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D. R.







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£18. so



«AT. HISf. '\ -4FEB1975J


Publication No. 723





with II

plates in colour

Rita Parsons

and 172



Patricia Wolseley,



Rita Parsons and the author







published 1974


Trustees ot the British


(Natural History) 1974


number 723


0565 00723



drcit Brilain by Sraplts Printers Limned




Press, Kerterinir Nortiidmptimsliire

Definition of the area taken herein as representing


Africa and of other

topographical terms will be found on page 518.



should have


stronger expectations than


dare yet

entertain, to see philosophy solidly established, if men would more carefully distinguish those things that they know from those that they ignore or do but think, and then explicate clearly

the things they conceive they understand, acknowledge ingenuously what it is they ignore, and profess so candidly their doubts, that the industry of intelligent persons might be set on work to make further enquiries and the easiness of less discerning

men might

not be imposed on".



"Ce que nous connaissons est peu de choses, ce que nous ignorons

'iltc Inst




this, the third volume on the West African mammals, was made by the generous support for three years of the Wellcome Trust, to whose Trustees, Director and staff I am most sincerely grateful. I must also once more express my thanks to the Trustees of the British Museum (Natural History) for the facilities again accorded to me. This present work to all intents and purposes brings to a close an association with the Mammal Room extending over almost forty years, and I cannot too strongly express my deep appreciation of the ever-friendly help and encouragement 1 have received throughout from the members of this section and most particularly in recent times from Dr. Gordon Corbet and all his subordinate staff in their various capacities. I also gladly acknowledge my indebtedness to the Museum's Librarian, Mr. M. J. Rowlands, and his assistants who have repeatedly and readily gone out of

research for




to give


their help.

have been much encouraged by various correspondents who have found the previous volumes useful, and by the help I have received from collectors and field and museum workers who have kindly furnished me with specimens or items of information. These are more fully acknowledged in the appropriate places; but I would here mention A.J. Hopson, G. S. Child, R. H. Kemp, Sonia Jeffreys and Gerald Durrell for notes concerning distribution or behaviour Dr. P. H. J. van Bree of Amsterdam and Dr. Renate Angcrmann of Berlin for the loan of specimens; and J. J. C. Mallinson for photographs. I owe a very special debt to Theo S. Jones for his unflagging interest in this entire project, for his continual encouragement and for his practical help, despite an over-busy existence, in reading through the typescript and supplying numerous valuable notes from his wide experience in the field. The typescript has been read, too, by Robert Hayman who, although now in well-earned retirement, has once again as so often before kindly offered me helpful suggestions, thus adding yet more to my longstanding indebtedness to his wide knowledge of African mammalogy. No one who studies the morphology and taxonomy of the Carnivora can fail to be deeply impressed with the encyclopaedic knowledge of the Order possessed by the late R. I. Pocock, the outcome of a lifetime's acquaintance as much with living or recently dead specimens in zoos as with mere skulls or dried skins. I should be truly wanting in gratitude if I failed to acknowledge how very much tliis present work owes to the innumerable clearly illustrated papers of this remarkable and indefatigably inquisitive


All who use this book will agree that it owes a great deal of its value to the painstaking work of the artists who have assisted in its production, Rita Parsons, Patricia Wolseley and Monika Shaffer. I have been fortunate in fmding such willing helpers and I am

indeed grateful for their cheerful co-operation

in the

exacting task of achievingaccuracy


who has almost faultlessly typed and imcomplainingly taking in her stride a variety of unfamiliar languages, technical terms, columns of figures, niceties of spacing and abbreviations, often bedevilled with maddening complexities of punctuation. Though less immediately concerned with the day-to-day production of the

must add m)' thanks

also to Sylvia Oliver

whole of my lengthy manuscript,


Lastly I make a wholeheartedly sincere ness to Mr. I am more deeply grateful than words can properly convey. F.S. until it is too late and synonymy is. indeed. the work will be found to fill a gap and continue to serve a useful purpose for some years to come.C. far more so than is commonly imagined even by those who justifiably claim a considerable knowledge of the animal world.. Those who study the often involved taxonomic something of this author's disquiet regarding mammalogical taxonomy in general. have now become a fashionable field of intensive scientific study supported by large fimds and expensive equipment. must result in benefit to the animals themselves already done for some at least of those dealt with in this volume. once the recognized speciality of the professional hunter. would have been useless without the never-failing support and encouragement of my wife and her foresight and faith originally forbearance through several decades of collecting. as well as many other unnamed and helpers. skull cleaning and. in that the habits and behaviour of African mammals. printer's litter. sections will gather — — D. which not so very long ago v/ere almost universally regarded as harmful and expendable predators. This. as the exact niches in nature tilled by each species are more as. I cannot overlook how much I owe initially to Lord Grey of Naunton whose got the whole of this project off the ground. The subject is a complex one. but to for whose surgical skill this acknowledgment of my indebtedwork would never friends have reached its conclusion. Stanley Raw. R. and with its placid acceptance into an already encumbered nomenclature of new names without question. burdened with them for eternity.R. Turning from the museum to the field it is interesting to note the remarkable change which the last two decades have witnessed. 1972 . To all of these. with its insistence on reference to anciently named types often chiefly notable for their ridiculously sketchy diagnoses. in a region not ver\^ rich in local literature. ultimately. it has clearly appreciated. however. under the present system. ROSEVEAR Hartley Wintney Hampshire April. and to Sir Terence Morrison-Scott whose friendly help and persistence in the face of financial difficulties kept it airborne over a period of years. and that. It is only to be hoped that this account of a truly fascinating group of animals goes someway to justifying their faith.

229 239 341 Hyaenidae Felidae: Felinae 373 .. no 128 160 161 . 29 30 Caninae Simocyoninae 34 75 mustelidae mustblinae . Paradoxurinae Herpestinae. Glossary of terms 513 Note on the area taken Note on vegetation References AS West Africa 518 519 5^4 538 Index .CONTENTS Preface .. 92 93 Mellivorinae lutrinae Feloidea. ViVERRIDAE Viverrinae 164 . Page Vll List of Illustrations X I 5 Checklist General Introduction Canoidea Canidae.

