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< > SPECIES VARIATION with literature reports for the Forest Elephant - Loxodonta cyclotis: Use sub-contents list below, or simply scroll down the page to view findings.

 

SPECIES VARIATION - Editorial Comment

Editorial Comment (Editorial Overview Text Replicated on Overall Species page - Loxodonta cyclotis - Forest Elephant)
  • A variety of sub-specific designations for African elephants have been suggested, most commonly based solely on local variations in ear shape. The only real distinction has been between the savanna elephant Loxodonta africana africana and the forest elephant Loxodonta africana cyclotis. Recent genetic work has distinguished clearly between Forest and Savannah elephants, along the lines suggested by morphometric differences, suggesting that these should be considered as separate species: Loxodonta africana - African Elephant and Loxodonta cyclotis - Forest Elephant
  • Further work including analysis of elephants from West Africa suggests that the genetic relationships within Loxodonta may be complex.
  • The possible existence of subspecies within Loxodonta cyclotis - Forest Elephant is not clear; several forms have been described previously, including a pygmy elephant.

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Intraspecific Variation

Source Information
  • A subspecies has been described, Loxodonta cyclotis pumilio, found from Sierra Leone to the Democratic Republic of Congo. (B285.w3)
  • Some authorities have suggested that there are six subspecies, including four variations within the savannah elephant Loxodonta africana africana and two within the forest elephant Loxodonta africana cyclotis. (B147)
  • Two races of the forest elephant have been suggested, named [considering this to be a subspecies of Loxodonta africana] Loxodonta africana cyclotis (Matschie, 1900) (to include Loxodonta africana albertensis, Loxodonta africana cottoni, Loxodonta africana fransseni and Loxodonta africana pumilo) and Loxodonta africana pharaohensis Deraniyagala, an extinct population whose status (as either a savannah or a forest elephant) is somewhat indistinct. Loxodonta africana pumilo has been described as a dwarf form. (B384.2.w2)
  • A subspecies has been described, Loxodonta cyclotis pumilio, with a length of only 2.4 - 2.8 m (7.9 - 9.2 ft) and a weight of only 1,800 - 3,200 kg (3,970 - 7,050 lb). (B285.w3)

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Authors & Referees

Authors Debra Bourne MA VetMB PhD MRCVS (V.w5)
Referee Susan K. Mikota DVM (V.w72)

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