• chevrotain;
  • coat colours;
  • craniometrics;
  • island fauna;
  • South-East Asia;
  • taxonomy;
  • Tragulidae

The taxonomy of South-East Asian mouse-deer (Tragulus) is complex, and after some 120 years of considerable taxonomic revisions of the genus a clear key is still lacking for the determination of species and subspecies. Through craniometrical analysis of 338 skulls of Tragulus and some study of coat coloration patterns we have come to a better understanding of mouse-deer taxonomy. Our results show that there are three species groups: the T. javanicus-group, the T. napu-group, and T. versicolor. Within the T. javanicus-group we recognize three species: T. javanicus (from Java), T. williamsoni (from northern Thailand and possibly southern China), and T. kanchil (from the rest of the range), and within these species we provisionally recognize 16 subspecies. Within the T. napu-group we recognize two species: T. nigricans (from Balabac), and T. napu (from the rest of the range); within these species we provisionally recognize eight subspecies. T. versicolor from Nhatrang, south-east Vietnam, is distinct from the two previous groups; it is, however, unclear whether this species is still extant. © 2004 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2004, 140, 63–102.