22.. B. 2. B. top row.9. No.. B. right upper jaw. palatal & dorsal Lutrinae: posterior cheekteeth..1. signata.74. 148 ?.M.12.. 23. bottom row.. lateral view 144 145 i. 78.29...M.44.. No. B.. right lower. 1939. sex ?. (J. ^ [Mellivora capeusis) . 81 {Ictony: Weasel {Pcecilictis lihyca) and Striped Polecat 50. 7..5. Fclis iihir^driici aircmis.... Feiiiicais zcida..74. B.. . .^. lateral view . ?. x |. No.. 11. Acnyx [Paraonyx) cougica. 9- 10.3. No. cottoni Lutra uiaculicollis: skull.M.4.44. 2.1. 25. 23.. No.. 21.26..7.M. Type. . skull. J. . x |. No...8.22. 157 .M.. 2. Type of sharicus.. No. 19- . skull. 21 . 1938.. leucouota.8. 28.8. lateral view 24.M. B. ^3- 1938. showing the extent of white in the various forms: 20.M. palatal & 115 Ratel or Honey Badger a. African striatus) Striped 13- Ictcnyx striatus seiicgakusis: skull.. No. II..M.7. sex ?.M.M.8. 119 1^5 Mellivora capensis: dorsal coat patterns. 1938... d< dorsal B. lateral view below. No. ai. 28. 97 $. No. No. 50. 1746.M.1. 17 . .1. B. B. b.. 67..29.. No. right upper. left lower hii and m. 26. B.. I. B.12.7.1. ..11. No.M.. buchauaui. No. 156 . palatal views. Aoiiyx capeusis..M. palatal view above.38. right lower jaw. capciisis: Type of rotlischiUi.M. Hunting Dog [Lycaoii pictus) Lycaoii pictus: skull. B. lateral 80 palatal B. view II.M. x 3 Golden lackal [Cnnis aureus) Ciiiiis aureus: skull..9. Lycaoii pictus: skull. . 2: a.. $. B..22. right upper p'^ and m^. B. e.. 17- Mellivora Mellivora capctisis: views i8. Civus athistus: skull. b. B. concisa. x i . 14- Ictonyx striatus seiiegalensis: skull.7.8... . Page 3- 45- showing the position of closure: a. sex x |... d.'.8 Aoiiyx [Paraoiiyx) cougica: skull. TypRal carnivorous 16 . No. views ...29..M..M. Type ot caesia. 5. B. lateral cJ. x | Fenneais zerda: skull. b.-iouyx [Paraonyx) cougica: skull. B... No.8.. B.7.5.6. sex ?.26.. x 2 Carnassial teeth.. x § teeth. palatal & dorsal views .. dorsal view below. 99 25.. No. lateral and surface views. Type o( sharicus.38. cj.4. sex ?. b.8. 10. 15- Poecilictus lihyca: skull..44. No.M. Lii/cd omnf/ico///. 25.1429. i6. lateral view above.7.M.. c.M. & dorsal views.22. 23. Lutra iiwculicollis: skull.ILLUSTRATIONS Fig. .• B.. 107 view 114 |. 37 45 SI 53 Side-striped Jackal {Catiis adustus) 6.9. Type. 7. c. X : I 59 68 77 i. No. No. a. 26.. 98 ?. X > 2. x i Vulpi's rueppelli: skull.

x f. (J.M. ?. B. B.... B. B.2. <J. No. (missing posterior detail filled in from B. x |. 6.. G. Civettictis civetta: skull. x i palatal x dorsal views Herpestiuae: illustrating the two contrasting positions of the cheekteeth a.M. . 11. B.3.4.M.. x i Striped Hyaena {Hyaena hyaena) and Spotted Hyaena {Crocuta crocuta) Hyaena hyaena: skull. cJ.M.M. 13). No. No.30. sex ?). 10. x ^.M.. 250 264 270 284 296 304 313 .. No. geneltoides.941. 59.507.30. B. Ft'/i5 /i'fc)'M/o. 1939..1 1. & dorsal views Felis serval: Felis aurata: Felis aurata: ..11. $. palatal & dorsal views. B.41. palatal & dorsal views Felis margarita airensis: skull.M. lateral view Crocuta crocuta: skull.. B.12. B.26. X i..M. 98.. 13. X I Naiidinia binotata: skull. $..3.M. No. 59. 11. 23. lateral view skull. 19. 10. cristata.34. cJ. 12. cJ. G. 48. X 1.. x i Iclmetwiia albicauda: skull. B. $. 59. No. 347 350 351 .397. B. 1766. B. No.5. Type. B.M. B. (J. x f x f . palatal & dorsal views . x I Felis caracal: skull. No.. 180 195 223 .. X i. 419 43433 XI . No.M.M.. 59.. Pdirtiia nVZ/rtrJic'/ii. Type of poecilotis.. B. 5. 1. lateral view skull.M.6.M. 35. G. No.1.5.. 7. B. X I lateral Xenogale naso: skull.ILLUSTRATIONS African Civet {Civettictis civetta) . $.M.841. skull. sex ?. X I Liberiictis kuhni: skull.2.. 359 388 389 398 view Felis caracal: skull.11.814. c.M. 1673. x ^.3. No.941. No.M. 48.. x i.10.10.. posterior corner oi p* about level with the zygoma [Xeiwgale tiaso. 241 . 48.. 2. . sex ?..78. No. B. 46.10. palatal & dorsal Genetta: left bullae. lateral view Hyaena hyaena: skull.. (J. Type. x 2 Galeriscus nigripes: skull.10. views .M. lateral view Galerisctis nigripes: skull.M. 78. 20. 12. 39.3. No.M. (J.M. No.. No. B. 58. 23.M. No. cJ.3.1. No.M. 25. B.. x i .M. . B. sex ?. No. b. No. S b.272. 99. 14) Miingos gainbiamis: skull.M.3. No.2. 14. X i lateral view Felis libyca foxi: skull. B. 169 172 173 Civettictis civetta: skull. skull. 7. x ^o.. 10.2. 20. p^ well anterior to the root of the zygoma {Ichneumia albicauda. x | Miingos gambianus: bulla. No. ^34 235 . 61.3.M.M.272. 314 326 3^7 334 338 Type of nigerianus.M.. 9.M. B. No. B. ?.23. .1 i. x i Crossarchus obsciirus: skull. 25. view palatal & dorsal views x 3: a.53. genetta (? ajra).M. 21. sex ?). (J. palatal . B. Felis serval: skull. . $.1. x J.4.13. B. No. No. J Geueffa iCHc^a/eo^-w: skull. (Ji X I Galerella sanguinea melanura: skull. 25. sex ?. 13.M.23. 404 405 418 Type oi poecilotis.M. x i. 1. B. No.10.M No. 19.814. No..2.26. Galerella sanguinea: bulla.2. palatal & dorsal views skull. B. No. 13.41. 9. No. 10. B. 2. B. No.M. No. 19. (J. 1939. x i. x 2 Herpestes ichneumon: skull. 10.13. (missing posterior detail filled in from B. ?.. lateral . 99..M.323. X i.M. 3. No. ?. No. No. B. B. 36. J.. c?. 61. X I lateral view Naiidinia hinotata: skull.. palatal & dorsal views Crocuta crocuta: skull.. 21.. 358 .1. cJ. Atilax palndinosHs: skull. No. B. 1. sex ?.. B.

