Cape genet

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Cape genet
Large-spotted Genet (Genetta tigrina) (17356502041) (crop).jpg
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Suborder: Feliformia
Family: Viverridae
Genus: Genetta
Species:
G. tigrina
Binomial name
Genetta tigrina
(Schreber, 1778)

The Cape genet (Genetta tigrina), also known as the South African large-spotted genet, is a genet species endemic to South Africa. As it is common and not threatened, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. [1] Like other genets, it is nocturnal and arboreal, preferring to live in the riparian zones of forests, as long as these are not marshy areas. [2]

Contents

Characteristics

The Cape genet is ash grey with brown irregular spots and a black stripe along the spine. Its muzzle is white, and it has white spots below the eye. Its ears are grey. Its tail is black and white banded with a black tip. [3] Some individuals living in areas with more than 375 mm (14.8 in) annual precipitation are darker than individuals from drier areas. [4]

Measurements of adult males range from 460 to 580 mm (18 to 23 in) in head and body with a 390 to 459 mm (15.4 to 18.1 in) long tail and a weight of 1.6 to 2.1 kg (3.5 to 4.6 lb). Adult females range from 427 to 560 mm (16.8 to 22.0 in) in head and body with a 385 to 432 mm (15.2 to 17.0 in) long tail and a weight of 1.36 to 1.870 kg (3.00 to 4.12 lb). [5]

Like in all Viverrinae, its dental formula is: 3.1.4.23.1.4.2. [6] Like all genets, it has musk glands and anal sacs. [7]

It differs from other genets by a short dorsal crest and poorly spotted hind legs, which are dark at the back. [8] [9]

Distribution and habitat

Cape genet in Maun, Botswana Genetta in Botswana.jpg
Cape genet in Maun, Botswana

In South Africa, the Cape genet is distributed from the Western Cape to KwaZulu-Natal, south of 32°S, and to the Lesotho border. [1] It is the most widely distributed and common small carnivore in KwaZulu-Natal, and rests in large trees, rock overhangs and caves. [10] It lives in moist environments near streams, rivers and standing water, in lowland and mountain fynbos, where vegetation cover is high. [5]

Ecology and behaviour

Cape genets have been recorded solitary, and mostly at night. During the day, they rest in trees high above the ground. They are both terrestrial and arboreal, but hunt and feed on the ground. [5] They mark by depositing a secretion from the anal sac. [4] It is unknown whether they are territorial. [10] They use latrine sites to defecate. [11]

Cape genets become active after dark to search for prey. Combining speed and stealth, they dash forward in an elusive fashion, broken up by short pauses. They hiss and growl in stressful situations. Olfactory communication is most likely very important in the life of Cape genets, their social environment and life cycle. When walking on branches, they stay low and laterally swing their legs out so that any misstep is easily correctable. [12]

Feeding ecology

Cape genets feed mostly on rodents such as African vlei rats, rock rats, mice and birds. Also seeds, leaves and grass was found in their stomachs, as well as beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, locusts and termites. [4] [5] They find most of their prey in low bushes and leaf litter, including African climbing mice, multimammate mice and African dormice. They are considered to be opportunistic omnivores, since they also catch and feed on insects, spiders, scorpions, and scavenge fish on the beach. Eating grass may aid digestion, dislodge hair in the intestines, induce vomiting to get rid of ingested toxins, relieve throat inflammation and stomach irritation. Birds appear to not be prevalent in their diet. [2]

Reproduction

Cape genets apparently mate during the warm summer months. Pregnant females were observed in September to November. [4] [5] Two young weighed 70 g at birth. [5]

A captive breeding pair regularly had litters of two young. [11] Gestation periods last about 70 days. Females make nests in hollow trees, in holes or among boulders. The young open their eyes 10 days after birth, their canine teeth break through at the age of four weeks. They are weaned at about 2.5 months and hunt on their own when about seven months old. [13]

Captive Cape genets lived for 15 years. [14]

