]
× Cephalophus rufilatus (♂) [Red-flanked Duiker] CHR. Parapatric contact in eastern and central Africa. A hybrid was born in the Zoological Gardens of London on Jan. 25, 1869. Flower 1929a (p. 280).
× Cephalophus zebra (♀)[Zebra Duiker] CHR. CON: Liberia (and adjacent Côte d’Ivoire and Sierra Leone). Frädrich 1964; International Zoo Yearbook 1962 (p. 237), 1988 (p. 481).

Cephalophus harveyi [Harvey’s Duiker]
See also: Cephalophus callipygus.
× Cephalophus natalensis [Natal Duiker] ONHR(w Tanzania). Kingdon 1982 (pp. 278, 297).
× Cephalophus nigrifrons [Black-fronted Duiker] ACZ at ~3,000 m (central Kenya). C. nigrifrons occurs above C. harveyi. No hybrids as yet reported. Kingdon 1982 (pp. 278).

Cephalophus maxwelli [Maxwell’s Duiker]
× Cephalophus monticola [Blue Duiker] CHR. Parapatric contact zone (Nigeria). A hybrid was born at the London Zoo in March, 1862. Another was born a hundred years later, in 1961 in Paris. Flower 1929a (p. 280); International Zoo Yearbook 1962 (p. 269).

Cephalophus monticola [Blue Duiker] See: Cephalophus maxwelli.

Cephalophus natalensis [Natal Duiker]
See also: Cephalophus harveyi
× Sylvicapra grimmia (♀) [Common Duiker] CHR. A newborn hybrid died soon after birth. Bigalke 1932.

Cephalophus nigrifrons [Black-fronted Duiker]
See also: Cephalophus harveyi.
× Cephalophus rubidus [Ruwenzori Duiker] NHR. CON: S. Africa (Kwa Zulu-Natal). Kingdon notes the occurrence of suspected hybrids in the Ruwenzoris, and perhaps also (sight records) in the North Kigezi. Kingdon 1982 (p. 292).
× Sylvicapra grimmia [Common Duiker] CHR. Pretoria Zoo had a hybrid in 1963. International Zoo Yearbook 1965.

Cephalophus rubidus [Ruwenzori Duiker] See: Cephalophus nigrifrons.

Cephalophus rufilatus [Red-flanked Duiker] See:Cephalophus dorsalis.

Cephalophus zebra [Zebra Duiker] See: Cephalophus dorsalis.

Connochaetes gnou [Black Wildebeest]
× Connochaetes taurinus [Blue Wildebeest] CAENHR. CON: South Africa (e.g., Kwa Zulu-Natal). HPF. In these similar animals, even F₁ hybrids are hard to detect. Grobler et al. say that "the entire national black wildebeest population of South Africa potentially contains a significant proportion of introgressed blue wildebeest genes." East 1998; Fabricius et al. 1988; Grobler et al. 2005; Sidney 1965; von Richter 1974; Zukowsky 1967. Internet Citations: KZN.

Connochaetes taurinus [Blue Wildebeest] See: Connochaetes gnou.

Damaliscus lunatus [Common Tsessebe | Sassaby | Topi] (2n=38) See: Aepyceros melampus.

