Summary of my recent observations: diagnostically pale features on the hindquarters of bovid bambis (Ourebia, Raphicerus, and Madoqua)

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See:
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/milewski/70050-the-three-main-types-of-oribi-ourebia-at-a-glance#
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/milewski/70823-white-on-the-buttocks-a-previously-overlooked-species-difference-in-dikdiks-of-the-madoqua-kirkii-madoqua-damarensis-complex#
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/milewski/70293-the-bambis-part-9-bleezes-flags-and-semets-in-the-bovid-genus-raphicerus#
https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/milewski/70368-a-new-feature-of-adaptive-colouration-in-ungulates-the-fibular-flag#

The following aspects of adaptive colouration have previously been overlooked. They may additionally be diagnostic, taxonomically.

OUREBIA

Ourebia ourebi differs from Ourebia montana in possessing a bleeze on the hindquarters.

RAPHICERUS

Raphicerus campestris campestris exceeds all other subspecies in the degree of development of a buttock flag.

MADOQUA

Madoqua damarensis differs from Madoqua kirkii in lacking white on the buttocks.

Madoqua kirkii/hindei differs from Madoqua thomasi/cavendishi in possessing white on the buttocks.

ILLUSTRATIONS

I have selected the following to illustrate the diagnostic features mentioned above.

OUREBIA

Presence of bleeze on hindquarters in Ourebia ourebi:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/98375681

Absence of bleeze on hindquarters in Ourebia montana:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/33557962

RAPHICERUS

Well-developed buttock flag in Raphicerus campestris campestris: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/85907385 and https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/126223294 and https://www.alamy.com/a-male-cape-or-southern-grysbok-raphicerus-melanotis-running-through-the-veld-in-the-boland-region-of-the-western-cape-province-of-south-africa-image187402642.html?imageid=8D98430A-FCFE-41F4-AA29-B6B781700C2F&p=77702&pn=1&searchId=886c6fde8e008fc7cc881b5daa323fb1&searchtype=0

Relatively poorly-developed buttock flag in other sspp. of Raphicerus campestris: https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/steenbok-in-kruger-national-park-gm1419290036-465690019?phrase=steenbok and https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/13490802 and https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/72501302

Fibular flag in:

Raphicerus melanotis https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/26439871

Raphicerus sharpei https://www.alamy.com/sharpe-greisbock-sharpes-grysbok-raphicerus-sharpei-image472245952.html?imageid=24DA2C60-EA7B-4F14-B34E-F2A79E3BBEDC&p=816330&pn=2&searchId=af8819bea96e326f93bb920f1fcf11fc&searchtype=0

MADOQUA

Absence of white on buttocks in:

damarensis https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/1818615

thomasi/cavendishi https://stock.adobe.com/search?k=dikdik&asset_id=71439139

Presence of white on buttocks in:

kirkii/hindei https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/04/Kirk%27s_Dik-dik_%28Madoqua_kirkii_kirkii%29_%287662454204%29.jpg and https://www.gettyimages.co.uk/detail/photo/cute-little-dik-dik-antelope-making-funny-face-in-royalty-free-image/1176116863?adppopup=true and https://focusedcollection.com/199893414/stock-photo-beautiful-kirks-dik-dik-madoqua.html and https://stock.adobe.com/search?filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aphoto%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aillustration%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Azip_vector%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Avideo%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Atemplate%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3A3d%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aaudio%5D=0&filters%5Binclude_stock_enterprise%5D=0&filters%5Bis_editorial%5D=0&filters%5Bfree_collection%5D=0&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aimage%5D=1&k=dikdik&order=relevance&safe_search=1&limit=100&search_page=3&get_facets=0&search_type=pagination&asset_id=401342106

Posted by milewski milewski, 05 October, 2022 17:06

Comments

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

Seems to refute anterior axillary flag in Raphicerus sharpei

https://bluegnu.co.za/1004-sharpes-grysbok.php

Seems to show its presence in Raphicerus melanotis

https://www.krugerpark.co.za/africa_cape_grysbok.html

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)
Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)
Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

@tonyrebelo

Excellent illustration of caudal flag in Strepsiceros strepsiceros:

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-kudu-trot-african-antelope-image26164551

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)
Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

Clearest illustration of incipient/residual pedal flag in Raphicerus campestris capricornis:

https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/female-steinbuck-gm1257214304-368366100?phrase=steenbok

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)
Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

Please remind us of terminology
Bleeze
Blaze
Flag

Posted by tonyrebelo 2 months ago (Flag)

All are features of colouration that function adaptively by means of conspicuousness, at various scales.

