The polyphyly of Neotragus
Dwarf antelope species were commonly united in the tribe “Neotragini” (Bovidae, Mammalia) due to their general morphological appearance. However, phylogenetic analyses have shown that not all dwarf antelopes are closely related, so it was suggested to restrict the name Neotragini to the type genus Neotragus. In our study we use mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences and linear skull measurements to further investigate the similarity of all three Neotragus species. Our analyses support the close relationship of N. moschatus and N. batesi. However, N. pygmaeus – the type species, which was never before included in phylogenetic analyses – is not closely related. It might share a most recent common ancestor with another “dwarf antelope”, the Klipspringer Oreotragus oreotragus, and the duikers in the taxon Cephalophini. Hence, we suggest resurrecting the genus Nesotragus von Dueben, 1846 for Nesotragus moschatus and N. batesi.