. Crested Genet [Gcnctta 4.. 32. gamblaims). palatal &: dorsal B. skull. Caracal Serval (Fi'/ii . . views . B. (AUNIVOKIS I . j^ . Bcnm Gene: Richardson's Linsang {Poiaiui [Natidinia hinolata) . {Viilpcs nicppclli) 2.. ...M..1.23. Cape Clawless Otter .. .. •' .... No. Pel's Genet {Genctta Genet [Gciuiia poaisis).. ..23... 65..o lalboii) (Hcrpestes ichneumon occukiitaUi) <ns) M.142 3.o. olat'-T'i' view s Pii»r/u'ni skull...M. lateral view Acitwnyx julhitiis: skull. ..M. . B. C)l WlSl AIUKA . .). . |^.71. . 62. ?.10.210 226 252 Two-spotted Palm Civet 6. COLOUR PLATES Plate 1. Panihcra p.. 414 .. o.M.22. palatal ic'i'.... No. . 446 447 468 469 498 499 • !.. 21. .v /i//iiifi(. B. Panthcra ihudm: pcLigc patterns.. .<itim/) . Talbot's 7.. Riciug Sand Fox [I'ulpcs pallitht).. palatal & dorsal views . 443 /icirJib.. . /I'l'. 3 1 (fV/i'i (cJiiicii/) (Fi7i'. M. licliaidsoin). B. No. iitaatlicoUis). 386 African Golden Cat ii/iM^i) . 6c dorsal |-.. o. No. 15. 64.M. . cristata) \ifiicttoii1cs)...\ . . Senegal Genet (Gciictta scncgalciisis). . . Ganibian aitlios) Mongoose . Kusimanse Forest {Civssiucliiis ohininis) . Fennec (Fciiiwciis zciila). ..12..27. j. 66... 11. 10. 5... Mongoose [Galcrclla san^iiincii cana) African Wild Cat (Fc/i'i /i/iyci..1.- •.f/i('rii .. Western Mongoose {GitleiclLi SiViiiuinca phoeiiicnni).v.. . Piii.(l//).1.. Riippell's Fox 66 Speckle-throated [Aoiiyx capensis) Otter [Lutra . Mongoose [Ichncuiwia alhicdtida).. $..7. .. . skull. .. 61.iidu<: views 63.1 lateral view .10. .. . F^ausa Genet (Gciidiii tliiciryi). Nci.27. {Miiii(. {Miiiii^os niuni. Guinea Slender . 35. No.Tin.1. .. 35. . Pii/if/itTd .- skull.. .22..^ .71..190 Small-spotted .. 21....12.. (Gcficttii hiiii) . Banded Mongoose icliiieiiiuoii . . Ichneumon [Hcrpcstcs Western Ichneumon 276 302 Marsh Mongoose [AtHax pahuhnoBlack-tooted Mon- [Gali'iisciis iiigripes) Forest Slender Red-tailed Mongoose {Galerclla siuif^iiiuca mcLimiia)..7. Whitc-tailed goose 9. 32. 60..^(•/(. skull..

Ratel. B. 193 Dog-like Superfamily Family CANIDAE Gray. M. striatiis /. 1822 1780) Feimecs Fcnnec Genus VULPES I '. rt/(/ri/i" Dogs Golden Jackal Side-striped Jackal Linnaeus. Foxes. capciisis (Schrcber. Zorilla Senegal Striped Polecat sciicgalcnsi!: {]. 18 10) African Striped Polecat. /)iVfi/_^ Himting Dogs (Tcmminck. 1832) Striped Weasel iiniltii'ittata (Wagner. L. C. 1821 Land and Sea Carnivores Suborder FISSIPEDA Blumenbach. 1872 Typical Dogs Genus CANIS. Weasels. 1758 Carnivorous Mammals Order CARNIVORA Bowdicli. MUSTELINAE Gill . 1945 Carnivore — Herbivore Group Supcrorder Linnaeus. 1758 C. Weasels. True Foxes Riippell's V. 1776) P. 1907 Speckled Ratel Air Ratel Lake Chad Ratel c. 1820) Hunting Dog 1827 etc. 1804 F. 1835 Polecats. 1846 Genus F EN N EC U S Dcsmarest. 1825) pallidi (Crctzschmar. Genus ICTONYX Kaup. leticoiiotci c. I. 1780 Ratels M. 1920 Striped Weasels P. M. 1925 . Fleming. 1872 Ratels Genus MELLIVORA Storr. 1835 African Polecats /. 1906 Black Ratel coiicisa Thomas & Wroughton. lihycn Hiiuoii. (Hemprich & Ehrenberg. huchanani Thomas. 1758 adiistus Sundcvall. c. rncppdli (Scliinz. Honey Badger M. etc. 1841) Southerly Striped Weasel Subfamily MELLIVORINAE Gill. L. etc. 1893 Fox Sand Fox Himting Dogs Subfamily Genus Family SIMOCYONINAE LyCAO AT Brookes. 1791 Superfamily Land Carnivores 1 CANOIDEA Simpson. sigiiata Pocock. 1909 M.1872 Polecats. Subfamih' CANINAE Gill. A/. 1821 Dogs.CHECKLIST Cohort FERUNGULATA FERAE Simpson. Fischer. 1826) Zittcl. zcrda (Zimmermann. c. Subfamily MUSTELIDAE Swainson. Otters. i. cottoiii c. 1867 White-backed Ratel Lydekker. 1829) Genus POECILICTIS Thomas & P. Sclatcr. (Pcrrv. Linnaeus.

1778) African Civet Genus GEN ETTA G. 1762 Typical Otters Subgenus HY'D RICTIS Pocock. ^e/)e/?('/Jt'5 Temminck. Fischer. iiuiailicollif Liclitenstein. cristata Hay man. CIVETTICTIS C. 1838 Small-spotted Genet G. 1856 Pel's Genet G.g. etc. Lesson. tliicnyi Matschie. 1915 (Schrcber. Subfamily VIVERRINAE Gill. sciicgiilcnsis {y B.. 1908 Leiglitoii's Linsang . 1821 Civets. 1842) Richardson's Linsang lfi(^liioiii Pocock. qciictta Linnaeus. 1758 European Genet e. 1921 African Long-clawed Otters L. Cuvier. 1S27 African Clawless Otters Subgenus O/Vy. 1902 Hausa Genet Subgenus PARAGENETTA G. 1829) Senegal Genet G. iiou. Mongooses. (ifra F. 1864 African Linsangs /(:/)ii)(/iii. i960 Kuhn's Genets Pocock. Genets. Genets 1816 Typical Genets G. 1910) Small-toothed Clawless Otter Supcrfamily FELOIDEA Smipson.( (Thomson.ST Subtamily A E R H A LUTRINAE Baird. 1835 Speckle-throated Otter Genus A ON FA' /I Lesson. 1921 A. I Gray. 1S57 Cotters Genus LUTRA lirisson.THE CARNIVORES OF WI. 1832 Pardme Genet G. 18 16 Subgenus GENETTA G. pardiiiti L Gcoffroy. hini sp.Y A. 1825 North African Genet G. jolnistoiii Kuhn. Cuvier. 182 f) Cape Clawless Otter Small-toothed Clawless Otters Subgenus PARy40iVyA' Hinton. 1908 fohnston's Genet Genus POIANA P. 1872 Civets. Genets. 193 1 Cat-like Superfaniily Family VIVERRIDAE Gray. 1940 Crested Genet G. /'. civctta 1895 Civet Tribe African Civets Genus Pocock. pocnsis Waterhouse. 1827 Typical African Clawless Otters Ciipciisis (Schinz. Cuvier. Linsangs Tribe VIVERRINI Wmge. Benin Genet G. coiigiCii (Louiiberg.

