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Bat-Eared Fox

Bat-Eared Fox
Setswana Name: 
moTlhose
Scientific Name: 
Octocyon megalotis

Total length: 75-90cm

Tail: 23-90cm

Shoulder height - Male: 35cm

Mass: 3-5 kg

Identification pointers: Jackal-like appearance; disproportionately large ears; bushy, silvery-grey coat; black legs; bushy tail-black above and at tip; face black below eyes, paler above eyes.

Description

Bat-Eared Fox is a small jackal-like carnivore with skinny legs, a sharp-pointed and long muzzle with very large ears. Its ears can reach up to 14cm in length, the back and tips of which are black in colour with the rest white or off-white.

Bat-Eared Fox’s body is covered in long, silver-grey fur. Its tail is bushy and black in colour; a distinctive black or dark brown band runs across the animal’s forehead.

Habitat

Bat-Eared Fox live in open country with short shrub, grassveld and sparsely wooded areas. It can be found all across Botswana.

Behaviour

Bat Eared Fox activity is recorded as diurnal and nocturnal, and restful in the hotter parts of the day. It is an animal which digs its own burrows and can even invade others’ burrows adjusting to its own individual needs.  They socialize in groups of 2-6 individuals.
The pairs mate for life, and each group will usually consist of a pair and their offspring.

Food

Bat eard fox live largely off insects and small rodents. Using their large ears to gather sound.They will walk around with their ears to the ground listening for movements or any sound underground.

They can be seen pouncing and then digging to extract the prey. In thick sand they have been estimated to pick up sounds as deep as 20cm.

Reproduction

Young are born in holes in the ground which are diligently dug out by the parents. Pups are born in numbers of 2 to 4.