Axis Deer Axis axis (Erxleben, 1777)

  • Nikica ŠpremEmail author
  • Frank E. Zachos
Living reference work entry

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Part of the Handbook of the Mammals of Europe book series (HDBME)


The earliest known fossils of Axis are dated to the late Miocene in China. The axis deer is usually considered monotypic (Fig. 1). The monophyly of Axis (besides the chital, there are three other acknowledged species: A. calamianensis, A. kuhlii, and A. porcinus) has been corroborated by recent molecular and morphological phylogenetic studies. There seems to be a sister group relationship between Axis on the one hand and the barasingha Rucervus duvaucelii and the extinct Schomburgk’s deer Rucervus schomburgki on the other, to the exclusion of Eld’s deer which is usually also classified in this genus Rucervus eldii (Gilbert et al. 2006; Hassanin et al. 2012; Heckeberg et al. 2016; Mennecart et al. 2017; but see Price et al. 2005 for a somewhat different phylogeny).



The authors would like to express their gratitude to Damir Ugarković, Stefano Mattioli, and Luca Corlatti for suggestions and improvement of this chapter, and to Igor Ilić–Serval for providing the photographs.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Fisheries, Apiculture, Wildlife management and special ZoologyUniversity of Zagreb Faculty of AgricultureZagrebCroatia
  2. 2.Mammal CollectionNatural History Museum ViennaViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Integrative ZoologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.Department of GeneticsUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa

Section editors and affiliations

  • Frank E. Zachos
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Luca Corlatti
    • 4
  1. 1.Mammal CollectionNatural History Museum ViennaViennaAustria
  2. 2.Department of GeneticsUniversity of the Free StateBloemfonteinSouth Africa
  3. 3.Department of Integrative ZoologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria
  4. 4.Chair of Wildlife Ecology and ManagementUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany

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