)/). s. 1872 Mongooses Typical HERPESTINI Winge. etc. Tribe NANDINIINI Simpson. albicauda (G. 1826 ^(jWi/i05!/i (G. phoenicnra (Thomas. Cuvier. 1915) Schwarz's Banded Mongoose Af. h. G. 1926 North-west Banded Mongoose M. saharae (Thomas. 1837 White-tailed Mongooses White-tailed Mongoose Slender Genus GALERELLA G. 1866) Kordofan Banded Mongoose M. Iclmeumon. 1S36) Forest Slender .. nov. 1843 African Palm Civet Tribe Genus NAND INI A N. m. 1865 Mongooses Mongoose Mongoose 5. mungo (Gmelin. H. 191 2) Western Red-tailed Mongoose s. Nigerian Ichneumon F. African Palm Civets binotata (Gray. 1829) Geotfroy. Mongoose occidentalis Monard. Cuvier. Genus CROSSARCHUS C. 181 1 Typical Mongooses 1758) ichneumon (Linnaeus. Cuvier. 1825 Lesser Long-nosed Mongooses Cuvier. in. G. Egyptian i. Illiger. 1825 Kusimanse Genus ATILAX . nov. 1907) Talbot's Banded Mongoose M. 1872 African and Asian Palm Civets. 1940 Western Iclmeumon aitlws siibsp. 1835) Gambian Mongoose Genus HERPESTES H. talboti (Thomas & Wroughton. inandjamin (Scliwarz. in. 1925) Air Rcd-tailcd Mongoose sangiiinea (Riippell.CHECKLIST Subfamily 3 PARADOXURINAE Gill. 1830) binotata (Gray. Binturong. H. F. H. 1829) I. caiiriims Thomas. q^othnch (Heuglin & Fitzinger. Gray. Marsh Mongooses Marsh Mongoose Genus ICHNEUMIA /. i.4. Forest Iclmeumon intermedins subsp. 1830) Two-spotted Palm Civet Typical Two-spotted Palm Civet Subfamily Tribe HERPESTINAE Gill. G. Cuvier. 1795 Mungos M. i. 1907) Guinea Slender Mongoose i. 1836) Slender melanura (Martin. 1895 Mongoose Tribe African Genus MUNGOS E. g^ainhianns [OgAhy. Cuvier. aina (Wroughton. 1945 Gray. N. GeortVoy & G. G. obscunis F. 1788) Banded Mongoose M.

1843 Caracals Schreber. 1821 Recent and Fossil FELINAE Trouessart. Ico (Linnaeus. 1758) W. 1758) Leopard P. G.Tun CARNIVORES OF WFST AFRICA Genus GALERISCUS G. 1944 Mid-belt Wild Cat iiiargarita Loche. ctiiciail Gn^y. Desert Lynx Subgenus Subgenus LEPTAILURUS PROFELIS F. 1901) 1958 Mon- goose II. Icopdidiis (Schreber. iiiiriisis Pocock. F. 1885 Cats Cats Genus FEL/S' Linnaeus. Hausa Wild Cat Pocock. 1758 Subgenus FELIS F. L. 1776 Serval Cat Severtzov. F. ciocHta (Erxleben. 1758 True Cats African Uhyca Forster.. p. A'.. /. yi(/iii/ir. 1855) Black-footed Mongoose . F.4.< (Schreber. X. p.'. 1824 Genus PANTHERA P. I.. . A. 1958 Kuhn's Mongoose HYAENIDAE Gray. African Open-country P.< Oken. iiaso (de Greater Longnosed Mongoose Typical Genus Family LIBERIICTIS Hayman. 1780 haussiJ Wild Cat F. 1828 Spotted Hyaenas Spotted Hyaena Cats C. 1775) Cheetahs Cheetah . Thomas. scnnil Schreber. paiihis (Linnaeus. 1758) Lion 1828 Genus ACINONYX Brookes. (Pucheran. 1777) Subfamily FELIDAE Gray. 1858 Scind Cat Air Sand Cat //. Allen. iiiiiiipcs . 1894 Foiir-tocd Mongooses (Puclicran. iiiiiiitii Severtzov. 1855) Typical Black-footed Mongoose Genus XENOGALEj. hychiui (Linnaeus. 1869 Hyaenas Subfamily HYAENINAE Mivart. African Forest Leopard P.((. 1919 Greater Long-nosed gooses Greater Long-nosed Mon- luisc (de Winton. 1858 Serval Cats F. /»iii(///. 1858 Golden Cats African Golden Cat Temminck. 1816 Great Cats Leopard (Linnaeus. Linnaeus. 1901) Winton. Liiliiii -Liljcriau Mongoose Haynian. 1762 Striped and Brown H. Subgenus CARACAL F. 1938 1921 foxi Thomas & Hiiiton. 1758) Striped Hyaenas Hyaena Genus Fanul)' CROCVTA Kaup. 1775) W.) //>i'.. 1776 Caracal. 1882 Hyaenas Genus HYAENA Brisson.

the Glircs. arc 1945 concerned the Cohort Ferungulata covers the following Orders: Carnivora (Flesh-eating mammals). Tubulidcntata (Aardvarks). at opposite poles. that is to say the seals and their kin. the remaining Superorders consisting. are of wide distribution in the oceans of the world but onlv one . upon which they are wholly dependent for their food. with the complications of which this present account cannot involve itself beyond the brief statement that differentiation from a common ancestor into what are now broadly the hunter and the hunted took place in early Tertiary times. and the Pmnipedia. These latter may be broadly regarded as covering beasts of prey. The land carnivores are to be found everywhere with the exception of the soutliem polar regions and a few islands. cainis flesh. Hyracoidca (Hyraxcs. mongooses and so forth. dogs. FERUNGULATA Simpson. living. by and large as far as living mammals are concerned. 1758 1821 Order CARNFVORA Bowdich. comprising the insectivores. The Ferungulata are regarded as comprising five Superorders. The explanation of this seeming paradox lies. which spend the greater part ot their active lives in the sea. both superficially and in general mode of life. the other three cohorts being the Unguiculata. and the Mutica. The animals included under this heading are divided into two Suborders. named by reason ot the predominantly predacious habit of its constituent members the Carnivora. Cohort As far as recent. of herbivorous. the Carnivora forming part of the cohort Ferungulata. The pinnipedcs. in the fossil record. rather. Dugongs). should be regarded as having any kind of near relationship with the artiodactyls or antelopes and their close kin in relation to which. consisting chiefly of rodents. that is to sav the wild cats. from the Latin auo. and vow to devour. That author divides the Euthcrian (placental) mammals into four cohorts. chiroptera and primates. genets. the whales and dolphins. known also as Dassies or Conies). of course. Sircnia (Manatees. mammals — Superorder FERAE Linnaeus. Proboscidca (Elephants). Perissodactyla (Odd-toed Ungulates) and Artiodactyla (Even-toed Ungulates). the Fissipeda or land-based carnivores. especially in that the carnivores. or occasionally insectivorous. It must be further added that Simpson's views on this matter are not those of all palaeontologists.GENERAL INTRODUCTION The system of classification adopted throughout this work is in the main that of Simpson (1945) with relatively minor amendments in the lower taxonomic ranks. species. On the other hand. of which we are here concerned only with the Ferae. From the point of view only of existing mammals some of these seem to make strange bed-fellows. they appear not only to have nothing in common but to stand. the Ferae comprise a single Order.