The conspicuousness is a matter of dark/pale, not hue. However, ultraviolet is probably involved in some cases.

Bleeze > flag > semet in decreasing order of scale.

Bleeze is a new, better term for 'blaze', which was too ambiguous to have scientific value.

A bleeze is a conspicuous feature of such large scale that it makes the whole figure conspicuous when in the open, even if the animal stands still and stops swishing its tail.

Its adaptive function is gross self-advertisement for social purposes

Ungulates with bleezes are all somewhat gregarious. They 'hide in numbers' rather than literally.

Perfect example of bleezes: bontebok.

A flag is a conspicuous feature that is too small to make the whole figure conspicuous if stationary. However, it becomes conspicuous when activated, e.g. by raising or waving a dark/pale tail.

The main function of flags is social (e.g. courtship) and anti-predator (e.g. to communicate individual fitness while fleeing).

Perfect example: grey rhebok.

A semet is the smallest-scale feature, and can hardly make the whole figure conspicuous to scanning predators, because it usually occurs on parts if the body that move only in small ways (e.g. the jaws), while the figure is stationary.

Semets qualify as functionally conspicuous because the eyes of ungulates are extremely sensitive to motion.

The main function of semets is social monitoring, particularly as part of anti-predator vigilance, but also e.g. communicating intraspecific antagonism by means of the ear pinnae.

Example: pattern of colouration on jaws of impala.

Does this help?

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

@tonyrebelo

Here is an excellent illustration of a buccal semet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=moKWwkG36xw.

Also: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgROkmTliKw.

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

Thanks
Could some flags (eg. the black spots on Impala legs) not also function in proprioception? And externally to an awareness of motion around one within the herd?

Posted by tonyrebelo 2 months ago (Flag)

The following shows a caudal flag in Antilope: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LuLmQz2VMCU.

As the males fight, their tails are hypererected, becoming conspicuous by virtue of a) paleness, b) movement relative to the rest of the figure, and c) punctuation by the dark bare skin around the anus.

The first few seconds of the above clip also illustrate a buccal semet (look at the male individual lying in profile, behind the one standing with face forward)

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

@tonyrebelo Your thought, about proprioception, is original and intriguing.

And yes, I do think that pedal flags help gregarious ungulates to keep track of movements in the swirl of the group.

In the impala, the pedal flag consists of not only the dark tufts, bit also pale pasterns on both fore and hind feet.

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

Your thought, about proprioception -
A few years ago I got a liverspot on my arm - and for months I could not move my arm without being both distracted and acutely aware of exactly where my arm was (its position, movement, orientation). A long-sleeve shirt or plaster solved the problem.
Perhaps for that reason I cannot wear watches or bracelets.

Does jewellery (and watches) function as flags or senets (or bleezes)?

Posted by tonyrebelo 2 months ago (Flag)

Imagine how much less conspicuous this chewing motion (https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-1058493868-impala-swallowing-food-regurgitating-cud-addo-national) would be if the rhinarium, philtrum, and bare lips were flesh-coloured instead of dark, and if the lips were fawn instead of white. Even the dark longitudinal 'bands' on rostrum and side of face seem to serve as 'triangulating pointers' to the muzzle-tip/mouth, not so?

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

@tonyrebelo

Many thanks for telling us about your experience with your arm. It is food for thought.

It is interesting to apply the bleeze/flag/semet system to humans, bearing in mind that all of these are patterns of colouration, rather than objects conspicuous by virtue of their shapes.

The easiest one to relate to, in humans, is semets. This is because the contrast between our eyewhites and the adjacent iris/eyelids/eyebrows/facial skin is a classic example of colouration functioning to accentuate the movement of the eyeballs, as a subtle form of 'body language'

If we humans have flags as part of our bodies, the best example is long blonde hair (notice the universally acceptable habit of sham-tossing of the head, as a form of sexual advertisement). Also possibly the greying beards of mature men, when stroked professorially?

We obviously lack bleezes, but we substitute for them by means of clothing, e.g. the 'redcoats' of the American civil war.

So, where does this leave 'bling'?

This deserves more thought, because the colouration of jewellery, in the form of shine/gloss, certainly is a factor...

