Ram: Shoulder height 50 cm; tail 5 cm; mass 11 kg; average horn length 9 cm
Ewe: Shoulder height 50 cm; tail 5 cm; mass 11 kg
Small, elegant, large-eyed antilope normally rufous-fawn above but can vary from pale fawn to reddish-brown. Underparts including insides of legs are pure white, and there is a white patch on throat and above eyes. Rufous-fawn tail is very short. Only ram carries the short, sharp-pointed, smooth-surfaced, vertical horns.
Open country but some cover required. In arid areas inhabit dry river-bed associations.
Occur singly or in pairs. Territorial. Unlike other small antilope steenbok defecate and unrinate in shallow scrapes dug by front hoofs; these are then covered. Lie up in cover during heat of day, feeding in early morning and late afternoon. Also active at night, particularly in areas where they suffer disturbance.
Mixed feeders taking grasses, browse, seed-pods and fruit. Dig for roots and bulbs with the front hoofs.