The correct name of the South-central black rhinoceros is Diceros bicornis keitloa (A.Smith, 1836)

  • Kees Rookmaaker
Keywords: distribution, nomenclature, sympatry, taxonomy


In South Africa, the black rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) is divided into two subspecies, the South-western in the west and the South-central in the east. The exact boundary between the ranges of these subspecies is uncertain, but has been defined to coincide with the administrative border between the Northern Cape and North West provinces. It is current practice to refer to the South-central black rhinoceros as Diceros bicornis minor, which has Zululand as the type-locality. This needs adjustment, because an earlier valid scientific name was given to a rhinoceros killed near Zeerust in the western part of North West province. In line with the rules of zoological nomenclature, the South-central black rhinoceros should be known as Diceros bicornis keitloa.

Keywords: distribution, nomenclature, sympatry, taxonomy


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2224-073X
print ISSN: 1562-7020