Damaliscus pygargus [Bontebok | Blesbok] (2n=36) See also: Alcelaphus buselaphus. The Bontebok (D. p. dorcas) and Blesbok (D. p. phillipsi) are a taxonomic muddle. They were treated as separate species until the 1950s, when they were lumped, a decision prompted at least in part by reports of hybridization. They were treated as races of D. dorcas, which was recently renamed D. pygargus. Some authorities still place both under D. dorcas. Hybrids have been produced in captivity and are so numerous in South African nature reserves that they are culled in efforts to maintain the pure types. The IUCN (Internet Citations: BONBL) says the Bontebok “is threatened by hybridization with the much more numerous Blesbok (which has been widely reintroduced, and also introduced outside its former range). Interbreeding has produced numerous hybrids on private land. A photographically based statistical technique is used to differentiate between true Bontebok and Bontebok/Blesbok hybrids for the purpose of identifying registered Bontebok herds (Fabricius et al. 1989).” They can be told by their smaller rump patch. These hybrids are also heterotic—many record-sized “Bonteboks” are actually hybrids. The Bontebok was once reduced by hunting to just 17 wild individuals. It has recovered somewhat with over a thousand animals now living on preserves and game farms. The Blesbok was also severely reduced, but has been widely reintroduced on private land over much of its former range, and now exists also to some extent in non-captive conditions. A Blesbok’s rump is colored like its back. A Bontebok has a white patch around the tail and its legs are shorter and white. Both have a white blaze, which is slender on the forehead and wider down the nose. The blaze is continuous in the Bontebok, but usually interrupted by a dark band in the Blesbok. The Bontebok’s rut is in February, the Blesbok’s, between April and June. Ansell 1972 (p. 54); Bigalke 1955 (pp. 103-107); Fabricius et al 1989; Handley (G. L.) 1960; International Zoo Yearbook 1963; Schmidt (A. G.) 1999.

Gazella arabica [Arabian Gazelle]
× Gazella gazella [Mountain Gazelle] CHR(Tel Aviv). G. arabica is probably extinct in the wild. International Zoo Yearbook 1971 (p. 289).

Gazella bennettii [Chinkara]
× Gazella saudiya [Saudi Gazelle] The Saudi Gazelle is extinct, but Rebholz, and Harley (1997) say hybridization formerly occurred.

Gazella dorcas [Dorcas Gazelle]
See also: Antilope cervicapra.
× Gazella gazella (♀) [Mountain Gazelle] CHR. CON: Israel. HPF(♀♀). Female hybrids are fertile in backcrosses to G. dorcas, but not to G. gazella. Blank 2000; International Zoo Yearbook 1972 (p. 343), 1974 (p. 394), 1978 (p. 402), 1979 (p. 381); Mendelssohn et al. 1995; Poduschka and Poduschka 1983 (p. 8); Wahrman et al. 1973.
× Gazella pelzelni [Pelzeln’s Gazelle] NHR(Ethiopia). Hybrids occur in Danakil. These similar gazelles have generally been treated as conspecific since they were lumped by Groves due to the existence of intermediates. Groves 1969 (p. 39).

Gazella gazella [Mountain Gazelle]
See also: Gazella arabica; G. dorcas.
× Gazella subgutturosa (♂) [Goitered Gazelle] CHR. CON: Arabian Peninsula. Kingswood and Blank 1996 (p. 7); Mendelssohn et al. 1995 (p. 6).

Gazella granti [Grant’s Gazelle]
× Gazella thomsonii [Thomson’s Gazelle] CHR(Nairobi). CON: eastern Africa. International Zoo Yearbook 1972 (p. 343).

Gazella leptoceros [Rhim Gazelle]
× Gazella subgutturosa (♂) [Goitered Gazelle] CHR. DRS. Kingswood and Blank 1996 (p. 7).

Gazella marica [Rhim Gazelle]
× Gazella subgutturosa [Goitered Gazelle] ENHR. CON: Middle East. Benirschke and Kumamoto 1987; Murtskhvaladze et al. 2012.

Gazella pelzelni [Pelzeln’s Gazelle] See: Gazella dorcas.

Gazella rufifrons [Red-fronted Gazelle]
× Gazella thomsonii (♂) [Thomson’s Gazelle] CAENHR. CON: eastern Africa. The existence of a hybrid population (albonota in southern Sudan)prompted Groves to lump these taxa, however, they are still usually treated separately. Captive hybrids of both sexes have been reported. Ansell 1972 (p. 91); Groves 1969 (pp. 39-40), 1975 (p. 313); International Zoo Yearbook 1972 (p. 343), 1973 (p. 345),1974 (p. 394), 1975 (p. 391); Lönnberg 1914.
× Gazella tilonura [Heuglin’s Gazelle] CANHR. CON: Ethiopia. The BMNH has hybrid specimens (# 58:193 and # from Kassala and Kituit. G. tilonura is not listed by Duff and Lawson. These gazelles differ in size and horn shape, but were lumped by Groves due to hybridization. Groves 1969 (pp. 39, 58); International Zoo Yearbook 1969 (p. 243).