Threats

Cape genet in captivity Large SpottedGenet CincinnatiZoo.jpg
Cape genet in captivity

Cape genets face no major threats. As they sometimes kill poultry, they are killed in retaliation by farmers. [15]

Conservation

Cape genets have been recorded in dozens of protected areas. Outside reserves they are unprotected, and not listed in the South African Red Data Book nor any CITES appendices. [10]

Cape genets as pets

Cape genets are one of the genet species kept as exotic pets. [16]

Related Research Articles

Viverridae family of mammals

Viverridae is a family of small to medium-sized mammals, the viverrids, comprising 15 genera, which are subdivided into 38 species. This family was named and first described by John Edward Gray in 1821. Viverrids occur all over Africa, southern Europe, and South and Southeast Asia, across the Wallace Line. Their occurrence in Sulawesi and in some of the adjoining islands shows them to be ancient inhabitants of the Old World tropics.

African palm civet species of mammal

The African palm civet, also known as the two-spotted palm civet, is a small feliform mammal widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Spotted linsang species of mammal

The spotted linsang is a linsang, a tree-dwelling carnivorous mammal, native to much of Southeast Asia. It is widely, though usually sparsely, recorded, and listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Genet (animal) genus of mammals

A genet is a member of the genus Genetta, which consists of 14 to 17 species of small African carnivorans. The common genet is the only genet present in Europe and occurs in the Iberian Peninsula and France.

Crested servaline genet species of mammal

The crested servaline genet, also known as the crested genet, is a genet species endemic to Nigeria and Cameroon. As the population has declined due to loss of habitat, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List. It was first recorded in the Mamfe Division in Cameroon and initially considered a subspecies of the servaline genet. But now it is regarded as a distinct species.

Servaline genet species of mammal

The servaline genet is a genet species native to Central Africa. As it is widely distributed and considered common, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Aquatic genet species of mammal

The aquatic genet is a genet that has only been recorded in the northeast of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Since it is only known from about 30 specimens in zoological collections, it had been listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List since 1996, as it is considered one of Africa's rarest carnivores. In 2015, it has been reassessed as Near Threatened.

Abyssinian genet species of mammal

The Abyssinian genet, also known as the Ethiopian genet, is a genet species native to Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, and Djibouti. It is listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List. It is one of the least-known genet species.

Angolan genet Species of mammal

The Angolan genet or miombo genet is a genet species endemic to Southern Africa. It is considered common in this region and therefore listed as Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. Little is known about its ecology.

Common genet species of mammal

The common genet is a small viverrid indigenous to Africa that was introduced to southwestern Europe and the Balearic Islands. It is widely distributed north of the Sahara, in savanna zones south of the Sahara to southern Africa and along the coast of Arabia, Yemen and Oman. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Eupleridae family of carnivorans

Eupleridae is a family of carnivorans endemic to Madagascar and comprising 10 known living species in seven genera, commonly known as euplerids, Malagasy mongooses or Malagasy carnivorans. The best known species is the fossa, in the subfamily Euplerinae. All species of Euplerinae were formerly classified as viverrids, while all species in the subfamily Galidiinae were classified as herpestids.

Rusty-spotted genet species of mammal

The rusty-spotted genet, also called panther genet and large-spotted genet, is a genet that is widely distributed in sub-Saharan Africa. It is considered common and therefore listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Johnstons genet species of mammal

Johnston's genet is a genet species native to the Upper Guinean forests. As it is threatened by deforestation and conversion of rainforest to agriculturally and industrially used land, it is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List.

Giant forest genet species of mammal

The giant forest genet, also known as the giant genet, is a genet species endemic to the Congo Basin. As it is considered as widely distributed and common, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Haussa genet species of mammal

The Haussa genet is a genet species native to West African savannas. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

Feliformia suborder of mammals in the order Carnivora

Feliformia is a suborder within the order Carnivora consisting of "cat-like" carnivorans, including cats, hyenas, mongooses, viverrids, and related taxa. Feliformia stands in contrast to the other suborder of Carnivora, Caniformia.