It must be added that there is genus. General description. rank. striped weasel. cheetah and others less well-known. coatis. The other. exceptions of greater or lesser degree to this broad plan. each in its own special way and ni return for assured food and snug shelter. 1 791 some extent founded on. Moiuwhns. In the Pinnipcdia. is in effect concerned only with the Fissipeda. pedes foot. the monk seal [M. Further. civet. derived from the Latin words fissuiii cleft and pes. iiioiiachiis) being recorded no further south along the western coast ot Africa than Cape Blanco (Rio dc Oro). The name is. These are disposed in j families. genets. varying in West Africa from a The two Suborders of Carnivora are named from. The Fissipeda are characterized . 27 genera and 45 species embracing about 59 different forms. and tliat is not known to occur withiji the Innits chosen for this book. than any other Order of mammals. tend to obscure the close relationship that exists between the two sections. the digits. in conjunction with the contiguous bones fiuiction as a single unit adapted as a paddle for swimming. as well as to wild game. rather than subordinal. They are certainly more intimately associated with man. turned themselves into man's most intimate and seemingly luidcrstanding associates. in general shape. Of the two families which are lacking entirely from the African famia the more notable is the Ursidae or bears. striped polecat. They have fairly big brains and are more often than not highly intelligent. even though in some cases connected by interdigital webs. and to the general build of the feet. of course. many ot the normally wild species take iniexpectcdly kindly to captivity and become amazingly responsive to close association with human beings. and under domestication. notably those of the forclimbs. they live by their wits. honey badger. of wild dogs (i. Yet in the wild state there are no more unremitting foes to man's cattle. are an extremely interesting group. hyaenas and wild cats of various kinds including the lion. but though there are plausible arguments to support this such a classification does. the Procyonidae. The fissipede carnivores consist. This present account. mongooses. tor this reason. an increasing tendency amongst systematists to accord to these two divisions full ordinal. palmcivet. thus. especially the fissipede carnivores. the hunting-dog. kinkajou and pandas. in West Africa. and in the unitary way it functions as a means of propulsion. therefore. otters. sheep and poultry. in the capacity of close friend or bitter enemy.Tlir CAUNIVdlllA (H WIST M-IilrA is partly tropical. they are quick to grasp a situation and to learn. recalls a bird's wing rather than the normal run of mammalian foot. Without question. leopard. The carnivores. both the domestic cat and the domestic dog have. encased for this purpose in a common integument though there are. than the majority of fissipedes. The name. though of considerable importance in both northern and southern America and in eastern Asia. jackals and foxes). by having the digits more or less clearly independent of each other. on the other hand. in fact. The suborder exhibits a wide range of size. Suborder FISSIPEDA Blumcnbach.e. is built from the Latin word piiiiui a feather because the structure. therefore. comprises less widelv known animals such as the raccoons.

The backs are clad with short hairs. has a slow secretion of mucus. An apical tuft exists in the caracal. the inside of the pinna with long hairs. is A curious aural character doubling of the rim of the pinna near the base of the outer margin. the tail. but in a general sense the bodies throughout are mostly relatively slender. and there are figures also in J. long. the tragus can fit tightly and help to cficct closure of the entrance to the ear passage. Allen (1924). which fmd The terminextreme ology for these anterior end is not well fixed.GENERAL INTRODUCTION little weasel with a head & body length of only a few centimetres and weighing about 200 grammes (i lb) to an animal of the vast bulk of a lion which may weigh 200 kg (4 cwt) or more. It is a matter of common observation that some breeds of dog. and they are situated well to the fore on the head. On the inner face of the pinna are three or four shallow occurring in large sections of the Carnivora a . the former emarginate. that nostrils is Rhinarium. but in the scrval cat they are very rounded besides being less size. Variety of external appearance is brought about by differences in the shapes and relative proportions of the head. but the cats differ markedly from short muzzle. hi much of the suborder the common form of head is long. in this suborder. size. sometimes sharply pointed. Ears often form a very conspicuous feature. Near the base of the inner margin of the pinna is a small process known as the tragus. general shape in having a much rounder head with a notably Ears. the West African Mustclidae and the Hcrpestinac. forming a little pocket. otters and mongooses. quite characteristic of the species. The rhinarium to say the region at the of the muzzle surroiuiding the — the "nose" in common parlance naked over a larger or smaller area and. These is also. apart from any question of texture and pattern in the pelage. and the whole form of the rhinarium is gcncrically. of extreme suppleness and agility. vision being thus effectively binocular. or even specifically. This has been studied and illustrated by Pocock in a number of published papers. A. The nostrils themselves may be narrow and slit-like or rather more open and comma-like. tall and broad. or different members of a single to the successful striking . characteristic. of subcylindrical form. or sometimes relatively small. The eyes of the carnivores are mostly of a moderate. often densely. tapering m this a greater or lesser degree to a pointed muzzle. A bursa is always present in the Canidae. permitting that accuracy in the judgment of distance necessary of prey. with an anterior and a posterior flap. and in the cats the backs mostly bear a black or black and white patch. highly muscular and often. In other cats they may be rounded but of much They reach their greatest reduction in the ratel. in some cases. aid in closing the ear is when the piima collapsed and folded. in the Canidae at least. having a notch into which. They are long and upstanding in the dogs and hyaenas. Felidac. Between the different families there is a good deal of variety of shape. folds or ridges crossing it it in various directions. and opposite this on the outer margin is another process. and the feet. in those species necessary. known as the bursa. the antitragus. Eyes. especially in the cats. frequently without any very marked constriction at the neck. Acuity of vision is in general good but in fact varies quite appreciably not only between species but amongst individuals too. the legs. Viverrinac and Paradoxurinae it is completely absent from the Hyacnidae. The latter is usually semi-lunar.

Accommodation in this respect is achieved in the most typical cats by a pupil which in response to a lessening intensity can change from a narrow vertical slit. therefore. also nocturnal hunters. but the horizontal pupils of ungulates and kangaroos do not serve the same function. Sensitivity of nasal perception and analysis amongst some of the Canidae has been shown to be of such delicacy that one second's holding in a man's hand of a billet of wood suffices for a trained dog to be able to select it from a pile of numerous similar pieces. customary for a bright light. Carnivores. CARNMVOKrS OF WHST AIIUCA tliis is breed. Sound frequently has no very great range. both of which are better developed than m human beings. to a wide circular opening. and apphes Httlc as much to wild species ot liave does to domestic animals. having no common name but known in anatomy as the tapctum hicidiiiu. cases aided by the faculties of smell and hearing. use to confirm what their eyes appear to have told them. but scent sometimes lasts for long periods and may carry fir. indeed. Anyone who has observed cats or dogs at night is acquainted with the remarkable way in which the eyes assume a green or yellow phosphorescent luminosity. whereas otters are in a different category and. have eyes probably far better adapted to seeing under water than on dry Yet however acute the power of vision may be. Cats are more dependent upon hearing as an auxiliary to vision. Its chief drawback lies in the degree to which it is affected by air currents. Equipped with a highly sensitive sense of smell. The effect is due to a subcircular area of tissue at the back of the eye situated immediately behind the retina around the optic nerve.8 TUP. Some night-active species have irises that arc highly and rapidly responsive to variation in light intensity. if circumstances permit choice. This possesses the property of virtually doubling the effective intensity of such poor light as may exist by reflecting it back again through the . By no means all felines have this power. Many carnivores are able to sec unusually well in poor crepuscular or nocturnal light conditions. may be easily obstructed or blurred. broadly elliptical. it is in many. within narrower limits. It is interesting to note that eyes of a similar type with a vertical slit are found amongst the owls. securing the double advantage of having the scent of their proposed victim brought to thcni whilst their own is borne away. to a great extent The effect of this enlargement of the pupillary aperture in dim conditions is aug- mented in the carnivores by the possession of a second means of increasing the efficacy of weak light. a carnivore can build up a mental picture of its surromidings almost beyond the comprehension of man. can see carnivores as it much better than others. for whereas it may lie for long in sheltered undergrowth it will in open cotmtry certainly be carried considerable distances by the wind. This last. and it enables a suitably equipped animal to "see round a corner" where sight is of no avail. sometimes to an nicomparably greater extent. if not all. There doubt that cheetahs con- siderable sharpness ot sight over long distances. approach their prey from downwind. and in some the pupil remains. a power very necessary to the securing of prey in these circumstances. where possible. Since mediaeval times this somewhat ghostly glowing ot the eyes has been popularly held to be something to do with "seeing in the dark" by the mysterious projection of beams as from a lamp to illuminate the object looked at. The canidae are notable possessors of a very highly developed olfictory sense which they generally rely on in preference to sight and. is not so. of coiu'se. and is often transitory. land.