Gazella saudiya [Saudi Gazelle] See: Gazella bennettii

Gazella subgutturosa [Goitered Gazelle] See: Antilope cervicapra; Gazella gazella, G. leptoceros, G. marica.

Gazella thomsonii [Thomson’s Gazelle] See: Antilope cervicapra, Gazella rufifrons.

Gazella tilonura [Heuglin’s Gazelle] See: Gazella rufifrons.

Hippotragus equinus [Roan Antelope]
× Hippotragus niger [Sable Antelope] ONHR. HPF(♀♀). CON: southeastern Africa. These animals occur in mixed herds and hybrids, known as robles, are produced. Because the sable antelope is critically endangered, conservationists are concerned about this hybridization and have actually begun castrating roble bulls and surgically removing the udders of roble cows to prevent them from raising offspring. Though the cross may be reversible, it seems that most crosses involve a roan bull and a sable cow. Kingdon and Hoffmann 2013; Robinson and Harley 1995; Robinson et al. 2000.

Kobus defassa [Defassa Waterbuck]
× Kobus ellipsiprymnus (♀) [Waterbuck] CAENHR(Kenya). HPF(vh). There is a hybrid zone along the Eastern Escarpment of the Rift Valley. It runs through Nairobi National Park. Kiley-Worthington (p. 178) says that “where inter-breeding occurs a great variety of rump patterns results. The rump pattern varies from the complete ring, through all thicknesses of stripe to the entirely white rump, the pure defassa pattern. The white ring bands may extend ventro-dorsally from 2 inches to complete, meeting on the dorsal side. Sometimes the demarcation lines are definite, sometimes indefinite, with the white hairs gradually giving way to the brown.” Horn length curvature and span also vary considerably. Hybrids of both sexes have been produced in captivity. Prior to the 1960s these waterbucks were treated as separate species, but were lumped when they were found to hybridize. Pocock says a hybrid born at London Zoo showed practically no trace of the elliptical rump mark characteristic of K. ellipsiprymnus. Backhaus 1958; Flower 1929a (p. 287); Herbert 1972 (p. 18); International Zoo Yearbook 1971 (p. 287), 1972 (p. 341), 1975 (p. 388); Kiley-Worthington 1965; Pocock 1904.
× Kobus kob [Kob] The Messy Beast website lists this cross as having been reported, but provides no details. Internet Citations: MESSY
× Kobus megaceros [Nile Lechwe] The Messy Beast website lists this cross as having been reported, but provides no details. Internet Citations: MESSY

Kobus ellipsiprymnus [Waterbuck]
See also: Kobus defassa.
× Kobus kob [Kob] Kingdon 1982 (p. 380) says that in western Uganda “a kob was seen trying to mount a female waterbuck for about an hour, the waterbuck appeared compliant but the kob was too short in the leg to achieve insertion.” No actual hybrids seem to have been reported, however.
× Kobus lechwe [Lechwe] NHR. BRO: southern Africa. A hybrid bull was photographed near the Selinda Spillway in Botswana in 2016. Pictures and more information:
× Kobus megaceros [Nile Lechwe] The Messy Beast website lists this cross as having been reported, but provides no details. Internet Citations: MESSY

Kobus kob [Kob] See: Kobus ellipsiprymnus.

Kobus lechwe [Lechwe] See: Kobus defassa; K. ellipsiprymnus.

Kobus megaceros [Nile Lechwe] See: Kobus defassa; Kobus kob.

Madoqua guentheri [Günther’s Dik-dik]
× Madoqua kirkii (♀) [Kirk’s Dik-dik]ENHR. HPF(♀♀). Hybrid zone is in Kenya and eastern Uganda. M. guentheri replaces M. kirkii in the drier environment of northern Kenya. Kingswood and Kumamoto 1997 (p. 8) note that “skins and skulls displaying intermediate or mixed characteristics of M. guentheri and M. kirkii have been found in Somalia (Webbe Shibeli drainage), Ethiopia (southern Galla), Kenya (South Turkana), and at the Kenya-Uganda border,” which indicates that natural hybridization between guentheri and kirkii occurs over a large geographic region. Ansell 1972; Benirschke and Kumamoto 1987;Kingdon 1982 (pp. 247-248); Kumamoto 1995; Meester 1966; Poggesi et al. 1982; Ryder et al. 1989.
× Madoqua saltiana [Salt’s Dik-dik]A parapatric contact zone exists south of the Juba River (northeastern Kenya, southern Ethiopia, southern Somalia). No hybrids as yet reported. Kingdon 1982 (p. 248).

