Equus quagga quagga Boddaert, 1785:160

Quagga, iqwara (Xhosa), kwagga (Afrikaans)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Equus burchelli quagga Boddaert, 1785:160; couagga Desmarest, 1822; danielli Pocock, 1904; greyi Lydekker, 1902; lorenzi Lydekker, 1902; qouagga Lesson, 1827; quaccha Gray, 1827; trouessarti Camerano, 1908


Conservation Status


Last record: 1872 (Gippoliti et al., 2017); 12 August 1883 (Willoughby, 1966)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



South Africa


Biology & Ecology




The Grant Museum of Zoology:

Z581 (mounted skeleton; female)


Zoologisch Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands:

ZMA 522 (died 12 August 1883 at Amsterdam Zoo)


See also (Rau, 1974, 1978).




Early illustrations

Many early illustrations can be seen in (Schlawe & Wozniak, 2010).


Above: illustration by Robert Jacob Gordon (1777).


Above: painting of a Quagga stallion in Louis XVI's Versailles menagerie by Nicolas Maréchal (1793).


Above: painting by Samuel Daniell later used as the basis of the synonym E. q. danielli (1804)


Above: Paintings of a Quagga stallion belonging to Lord Morton by Jacques-Laurent Agasse (1821).


The only African photograph

The only photograph of a live Quagga in its native South Africa was taken by Gustav Theodor Fritsch (1838-1927) on 8 April 1864 at Andrew Hudson Bain's farm (Quaggafontein) in South Africa's Orange Free State (Fritsch, 1868; Barnaby, 1996; Heywood & Dietrich, 2021), but has long been known only via the photoxylographic version (Heywood & Dietrich, 2021).

Above: the original Fritsch photograph of a Quagga in South Africa was used to produce a woodcut (photoxylograph).


In December 2022, Artist Jasper Hulshoff Pol (website) rediscovered a stereophoto slide copy of Fritsch's original photographic image. He and I have written an article about the discovery:

Above: the front of the slide. Kindly provided by Jasper Hulshoff Pol.


Above: the reverse of the slide. Kindly provided by Jasper Hulshoff Pol.


London Zoo photographs

In addition to the above little known photo, five photographs of one mare in the London Zoo are known, where she resided from 1851-1872. They were taken by Frank Haes (1863-1864) and Frederick York (1870) (Heywood & Dietrich, 2021), but the last of them was only published (and discovered?) more than a century later in 1991 (Huber, 1991, 1994). And even then, the details of the photographs have been made clearer by further research (Edwards, 1996; Fuller, 2013; Heywood & Dietrich, 2021).



Above: one of two images from the stereoview (see here).




Original scientific description:

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