An Ultimate Ungulate Fact SheetReturn to Artiodactyla

Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Chordata
    Class: Mammalia
      Order: Artiodactyla
        Family: Cervidae
          Subfamily: Cervinae
            Genus: Muntiacus

Muntiacus atherodes

      Bornean yellow muntjac


Muntiacus atherodes [Groves and Grubb, 1982].  
Citation: Zool. Meded. Leiden, 56:210.
Type locality: Malaysia, Sabah, Tawau, Coconut Research Station, Forest Camp 1.

General Characteristics

Body Length: 86-92 cm / 2.9-3.1 ft.
Shoulder Height: up to 50 cm / 1.7 ft.
Tail Length: 14-20 cm / 5.6-8 in.
Weight: 13.5-17.7 kg / 29.7-38.9 lb.

The overall coat is a yellowish orange, with a diffuse dark brown line running the length of the spine, being especially prominent on the nape of the neck.  The underparts are pale yellow or whitish in colour.  Young are born with rows of white spots along there sides, which gradually fade.  The tail is dark brown on its upper surface (a continuation of the dark dorsal stripe), while the underside is white to buff in colour.  The minuscule, unbranched antlers of the males are simple spikes, growing 1.6-4.2 cm / 0.6-1.7 inches long, and are rarely, if ever, shed.  These antlers are situated atop slender forehead pedicels which range from 6.5-8.7 cm / 2.6-3.5 inches in length.

Ontogeny and Reproduction

Gestation Period: Presumably 7 months.
Young per Birth: Most likely 1.
Weaning: Presumed to be at 2 months.
Sexual Maturity: Probably between 6 and 12 months of age.

Ecology and Behavior

Being such a "new" species, little is known about the behaviour of this small deer.  The Bornean yellow muntjac is a primarily diurnal species.  All individuals make the characteristic loud alarm bark of the muntjac tribe, while adult females with young may make short, high-pitched mewing sounds.  The population in the provinces of South Anhui and West Zhegang is estimated at 5,000-6,000 individuals.

Family group: In a breeding pair or solitary.
Diet: Herbs and grasses, leaves, fallen fruit, seeds.


Moist forests on the Indonesian island of Borneo.

Range Map

Conservation Status

The Bornean yellow muntjac is not on the IUCN's 1996 IUCN Red List of Threatened Animals, and is assumed to be fairly common.


Muntiacus (New Latin) from muntjak, the native name for these deer in the Sunda language, in western Java.

Literature Cited

Nowak, R. M. [editor]. 1991.  Walker's Mammals of the World (Fifth Edition).  Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

Payne, J., and C. M. Francis.  1985.  A Field Guide to the Mammals of Borneo. Sabah, Malaysia: Sabah Society with World Wildlife Fund Malaysia.

Whitehead, K. G.  1993.  The Whitehead Encyclopedia of Deer.  Stillwater, MN: Voyageur Press, Inc.

Wilson, D. E., and D. M. Reeder [editors]. 1993. Mammal Species of the World (Second Edition). Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press.  Available online at

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© Brent Huffman,
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