Note: In Madoqua kirkii, Ryder et al. (1989) discuss two cytotypes, which they term a and b. Female a × b hybrids have produced offspring, but spermatogenesis is severely compromised in male a × b hybrids (only spermatids were observed), a fact that has led some to propose that the populations corresponding to these two cytotypes be treated as separate species. Kingswood and Kumamoto 1997 (p. 569).

Madoqua kirkii [Kirk’s Dik-dik] See: Madoqua guentheri.

Madoqua saltiana [Salt’s Dik-dik] See: Madoqua guentheri.

Note: Engel (2004) says that "All oryx species will interbreed readily with each other and with addax Addax nasomaculatus, and oryx hybrids are usually fertile."

Oryx sp. CHR(Hanover, Germany). An unspecified Oryxhybrid was reported. International Zoo Yearbook 1960 (p. 266).

Oryx beatrix [Beatrice]See: Oryx gazella × Oryx leucoryx.

Oryx beisa [Beisa] (2n=56)
× Oryx gazella [Gemsbok] CHR. CON: eastern Africa. The Beisa and Gemsbok have often been treated as conspecific. Gray 1972.

Note: Oryx dammah is extinct in the wild.

Oryx dammah [Scimitar-horned Oryx]
See also: Addax nasomaculatus.
× Oryx gazella [Gemsbok] CHR. DRS. HPF. International Zoo Yearbook 1984/1984 (p. 558), 1987 (p. 431); Ruhe 1993.
× Oryx leucoryx (♀) [Arabian Oryx] CHR. HPF(♀♀). A female Arabian oryx received at the Bristol Zoo (UK) in 1932 was mated with a much bigger O. dammah male. The resulting female hybrid was too large for the mother and had to be delivered by caesarean. She went on to produce an offspring with her sire and lived for more than ten years. She had straight horns. Clarke et al. 1937; Gray 1972; Zoological Society of London, Records and Lists of Accessions, Aug. 1936 (Vol. 1, No. 3, p. 44). Internet:

Oryx gazella [Gemsbok] (2n=56)
See: Oryx beisa, O. dammah.
× Oryx leucoryx [Arabian Oryx] DRS. Gray (1872, p. 36) described the “Beatrice” as a species (Oryx beatrix Gray, 1857), an unusual animal “from Bombay.” Since he described it as intermediate between a gemsbok and Arabian oryx, it might have been a hybrid of this type produced in captivy (the putative parents have disjunct ranges). The following is Gray’s description: “This specimen is not half the size of the Gemsbock from the Cape, and is immediately known from it by the distribution of its colours. In form and size it resembles the true Oryx (O. leucoryx); but it differs in the straightness of the horn, the size and form of the cheek spot and especially in the dark colour of the legs, and the well-marked white ring around the fetlock-joint, just above the hoof. … The animal is intermediate between these species; it has the straight horn of O. gazella and the plain colour of O. leucoryx; but its dark legs and peculiar white feet at once separate it from either. The animal was presented to the Society by Capt. John Shepherd of the India House. It was regarded in the gardens as a half-grown Oryx gazella, and is said to have been brought from Bombay. A pair was shipped from the latter port; but the female died at sea. The male is now in the collection of the British Museum.” Also see Gray (1857).

Oryx leucoryx [Arabian Oryx] See: Oryx dammah, Oryx gazella.

Sigmoceros lichtensteinii [Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest] See:Alcelaphus buselaphus.

Sylvicapra grimmia [Common Duiker] See: Cephalophus natalensis; C. nigrifrons.

Syncerus brachyceros [Lake Chad Buffalo] See: Syncerus caffer × S. nanus.

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By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).

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