Yellow-backed Duiker

Yellow-backed Duiker
Photo: Zoochat

Yellow-backed Duiker, Cephalophus sylvicultor, is named after the patch of white to orange wedge of erectile hair on its rump, which is conspicuous against the rest of its blackish-brown coat. This slender-legged duiker, found within the dense vegetation of southern Nigeria, is the largest of the diver antelopes. It weighs from 45 to 80 kg, and has a body length ranging from 115- 145 cm., shoulder height, 65- 80 cm., and tail length 11-20cm. The subspecies that occur in Lagos area, C. s. silviculator, is very large, and has a brownish color with grayish tones. Dorsal triangle is very broad and creamy to yellow with no haunch spot.

Yellow-backed Duiker, called Gidigidi or Agugugbu in Yoruba, are generally nocturnal, resting during the day in “forms” – regularly used beds found under fallen tree trunks, in root forms at the bases of trees, and in dense tangles, or on top of termite mounds. They are mostly frugivorous but also forage on leaves, nuts, bark, and even other animals. Gestation in this duiker takes 7 months after which a baby or two duikers are born that may live for up to 12 years.

Tope Apoola
Profession: Writer