Duiquer de Maxwell (Sp), Maxwellducker (G), Céphalophe de Maxwell (F). Named after a Col. Charles Maxwell.
DESCRIPTION Shoulder height 15-16 inches (38-40 cm). Weight 17-20 pounds (8-9 kg). The Maxwell duiker is rather similar to the blue duiker, but is about twice as heavy, with a more uniform mouse-gray color and somewhat larger horns. The buttocks and legs are the same color as the body, but the underparts are paler. The forehead is dark brown, contrasting with the whitish streak that runs above the eye from horn base to muzzle. The bushy tail is colored like the body on top and white underneath. The head tuft is very short, or absent. Like the blue duiker, the openings of the facial glands are curved, there are pedal glands between the hoofs, but no inguinal (groin) glands. Both sexes grow horns except in the subspecies liberiensis (Liberia), where the female is hornless. The horns are very short, heavily ringed, thick at the base, and grow at a slight angle above the plane of the face, tapering to tips that curve slightly forward. Females are slightly larger than males and, in areas where they grow horns, their horns are smaller than those of the male.
The Maxwell duiker may be distinguished from the blue duiker by these characteristics: (1) It is about twice as large, weighing 17-20 pounds (8-9 kg) as compared to 8-10 pounds (3.5 to 4.5 kg) for the blue duiker; (2) the rump is the same color as the body, whereas in the blue duiker it is whitish; and (3) the pedal (hoof) gland is in a subcircular sac at the end of a narrow canal, whereas in the blue duiker it has a simple opening.
BEHAVIOR Within its distribution range the Maxwell duiker is the commonest of the forest duikers. Lives in pairs, possibly forming a lifetime bond. The male is territorial and highly aggressive, fiercely attacking and driving away other males and larger animals. Eats leaves, grains and fruit. Longevity as much as 10 years.
HABITAT Primary forest, secondary forest, gallery forest, forest patches in forest-savanna mosaic, and farm bush.
DISTRIBUTION Only in West Africa, where it is found in southwestern Senegal, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, extreme southwestern Burkina Faso, southern Ghana, central and southern Togo, central and southern Benin, and southwestern Nigeria west of the Niger River. East of the Niger River it is replaced by the blue duiker.
TAXONOMIC NOTES Ansell lists three subspecies, which we do not separate: liberiensis (Liberia), lowei (Sierra Leone), and maxwelli (Senegal and the Gambia to Sierra Leone).