GENERAL INTRODUCTION receptive cells ot the retina instead of its being at once absorbed in the posterior layers of the eye as it is in organs unprovided with its this structure. but the mongoose Hcrpcstcs ichneumon to be relatively well equipped. They are in some cases long or very long. Where the ist digit is present it is mostly widely separated not occur as from the rest. 1965). In little the typical cats the feet are also digitigrade but the legs are relatively shorter and a stouter with greater flexibility of movement. as it is though it is is fairly well developed in some of the never wholly and constantly functional in reptiles birds. 1964) found Genella be totally colourblind. semi-plantigrade or. that is adapted to walking with the whole of the foot from toe to heel in contact with the ground. fall into three categories: those situated below the distal portions of the digits. to slinking with lowered body. partly retractile claws. mostly with short legs suited to a trotting gait and sometimes to climbing. In these cases the feet are digitigrade and carry moderately straight. This dual use of feeble illumination is. its sensitivity to colour. Between these two extremes lie a number of forms. having a positive colour sense though exliibiting difficulty in distinguishing between nearly related hues such as red and orange or green and blue. adapted almost wholly to Vision varies markedly in Fclis to and running. Such limbs are adapted rather to a bounding than to a rurunng gait. unlike those of the pinnipcdes. It follows that it is exists in nature — and the eyes would emit no glow in such circumstances. carnivores. Although the digits. provide the best example of carnivores that are fully plantigrade. Legs are possibly responsible for a greater variety of fissipede form than heads. in the genets. possibly because of its ephemeral nature since it often disappears in adolescence. though these terms have also a more restricted application as explained shortly. in general. A nictitating so-called third eyelid. either in climbing. In the Canidae this is popularly known as the "dew claw". or five. in the ratel. or and own eyes. when digitigrade. either with fixed or. as the palmar and plantar pads. very sharp claws which are retractile within sheaths to preserve abrasion in rmuiing and walking but extensible them from anchorage is required. sometimes collectively referred to. mostly independent cusliions. of considerable advantage but nevertheless has the drawback ot some loss of sharpness of vision (Tansley. but not by the quite inoperative in absolute dark- generation of light in ness — a condition which rarely membrane. Eyes of this kind arc found also amongst whales and ungulates. with strongly curved. for the fore and hindfeet respectively. Legs and feet. Diicker (1957. more particularly on the hindfoot. It it does thus enable an animal to see virtually twice as well in the near-dark as might otherwise do. as in the dogs or that in some ways rather dog-like feline the cheetah. and to performing powerful leaps. is its A notable feature of the fissipede foot sole. especially in the cats. which may be . to climbing a furm trees and other rough surfaces. The feet are armed. consisting largely of rather rubbery. There may be four digits on each foot. or in clinging to prey. Bears. nearly fully plantigrade. of course. non-retractile claws. where it is far removed from any with the ground. which do wild species anywhere in Africa. or a combination of the two. remain virtually independent they possible contact are nevertheless often joined by webs at least basally though in semi-aquatic species they may be extensive. taking off for a spring. These pedal pads.

with few exceptions. Scent-marking in the Canidae. establishment of ownership. capable of little more than stiff side to side or up and down motion from the root only. of the most notable features of the carnivores is the possession by Order of scent glands. those lying in the middle ot'thc foot. long-haired terminal tuft hidden amongst which is the famous "thorn" of hard skin with which in ancient times it was reputed to lash itself into fury before attacking its prey. One of the many members abrupt contraction of the circumscribing muscles emit to a surprising distance a spray and long-lasting stink. Pads follow set patterns in ditferent species or genera and are often wholly diagnostic. bicoloured. I9r4b). Tails. Apart from variety of shape. in others of somewhat asymmetrical coutour owing to the drooping carriage of its long hairs. On a far smaller scale. In the cats and the genets it is for the most part long and of considerable suppleness of movement. occurs also in some of the mongooses.THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA conveniently referred to as the digital or apical pads. notably some of the dogs and h)-aenas. both of which functions. basically comprising tive pads surrounding a central depression but often reduced in number or indistinguishably merged. moderate length resulting in a more or less cylindrical structure. in many cases. warning or defence. A. longer or shorter metacarpal or metatarsal pad. hi the mongooses the tail is tapering. These arc mostly situated in the region of the sexual organs or the anal area. either within the rectum oronexe. annulated. As an example of the last in West Africa the striped polecat {Ictoiiyx) can. In the dogs it is far less flexible. demarcation of territory. in some species markedly so. The lion's tail is tuiusual amongst the African fissipedes in not only being close-haired but in carrying also a promir. and it is clad with hairs of subequal. within a relatively limited bodily reginrt vcr)' varied. in some it is rclativelv short-coated. there is often a narrow. Finally. a fetid stench unremittingly pervades the whole animal bv a continual imcontroUed oozing of the offensive secretion. sexual attraction and stimulation. They may be associated with the anus. or other scent-borne message. but family resemblance is more unitonn in the Felidae and Canidae than in the \'iverridae and Mustelidac (Pocock. has been dealt with by Kleiman (1966). It is sometimes uniformly long haired and of striking bushiness. Involuntary emission of odour also in many species accompanies the acts of defaecation and micturition. — spotted or speckled. Allen (1924) interdigital pads but more often called the palmar (forefoot) and plantar (hindfoot) pads. tails in this suborder may be unicoloured. usually a showy as well as a characteristically formed appendage. frequently compound. including that of this striped polecat. In other cases. is conveyed by the rubbing of circumanal glands against trees and rocks or by dragging the anus across the ground. little or no offensive odour is under normal circumstances apparent to human beings. by the deliberate and Scent glands. Despite the existence of glands. termed by J. are in consequence used to indicate the boundaries of a territory and publish a warning against trespass by prospective intruders. posterior to these. a terminal tuft. and their functions are recognition. The precise siting of fissipede scent glands is. blackish. especiallv in respect of postures adopted.of fluid with an extremely disagreeable . if alarmed.cnt. but especially the latter. but in some animals. sometimes black but much less bushy than in the lion. The tail in the fissipedes is a structure of considerable variet\' and is.

