Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Artiodactyla
Family: Bovidae
Subfamily: Bovinae
Tribe: Bovini
Genus: Bubalus
C. H. Smith, 1827

Bubalus arnee
Bubalus depressicornis
Bubalus quarlesi
Bubalus mindorensis
Bubalus bubalis
Bubalus cebuensis

Bubalus is a genus of bovines that was first described by Charles Hamilton Smith in 1827. This genus comprises the following living species:[1]

The nomenclature and classification of domestic animals as species, subspecies, races or breeds has been discussed controversially for many years and was inconsistent between authors.[2] Assessors of the Food and Agriculture Organisation consider domestic water buffalo populations as breeds.[3]


Smith described Bubalus (from Greek βούβαλος, boúbalos) as low in proportion to the bulk with very solid limbs, a small dewlap and a long, slender tail; the head is large and the forehead narrow, very strong and convex; the eyes are large, and the ears mostly funnel-shaped; horns are lying flat or bending laterally with a certain direction to the rear; the female udder has four mammae.[4] 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.[5]

Fossil species

Bubalus murrensis horns

The following extinct fossil species were described:

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.[10]

The Integrated Taxonomic Information System lists the same five species binomina as valid; it also lists six sub-species of Bubalus bubalis:[11]

The specific epithet bubalus

Species in a number of genera have bubalus as specific epithet. They include:[10]


  1. Groves, C.; Grubb, P. (2011). Ungulate Taxonomy. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 1421400936.
  2. Gentry, A. Clutton-Brock, J., Groves, C. P. (2004). The naming of wild animal species and their domestic derivatives. Journal of Archaeological Science 31: 645–651.
  3. FAO (2013). Breeds from species: Buffalo. Domestic Animal Diversity Information System, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations, Rome.
  4. Hamilton Smith, C. (1827). Bubalus. In: Griffith, E. (ed.) The animal kingdom arranged in conformity with its organization. Class Mammalia, Volume 5. London: Geo. B. Whittaker.
  5. Lydekker, R. 1913. Catalogue of the ungulate mammals in the British Museum (Natural History). London: British Museum (Natural History).
  6. Croft, D. A., Heaney, L. R., Flynn, J. J., Bautista, A. P. (2006). Fossil remains of a new, diminutive Bubalus (Artiodactyla: Bovidae: Bovini) from Cebu island, Philippines. Journal of Mammalogy 87(5): 1037–1051.
  7. Hopwood, A. T. (1925). A new species of buffalo from the Pleistocene of China. Annals and Magazine of Natural History. Series 9, Vol. XVI: 238–239.
  8. Schreiber, H. D., Munk, W. (2002). A skull fragment of Bubalus murrensis (Berckhemer, 1927) (Mammalia, Bovinae) from the Pleistocene of Bruchsal-Buchenau (NE-Karlsruhe, SW-Germany). Neues Jahrbuch für Geologie und Paläontologie (12): 737–748.
  9. http://fossilworks.org/bridge.pl?a=taxonInfo&taxon_no=162371.
  10. 1 2 Roskov Y., Kunze T., Paglinawan L., Orrell T., Nicolson D., Culham A., Bailly N., Kirk P., Bourgoin T., Baillargeon G., Hernandez F., De Wever A., eds (2013). Bubalus. Species 2000 & ITIS Catalogue of Life, 2013 Annual Checklist. Reading, UK.
  11. ITIS Results of: Search in every Kingdom for Scientific Name containing 'Bubalus' Archived March 12, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.. Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Accessed january 2014.

See also

Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Buffalo (animal).
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