Southern Reedbuck

Scientific Name:

Redunca arundinum

The southern reedbuck, rietbok or common reedbuck (Redunca arundinum) is a diurnal antelope typically found in southern Africa. It was first described by Pieter Boddaert, a Dutch physician and naturalist, in 1785. It is placed in the genus Redunca and family Bovidae. This antelope has an average mass of 58 kg (128 lb) and a body length of about 134–167 cm (53–66 in).


The coat is silky and almost woolly. The color of its coat ranges between light- and greyish-brown, and may be lighter on the neck and chest. A small, black, bare glandular patch can be noticed at the base of each ear. White fur covers the under parts and the areas near the lips and chin. The tail is white underside, and appears short and bushy. Southern reedbucks measure an average of 85 cm (33 in) at the shoulder. Females lack horns. Males bear forward-curving horns, about 35–45 cm (14–18 in) long, with the base having a distinct band of pale, rubbery tissue.


As a herbivore, the reedbuck mainly feeds on grasses. It also eats herbs and reeds. It never enters into water, though it inhabits places with water sources. It needs to drink water every few days to several times a day during the dry season.


Southern reedbucks have a wide distribution, stretching from Gabon and Tanzania to South Africa. Their range seems to extend to the Miombo woodlands on the north. They inhabit moist grasslands with tall grass, reeds, sufficient cover, and water nearby, such as floodplains, pastures, woodlands, and valleys. They are common in seasonally flooded valleys near the Malagarasi River. They also occur in the southern savannas of Tchibanga and Ndende (in Zaire).