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

Worth watching carefully for gaits
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oLYsBnkDdxk

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

The following (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QPl8mrh7OVo) shows a subtle and previously overlooked form of caudal flagging in Aepyceros melampus.

Near the end of the clip, we get a clear view of the action of the tail as this male individual sneeze-snorts in alarm.

Normally, the tail of the impala has the white tassel tucked/folded out of sight. Here, the tail is hardly raised, but the white tassel is unfurled, making the tail conspicuous. This is then additionally activated by the transmission of the sneezing action to the tail, shuddering the white tassel once with each expulsion of breath.

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

@dejong @tbutynski

When I first flagged this Post to you, it contained only one, not particularly revealing, photo of kirkii. Please see the three photos I have added. Because these clearly show the white on the buttocks, they should be more convincing of a real difference from the cavendishi/thomasi/damarensis complex.

Also:

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/female-kirks-dikdik-buffalo-springs-national-15440509

scroll to fifth and sixth photos in https://iglobal.net/2016/08/23/samburu-national-reserve-safari/

scroll in http://www.wildscope.com/travel-reports/Kenya-2011-photo-report/Kenya-safari-2011-diary/part-3-Samburu.html.

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

Shift
Scroll in https://destinationuganda.com/animals/guenthers-dik-dik/ for Madoqua guentheri

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

@capracornelius
Rare photos of Oreotragus in Samburu area:
scroll in http://www.cokesmithphototravel.com/kenya-wildlife-safari.html

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

Thanks @milewski ...all very interesting images. No time now but soon I will update our Madoqua photomap https://wildsolutions.nl/photomaps/madoqua/ and will pay special attention to the white on the buttocks....interesting and thanks for pointing it out!

Posted by dejong 2 months ago (Flag)
Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

@tonyrebelo

Pedal flag in Aepyceros melampus:

https://stock.adobe.com/search?filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aphoto%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aillustration%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Azip_vector%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Avideo%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Atemplate%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3A3d%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aaudio%5D=0&filters%5Binclude_stock_enterprise%5D=0&filters%5Bis_editorial%5D=0&filters%5Bfree_collection%5D=0&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aimage%5D=1&k=hartebeest&order=relevance&safe_search=1&limit=100&search_page=2&get_facets=0&search_type=pagination&asset_id=407835895

This has special significance because the impala congregates on open ground at night.

The implication is that the paleness of the pasterns is easily visible to the impala even in darkness, perhaps a bit like the way pedal-reflectors are visible to the human motorist passing a cyclist at night.

Pedal flag in Boselaphus tragocamelus:

https://stock.adobe.com/search?filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aphoto%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aillustration%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Azip_vector%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Avideo%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Atemplate%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3A3d%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aaudio%5D=0&filters%5Binclude_stock_enterprise%5D=0&filters%5Bis_editorial%5D=0&filters%5Bfree_collection%5D=0&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aimage%5D=1&k=hartebeest&order=relevance&safe_search=1&limit=100&search_page=36&search_type=pagination&get_facets=0&asset_id=357627170

https://stock.adobe.com/search?filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aphoto%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aillustration%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Azip_vector%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Avideo%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Atemplate%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3A3d%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aaudio%5D=0&filters%5Binclude_stock_enterprise%5D=0&filters%5Bis_editorial%5D=0&filters%5Bfree_collection%5D=0&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aimage%5D=1&k=hartebeest&order=relevance&safe_search=1&limit=100&search_page=9&search_type=pagination&get_facets=0&asset_id=73766754

https://stock.adobe.com/search?filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aphoto%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aillustration%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Azip_vector%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Avideo%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Atemplate%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3A3d%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aaudio%5D=0&filters%5Binclude_stock_enterprise%5D=0&filters%5Bis_editorial%5D=0&filters%5Bfree_collection%5D=0&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aimage%5D=1&k=hartebeest&order=relevance&safe_search=1&limit=100&search_page=13&get_facets=0&search_type=pagination&asset_id=308738789

https://stock.adobe.com/search?filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aphoto%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aillustration%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Azip_vector%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Avideo%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Atemplate%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3A3d%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aaudio%5D=0&filters%5Binclude_stock_enterprise%5D=0&filters%5Bis_editorial%5D=0&filters%5Bfree_collection%5D=0&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aimage%5D=1&k=hartebeest&order=relevance&safe_search=1&limit=100&search_page=18&search_type=pagination&get_facets=0&asset_id=308738715

Posted by milewski 2 months ago (Flag)

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