Viverrinae subfamily of mammals, the viverrids

The Viverrinae represent the largest subfamily within the Viverridae comprising five genera, which are subdivided into 22 species native to Africa and Southeast Asia. This subfamily was denominated and first described by John Edward Gray in 1864.

Bourlons genet species of mammal

Bourlon's genet is a genet species native to the Upper Guinean forests. It is known from only 29 zoological specimens in natural history museum and has been described as a new Genetta species in 2003. It is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List as the global population is estimated at less than 10,000 mature individuals.

Pardine genet species of mammal

The pardine genet, also known as the West African large spotted genet, is a genet species living in West Africa. As it is widely distributed and common, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Gaubert, P. & Do Linh San, E. (2015). "Genetta tigrina". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . IUCN. 2015: e.T41702A45219459. doi: 10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T41702A45219459.en . Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  2. 1 2 Roberts, P.; Somers, M.; White, R.; Nel, J. (2007). "Diet of the South African large-spotted genet Genetta tigrina (Carnivora, Viverridae) in a coastal dune forest". Acta Theriologica. 52 (1): 45–53. doi:10.1007/BF03194198. S2CID   44520588.
  3. Schreber, J. C. D. (1778). "Viverra tigrina". Die Säugethiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur mit Beschreibungen. Dritter Theil. Erlangen: Walther. pp. 425−426.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Rautenbach, I. L. (1978). The Mammals of the Transvaal (Doctor Philosophiae). Pietermaritzburg: University of Natal.
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Stuart, C.T. (1981). "Notes on the mammalian carnivores of the Cape Province, South Africa". Bontebok. 1: 1–58.
  6. Ewer, R. F. (1973). The Carnivores . Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
  7. Kingdon, J. (1997). The Kingdon Field Guide to African Mammals . San Diego, California: Academic Press.
  8. Gaubert, P., Véron, G., Tranier, M. (2001). An investigation of morpho-anatomical characters within the genus Genetta (Carnivora, Viverridae) with a remark on Osbornictis, the aquatic genet. Symposium International sur les Petits Mammifères Africains, Julliet 1999, Paris. Pp.81–89.
  9. Gaubert, P.; Taylor, P. J.; Veron, G. (2005). "Integrative taxonomy and phylogenetic systematics of the genets (Carnivora, Viverridae, Genetta): a new classification of the most speciose carnivoran genus in Africa" (PDF). In Huber, B. A.; Sinclair, B. J.; Lampe, K.-H. (eds.). African Biodiversity: Molecules, Organisms, Ecosystems. Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium of Tropical Biology. Bonn: Museum König. pp. 371–383.
  10. 1 2 3 Rowe-Rowe, D. T. (1992). Genetta tigrina Large-spotted Genet Archived 2013-12-13 at the Wayback Machine . In: The carnivores of Natal. Natal Parks Board, Pietermaritzburg.
  11. 1 2 Wemmer, C. M. (1977). Comparative Ethology of the Large Spotted Genet (Genetta genetta) and Some Related Viverrids (PDF). Washington: Smithsonian Institutional Press.
  12. Natural History Collections Department of Iziko Museums of South Africa. (2000). Biodiversity Explorer: Genetta tigrina.
  13. Skinner, J. D., Smithers, R. H. N. (1990). The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion. University of Pretoria, Pretoria.
  14. Gaubert, P. (2013). Genetta tigrina Cape Genet. In: J. Kingdon and M. Hoffmann (eds.) The Mammals of Africa. V. Carnivores, Pangolins, Equids and Rhinoceroses, pp. 247–249. Bloomsbury, London, UK.
  15. Stuart, C. T. (1990). The conservation status of mustelids and viverrids in Southern Africa. Small Carnivore Conservation 3: 16.
  16. Van Rompaey, H., & Colyn, M. (1998). A new servaline genet (Carnivora, Viverridae) from Zanzibar island. South African Journal of Zoology 33(1): 42–46.