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Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Subtribe: Bubalina
Genus: Bubalus
C. H. Smith, 1827
Type species
Bos bubalis
Linnaeus, 1758

Bubalus arnee
Bubalus bubalis
Bubalus depressicornis
Bubalus mindorensis
Bubalus quarlesi


Bubalus is a genus of Asiatic bovines that was proposed by Charles Hamilton Smith in 1827. Bubalus and Syncerus form the subtribe Bubalina, the true buffaloes.

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. [1] Assessors of the Food and Agriculture Organization consider domestic water buffalo populations as breeds. [2]

Bubalus species comprise the domestic water buffalo (B. bubalis), the wild water buffalo (B. arnee), the tamaraw (B. mindorensis), the lowland anoa (B. depressicornis), and the mountain anoa (B. quarlesi). [3] The latter two anoa species were proposed to form a subgenus Anoa within Bubalus. [4]


Bubalus skull Water buffalo skull (Bubalus bubalis).jpg
Bubalus skull
Kidney of a Bubalus Buffalo kidney-- FMVZ USP-09.jpg
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. [5] 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. [6]


This genus comprises the following living species: [7]

ImageScientific nameDistribution
Water-buffalo.jpg Domestic water buffalo B. bubalis Linnaeus, 1758 Domestic in the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, and China; feral populations exist in South America and Australia
Indian Water Buffalo Bubalus arnee by Dr Raju Kasambe IMG 0347 (11) (cropped).jpg Wild water buffalo B. arnee Kerr, 1792Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia
Lowland Anoa.JPG Lowland anoa B. depressicornisSmith, 1827 Sulawesi in Indonesia
Bubalus mindorensis by Gregg Yan 01.jpg Tamaraw B. mindorensis Heude, 1888 Mindoro in the Philippines
Mountain Anoa at Krefeld Zoo.jpg Mountain anoa B. quarlesi Ouwens, 1910Sulawesi

Valid names

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

Bubalus arnee is not listed here. [8]

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System lists the same five species binomina as valid; it also lists as valid six subspecies of Bubalus bubalis: [9]

Fossil species

Bubalus murrensis horns Bubalus murrensis.JPG
Bubalus murrensis horns

The following extinct fossil species have been described:

See also

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Anoa</span> Dwarf buffalo from Sulawesi

Anoa, also known as dwarf buffalo and sapiutan, are two species of the genus Bubalus, placed within the subgenus Anoa and endemic to the island of Sulawesi in Indonesia: the mountain anoa and the lowland anoa. Both live in undisturbed rainforests and are similar in appearance to miniature water buffaloes, weighing 150–300 kg (330–660 lb).

Buffalo most commonly refers to:

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Water buffalo</span> Species of large bovid

The water buffalo, also called the domestic water buffalo or Asian water buffalo, is a large bovid originating in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. Today, it is also found in Italy, the Balkans, Australia, North America, South America and some African countries. Two extant types of water buffalo are recognized, based on morphological and behavioural criteria: the river buffalo of the Indian subcontinent and further west to the Balkans, Egypt and Italy and the swamp buffalo, found from Assam in the west through Southeast Asia to the Yangtze valley of China in the east.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bovinae</span> Subfamily of mammals

Bovines comprise a diverse group of 10 genera of medium to large-sized ungulates, including cattle, bison, African buffalo, water buffalos, and the four-horned and spiral-horned antelopes. The evolutionary relationship between the members of the group is still debated, and their classification into loose tribes rather than formal subgroups reflects this uncertainty. General characteristics include cloven hooves and usually at least one of the sexes of a species having true horns. The largest extant bovine is the gaur.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tamaraw</span> Species of buffalo

The tamaraw or Mindoro dwarf buffalo is a small buffalo belonging to the family Bovidae. It is endemic to the island of Mindoro in the Philippines, and is the only endemic Philippine bovine. It is believed, however, to have once also thrived on the larger island of Luzon. The tamaraw was originally found all over Mindoro, from sea level up to the mountains, but because of human habitation, hunting, and logging, it is now restricted to only a few remote grassy plains and is now a critically endangered species.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bovid hybrid</span> Crossbreeds in the bovid family

A bovid hybrid is the hybrid offspring of members of two different species of the bovid family. There are 143 extant species of bovid, and the widespread domestication of several species has led to an interest in hybridisation for the purpose of encouraging traits useful to humans, and to preserve declining populations. Bovid hybrids may occur naturally through undirected interbreeding, traditional pastoral practices, or may be the result of modern interventions, sometimes bringing together species from different parts of the world.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Murrah buffalo</span> Indian breed of water buffalo