mostly singly. Apart trom the mystacial vibrissae not all these are always present. superciliary. Sound. orifice (circumanal). though sometimes similarly used as a remote inter-sexual signal. above or below. The emission of powerful and significant odours that may cling for long to undergrowth or be carried far on the wind. singly. has for many centuries commonly been one of the ingredients of a number of commercially successful perfumes in Africa. accounts for very marked differences of appearance not only between families but often between genera and species. . The mammary glands are. extracted with a spoon from the glandular sacs of captive animals kept for the purpose. Asia and Europe. for example. so far as known. except at breeding time. furnish vital information in the dark when creeping into a narrowing hole or through a restricted rock fissure. The secretion is sometimes liquid. on the cheeks. while nauseating to humans when in concentration. is often not so effective in overcoming difficulties of time and space as well as having a less emotive impact. These occur most noticeably as the "whiskers". no clearly defined and commonly accepted terminology in English for the various types of hair found in mammalian coats. Usually. anterior to the vulva and the penis (pregenital). lead a more or less solitary existence and some more reliable means than chance encounter is needed to enable the sexes to find one another at considerable distances. on the anterior part of the chin. intcrramal. is an ideal way of surmounting difficulties of time. is in dilution pleasing. in some cases on the legs. . and those of the otters may play a part in the detection of prey in ill-lit or muddy waters by revealing currents set up by the powerful aroimd the . These are submental. Mammae. above the eyes. which are of circular section and considerably stouter than the greater part of the pelage. and subocular. where they are far more numerous. unfortunately. texture. (perineal) in association . colouring and pattern. The pelage. in pairs or limited groups in other set positions. on other parts of the body. on the upper lip. and "civet". At one extreme there are bristles. There is. in conjunction with a higlily sensitive and critically analytical sense ot smell. wherever they are situated. on the posterior part of the chin. by its length. mostly purely abdominal and number between one and five pairs except in the cheetah. or vibrissae as they are more technically termed.GENERAL INTRODUCTION ally II between the anus and the scrotum or vulva with the prepuce (preputial) between the scrotum and the penis (prcscrotal) on the tail. is to give tactile warning or information. It is interesting to note that this latter secretion. the whiskers and possibly other facial vibrissae clearly tell the direction of the wind. distance. of which there are five on the head besides the mystacial area. or mystacial vibrissae. Those on the face and on the body. Pelage. the position follows a family pattern. in the carnivores. In connexion with the wide occurrence of scent glands it must be remembered that many carnivores. sometimes of a waxy consistency as in the case of the civet. but also. in the palm civet. (caudal). below the eyes. Vibrissae occur. but more commonly at wide intervals over the back and flanks. in the fissipedes the interramal vibrissae are lacking in the Felidae alone. but not invariably. in hyaenas. or. between the root of the tail and the anus (supra-anal). intervening obstructions or darkness that niay render sight useless in bringing the sexes together. The function of these stout and sensitive hairs. genal.

in overlying and concealing it. These hairs are in this present work. 1969). For this reason it is not a good term but it is in general use since there is nothing else with which to replace it. Tlic mystacial vibrissac arc generally stouter and longer than the stitf others. In many species there is a second element in the outer fur. It is also remarkably dense and. This gross morphology of the pelage can be seen w ith the naked e\e or iiiuler low — . the wool ot sheep. the — extremely fuie. terete or slightly flattened coloured blade ending in a darker. and sometimes very if — as thev are in tlic leopard. being composed ot stouter hairs though by no means so stout and strong as the vibrissae to which the unqualified term bristles is best confined. and often rather insignificant. in some parts of West Africa in the past the whiskers of this animal were looked upon as a certain means of causing death chopped up and mixed with anyone's food. except under magnification.1 swisli ot fish's tail. Banded and Gambian mongooses of the genus Miin(. When the fur is turned back they therefore usually stand out against the background ot undertur by size and sometimes by colour. Indeed. harsher than the undertur. This distal part. They are often broadly aniiulated with different colours. pale stalk (the petiole) which passes into a broader. and in some species it is the major element as. or at least cause fatal inflammation of. Occasionally almost completely lacking. like the bristle-hairs. so called because in many mammals it torms the lowest. too. In this case it probably serves to shield the body from the ettccts ot direct tropical siuishine and hot dry winds. the basal portion very often pale or even white. a waterproof coat aniongst which air is trapped. More often than not there arc two distinct elements in this outer coat. which may be so abiuidaiit as to conceal the underfur completely or. termed herein sub-bristlc-hairs. shortened to sub-bristles. in a greater or lesser degree. being reputed to stomach wall. but they are of different form. and the fundamental difference ot form has therefore often been overlooked. constituent of the pelage. in the carnivores it is it may be short or moderately long and as in the is otten slightly sinuous. At the other extreme ot liair is the underfur. These. In the carnivores they never exhibit a concavo-convex section commonly found in the Rodentia (Roscvear. as tor example in the otters where it forms. are longer than the undertur and play their part.12 THE CARNIVORES OE WEST AERKA . for want ot any better recognised term. the slender proximal halt though ot somewhat greater diameter than the underfur is nevertheless not so disparate as to stand out clearly from it when t!ie pelage is turned back as the bristle-hairs do. as in the case just mentioned. But this is not always so. tapering distally to a slender point but not decreasing much in diameter towards the base. Above the undertur lies the longer outer fur. resembles the bnstle-hair. sometimes penetrate. Undertur is always of fmc diameter. sometimes exceedingly so. but in the majority of cases it is dense. it may be merely a widely scattered and comparatively unimportant element. referred to as bristle-hairs. slender. pointed tip. amongst West African carnivores. The tormcr is by far the commoner. on submergence. the tips being almost invariably black. This part of the pelage is. consisting of a long.os. at its longest in the striped polecat {Icloiiyx) in which it in etiect torms the entire pelage apart from a few widely dispersed lengthy bristles. thus keeping the body both dry and warm. The more important and abundant consists of stoutish hairs of round or sometimes slightly flattened section. for example.

broad. cheetah and scrval are familiar. sex and possibly season. Pelage pattern very widely but often similarly follows some sort of family. 13 No reference is made here to the surface patterns occurring on hairs since this microscope or cicctroscan and beyond the scope of this present account. Little these factors in comiexion with the majority of West some species. longitudinal bands are exhibited by the African polecat and weasel. again. some are predominantly unicolorous. However. ratel is cross-banded. It need only be said of tlicse that. Pattern produced in three quite different \\a\s. where they are in separate be unicolorous bands. which within a single species exhibits in the adult both spotted and unspotted forms. Though spots may in some individuals coalesce into lines. apart from the normal coat there may be a welldeveloped collar or "mane". and owing to these factors skins in museum collections are often misleading and sometimes not susceptible to valid comparison. rather silky fur. as between other mammalian groups. INTItODUCTION magiiificatioii. The larger dogs in West Africa have coats characterized by broad. and so to a lesser extent do the striped polecat and striped is weasel. . it is possible that they may follow at least is a matter for the generic patterns and might be of use for identification. Pelage patterns. These growths are affected by age. a speckled. coat length and quality and sometimes the relative proportions of the constituent elements are affected very considerably by season. the exactly reverses this. though little or no research has yet been carried out into African carnivores. pure transverse striping as the sole pattern as in the tiger does not occur in West Africa. a difference which appears to be related to distribution and is thus racial. or a nuchal or spinal crest ot exceptionally lengthy hairs. though. A more curious incidence golden cat. The West African Viverridac. moult and condition of health. or at least subfamily. plan. irregular blotches but the foxes are more self-coloured. In the typical dogs it is frequently long and rather harsh. "pepper and salt" appearance occurs in many mongooses. however. Bold. the otters in this have fairly short but extremely dense. as in some hyaenas and the striped weasel. It is amongst the cats that the widest diversity is found.GENERAl. but it may range between very short. also have spotted coats. Pelage texture follows a general family plan. in the cats mostly much shorter and somewhat is at present known of African carnivores. The hairs may throughout their lengths as in the polecat and weasel. It is the surface scales giving rise to these patterns that underlie the property ot close adherence together is known as "felting" which takes place when a mass of hairs suitably beaten. that is the civet. there are sometimes notable exceptions. to very long. as in the lion. to which. but through the regular disposition of the light and dark annulations of the hairs ot its dorsal fur one of the of the loss of spots in the Felidac shown in the mongooses coloration. Spots are common the bold markings ot Order varies — the leopard. genets and their km. Wrong taxonomic deductions have sometimes been based upon them. and though the pelage of the adult lion is plain its spotted heritage is clearly displayed is m the cubs. The coat is nearly always plentifully developed to afford a more or less complete covering to the skin. The ratel is unusual amongst the African carnivores in its Most mammals have the belly white or at least paler than the back. In softer.

