Open main menu

Bubalus is a genus of bovines that was proposed by Charles Hamilton Smith in 1827. This genus comprises the following living species:[1]

Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Subtribe: Bubalina
Genus: Bubalus
C. H. Smith, 1827

Bubalus arnee
Bubalus bubalus
Bubalus depressicornis
Bubalus mindorensis
Bubalus quarlesi

The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature and classification of domestic animals as species, subspecies, races or breeds has been discussed controversially for many years and was inconsistent between authors.[2] Assessors of the Food and Agriculture Organization consider domestic water buffalo populations as breeds.[3]



Bubalus skull
Kidney of a Bubalus

Smith described Bubalus as low in proportion to the bulk with very solid limbs, a small dewlap and a long, slender tail; the head is large with a strong convex-shaped narrow forehead, large eyes and funnel-shaped ears; horns are lying flat or bending laterally with a certain direction to the rear; the female udder has four mammae.[4] Lydekker added that the line of back is nearly straight with 13 pairs of ribs; the tail is tufted and reaching about to the hocks; the horns are more or less markedly triangular for the greater part of their length and situated low down on the skull; the muzzle is broad, and the hair sparse in adults.[5]

Fossil speciesEdit

Bubalus murrensis horns

The following extinct fossil species have been described:

  • Cebu tamaraw Bubalus cebuensis Croft, Heaney, Flynn and Bautista, 2006[6]
  • Short-horned water buffalo Bubalus mephistopheles Hopwood, 1925[7]
  • European water buffalo Bubalus murrensis Berckhemer, 1927[8]
  • Long-horned Javan water buffalo Bubalus palaeokerabau E. Dubois, 1908[9]
  • Bubalus grovesi Rozzi, 2017[10]

Valid namesEdit

The 2013 checklist of the Catalogue of Life lists as "accepted" five species binomina in the genus Bubalus:

  • Bubalus bubalis Linnaeus, 1758
  • Bubalus depressicornis Smith, 1827
  • Bubalus mephistopheles Hopwood, 1925
  • Bubalus mindorensis Heude, 1888
  • Bubalus quarlesi Ouwens, 1910

Bubalus arnee is not listed here.[11]

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System lists the same five species binomina as valid; it also lists as valid six subspecies of Bubalus bubalis:[12]

  • Bubalus bubalis arnee Kerr, 1792
  • Bubalus bubalis bubalis Linnaeus, 1758
  • Bubalus bubalis fulvus Blanford, 1891
  • Bubalus bubalis kerabau Fitzinger, 1860
  • Bubalus bubalis migona Deraniyagala, 1952
  • Bubalus bubalis theerapati Groves, 1996

The specific epithet bubalusEdit

Several species in a number of different genera have bubalus as a specific epithet. They include:[11]


  1. ^ Groves, C.; Grubb, P. (2011). Ungulate Taxonomy. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 1421400936.
  2. ^ Gentry, A.; Clutton-Brock, J.; Groves, C. P. (2004). "The naming of wild animal species and their domestic derivatives" (PDF). Journal of Archaeological Science. 31: 645–651.
  3. ^ FAO (2013). Breeds from species: Buffalo. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, Rome.
  4. ^ Smith, C. H. (1827). "Sub-genus I. Bubalus". In Griffith, E. (ed.). The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organization. Class Mammalia, Volume 5. London: Geo. B. Whittaker. pp. 371−373.
  5. ^ Lydekker, R. (1913). "Subgenus Bubalus". Catalogue of the ungulate mammals in the British Museum (Natural History). London: British Museum (Natural History). p. 40.
  6. ^ Croft, D. A., Heaney, L. R., Flynn, J. J., Bautista, A. P. (2006). Fossil remains of a new, diminutive Bubalus (Artiodactyla: Bovidae: Bovini) from Cebu island, Philippines. Journal of Mammalogy 87(#5): 1037–1051.
  7. ^ Hopwood, A. T. (1925). A new species of buffalo from the Pleistocene of China. Annals and Magazine of Natural History. Series 9, Vol. XVI: 238–239.
  8. ^ Schreiber, H. D., Munk, W. (2002). A skull fragment of Bubalus murrensis (Berckhemer, 1927) (Mammalia, Bovinae) from the Pleistocene of Bruchsal-Buchenau (NE-Karlsruhe, SW-Germany). Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie (12): 737–748.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Rozzi, Roberto. (2017). A new extinct dwarfed buffalo from Sulawesi and the evolution of the subgenus Anoa: An interdisciplinary perspective. Quaternary Science Reviews 157: 188-205.
  11. ^ a b Roskov Y., Kunze T., Paglinawan L., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Culham A., Bailly N., Kirk P., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Hernandez F., De Wever A., eds (2013). Bubalus. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2013 Annual Checklist. Reading, UK.
  12. ^ ITIS Results of: Search in every Kingdom for Scientific Name containing 'Bubalus' Archived March 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed january 2014.

See alsoEdit