The Murrah buffalo is a breed of water buffalo mainly kept for milk production. It originates in Haryana and Punjab of India, where it is kept in the districts of Bhiwani, Agra, Hisar, Rohtak, Jind, Jhajhar, Fatehabad, Gurgaon and the capital region of Delhi. It has been used to improve the milk production of dairy buffalo in other countries, such as Italy, Bulgaria and Egypt. A Murrah buffalo at the Lakshmi Dairy Farm in Punjab set a record of 26.335 kg (58.06 lb) of milk in the 2016 National Livestock Competition and Expo. In Brazil, this breed of buffalo is used for production of both meat and milk. Murrahs sell for a high price.

The Cebu tamaraw is a fossil dwarf buffalo discovered in the Philippines, and first described in 2006.

<i>Haematopinus</i> Genus of lice

Haematopinus is a genus of insects in the superfamily Anoplura, the sucking lice. It is the only genus in the family Haematopinidae, known commonly as the ungulate lice. All known species are of importance in veterinary medicine. These lice are some of the most economically important ectoparasites of domestic animals. Species infest many domesticated and wild large mammals, including cattle, horses, donkeys, swine, water buffalo, African buffalo, antelope, zebra, deer, and camels. The species Haematopinus tuberculatus has great importance in the water buffalo breading, since this louse is specific to buffaloes, being the main ectoparasite of the species, with important sanitary and economic burden. The Haematopinus tuberculatus is suspected to be involved in the transmission of diseases, such as anaplasmosis. The parasites are found infesting buffaloes in greater concentrations around the ears, base of horns, side of the neck, around the scrotum or udder, and especially at the tip of the tail.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Wild water buffalo</span> Species of mammal

The wild water buffalo, also called Asian buffalo, Asiatic buffalo and wild buffalo, is a large bovine native to the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. It has been listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List since 1986, as the remaining population totals less than 4,000. A population decline of at least 50% over the last three generations is projected to continue. The global population has been estimated at 3,400 individuals, of which 3,100 (91%) live in India, mostly in Assam. The wild water buffalo is the most likely ancestor of the domestic water buffalo.

The water buffalo is a domesticated bovid widely kept in Asia, Europe and South America.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mountain anoa</span> Species of dwarf buffalo

The mountain anoa(Bubalus quarlesi) also known as Quarle's anoa, is a species of buffalo endemic to Sulawesi. Its closest relative is the lowland anoa, and it is still a debate as to whether the two are the same species or not. It is also related to the water buffalo, and both are classified in the genus Bubalus.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lowland anoa</span> Species of dwarf buffalo

The lowland anoa(Bubalus depressicornis) is a species of buffalo endemic to Sulawesi. Its closest relative is the mountain anoa, and it is still a debate as to whether the two are the same species or not. It is also related to the water buffalo, and both are classified in the genus Bubalus.

<i>Bubalus murrensis</i> Extinct species of mammal

Bubalus murrensis, also known as European water buffalo, is an extinct bovine that lived in Europe during the Pleistocene. Its closest living relatives are the wild water buffalo (Bubalus arnee), the tamaraw (Bubalus mindorensis), the lowland anoa (Bubalus depressicornis), the mountain anoa (Bubalus quarlesi) and the domestic water buffalo (Bubalus bubalis).

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bubalina</span> Subtribe of bovines consisting of the true buffalo

Bubalina is a subtribe of wild cattle that includes the various species of true buffalo. Species include the African buffalo, the anoas, and the wild water buffalo. Buffaloes can be found naturally in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Southeast Asia, and domestic and feral populations have been introduced to Europe, the Americas, and Australia. In addition to the living species, bubalinans have an extensive fossil record where remains have been found in much of Afro-Eurasia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Buffalypso</span> Breed of water buffalo

Buffalypso, also called Trinidadian Buffalo, is a breed of Riverine water buffalo developed in Trinidad by veterinarian Stephen Bennett (1922–2011) in the early 1960s.

<i>Bubalus mephistopheles</i> Extinct species of bovid

Bubalus mephistopheles, also known as the short-horned water buffalo, is an extinct species of bovine that lived in China during the Pleistocene and Holocene. It survived into historic times, perhaps as recently as 1200 BC.

Bubalus grovesi is an extinct species of water buffalo that lived in southern Sulawesi during the Late Pleistocene and Early Holocene.

<i>Bubalus wansijocki</i> Extinct species of bovid

Bubalus wansijocki is an extinct species of water buffalo known from northern China during the Late Pleistocene.


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