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biodiversity explorer

the web of life in southern Africa

Family: Equidae (horses, zebras, donkeys)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Synapsida (mammal-like reptiles) > Therapsida > Theriodontia >  Cynodontia > Mammalia (mammals) > Placentalia (placental mammals) > Laurasiatheria > Ferungulata > Paraxonia > Perissodactyla (odd-toed ungulates) 

Species indigenous to southern Africa

Equus zebra zebra (Cape mountain zebra)

This subspecies of Mountain zebra is currently limited in distribution to a few national parks and reserves in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. It very nearly went extinct but was saved through the creation of the Mountain Zebra National Park. It inhabits mountainous areas with grass, up to an elevation of about 2000 m.

Equus zebra hartmannae (Hartmann's mountain zebra)

Limited to the montane escarpment of Namibia, and extending marginally into south-western Angola.It is larger than the Cape mountain zebra, which is the other subspecies of Mountain zebra. Mountain zebras are best distinguished from Plains zebra by the fact that the stripes do not extend under the belly.

Equus quagga (Plains zebra)

The extension of the stripes beneath the belly is perhaps the easiest way of distinguishing this zebra from the Mountain zebra. The Plains Zebra inhabits open savannah woodland, open scrub and grassland with available water and its natural distribution extends from East Africa down to the northern and eastern areas of southern Africa. It has also been introduced back into the Cape in a project to selectively breed a Plain's zebra that looks similar to the extinct Quagga.

Domesticated species in southern Africa

Equus equus (Horse)


Equus asinus (Donkey)