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The Spotted Deer or Cheetal, Axis axis axis (Erxleben), is one of the most common and perhaps the most handsome members of the deer family (Cervidae) in India. The colour is rusty brown with numerous white spots all over the body. The full grown stag stands about a metre high and has a crown of long antlers in the breeding season
The species is distributed from Sri Lanka and Peninsular India northward to Kumaon (in Uttar Pradesh), Nepal, Sikkim and Bengal. According to Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951) there are two sub-species viz., Axis axis ceylonensis (Fischer) which is confined to Sri Lanka, and Axis axis axis (Erxleben) found in the rest of the species range.
In spite of numerous publications, little in-depth information on its ecology and ethology is available. This volume aims to fill that gap.