in conjunction with the cranial crests. Much more rarely. the adult markings either absent or very taint. IS length . the pattern is brought about by the regularity with which each of the dirterent coloured annulatic>ns on the hairs tall together along the back instead ot Knig hcterogencously mixed as in the ordinar^• "pepper and salt" coat. known as the turbinals. c]uite unlike that ot the adult. More ohen. The nasals are always narrow. sometimes very strong. In the Felidae. but albinism appears to be very rare. The alarmed surprise of suddenly discovering oneself in unexpectedly close proximity to a leopard in the bush must possibly first be experienced before the real truth of this can be fully appreciated. Sometimes. A great part of the tissipedes have a rather narrow skull m which the total markedly more than the zygomatic breadth. a sharp sagittal crest. It occurs in the dogs.anchorage to the extremely powerful Skull. whollv black. and in West Africa onlv in the single case ot the banded mons^oose referred to in the previous paragraph.S OI \^ EST APRU A wholK' black or wholly wiiitc. the entire pelage is erectile in anger or alarm. where in the foxes it sometimes constitutes the main colour. and this. In this tamily thev may be wholly grey. for w'hen one of these animals is at rest in the undergrowth or amongst the foliage of a tree the pattern merges completely into the dappling ot light and shade produced m the vegetation by sunlight. lied as an outstanding feature ot the pelage crops up in a number ot dirterent families ot the carnivores. supraoccipital crests. its breadth across the zygomata not a great deal less than its length. which plav a major part in the sense of smell support a total surface area of receptive membrane incomparably greater than that available to man. The zygomata are alvyays strong. It is found also in the cats. and in the mongooses.14 THt < ARNIVORF. sometimes short. Throughout the suborder there are nearly always pronounced. anterior nasal aperture lacking a bony roof The slender coiled bony laminae within the nasal cavities. Melanism is not uncommon. as in the cats. but the reverse is mostly the case. This last is itself relatively narrow and often long and tapering. their upper front margins always situated well posterior of the forward limit of the premaxillae and incisors. however. often relatively short. in the genets. especially males. is tn give the nccessar\. bold spots or lines arc produced. Melanism. the skull is clearly rounder. sometimes ilangc-hke. or have bold black markings with or without an additional white spot. but lions are born with a pattern that is lost at maturity. otten contrast with the rest ot the coat. by groups ot hairs that are indistinguishable from the rest of the tur in their pale proximal portions but difter in having black ends. the coat is mostly short and rather silky. the rostrum very short. the bramcase otten not a great deal wider than the posterior end of the rostrum. sometimes only cheetah and other the hair along the spine. Only when the animal stands fully exposed in the open or is on the move can it be clearly seen. The backs ot the ears. thus leaving a very open. notablv in the Felidae. in mature skulls. The striking appearance of a leopard skin when it is seen as a trophy m a room makes it seem that such an animal would be very conspicuous and easily picked out in the field. and often. as in the mongooses. but often extending the whole length of the braincase. where it is in some cases at least a component of the spots. At birth and soon after. and in the cheetah the juvenile coat is very long and greyish-white. the braincasc broad and subglobular.

it is partially or almost completely divided into two chambers. especially above. in the majority of genera. an upwardly curving process arising from the jugal. in one firmly fixed position. It must be added. or back and forth. arc relativelv small but the outer one. is often larger than the others. A IS highly important feature beings. They furnish a point of considerable taxonomic interest. often two pairs. and thus produce a grinding effect. from side to side. there being a longer or shorter gap between the postorbital process from the frontal and. of varying relative sizes. The bullae may occasionally be small but are more often large or very large and betoken a highly developed sense of hearing. arc situated at very different points of the palate according to genus. that the hinge between the lower and the upper jaws.GENERAL INTRODUCTION biting muscles. ensuring that the jaws close. The dentition is always. round or oval. by a septum which can usually be clearly seen in a prepared skull through the auditory meatus. that this classic conception is questioned by Hough (1948) by whom the canid auditory region is regarded as more like the fclid hi its essential structure than has been commonly supposed. Without this. like a comparable liinged door. completely inhibiting any side to side or back and forth action. in the upper jaw. The orbit is incompletely ringed with bone. This paper furnishes details of this region in the Canoidea in comparison with those of some other present and past Carnivora and draws conclusions regarding their significance in the phylogeny of the Order. the hinge consists of a long subcyltndrical condyle on the mandible firmly embedded in a complementary-shaped receptacle. on the other hand. occlusal surfaces . All the roots are closed. the posterior foramina. providing a distinction between the two superfamilies into which the suborder is separated. however. that is to say that once any tooth has reached its appointed size there is no further growth to replace wear as. In is human a fairly flexible affair permitting many mammals. i). The division of the bulla into two parts can generally be detected externally as a shallow fiurrow curving around the body of the structure. the infraorbital canal is of comparatively small size. consisting of a single cavity. even in the smallest carnivores. patently ot a powerful nature (fig. The bony palate sometimes terminates about the level of the back of the molar row but very often extends far posterior to this. this of: the skull is the form ot the mandibular condyle. on the other hand. In the ratel and some otters one or both of these orbital processes may be poorly developed or virtually absent. including movement of the lower member up and down. enabling the of the upper and lower teeth to alter their relative positions and to slide across each other. the glenoid fossa. the maxillary zygomatic process being relatively short. as described below. In the carnivores. The anterior palatal foramina are of no great size. for example. The incisors arc invariably f They in various directions. This is possibly best seen in the ungulates in the action known as "chewing the cud". With few exceptions as in the otters. would be as ineffectual as a pair of scissors with play at their axis of coupling. and lie more or less between the canines. the cutting action of the carnassial teeth. Dentition. in the open-rooted gnawing-teeth of the rodents. In the Canoidca the bulla is simple. . In the Fcloidca. I5 Thcjugal boiic plays an important role since it torms the greater part of the anterior half of the arch.

a tigure being added above or below as index or sutiix to indicate whether the toodi is m the upper or lower jaw and its position in each category reckoning trom trout to back. forming components of are also ot a remarkable tor and unique torm. being shed with advancing age. The symbols /. b.M. 3 or 4 below. Typical carnivorous teeth.16 THE (AUMVIMIIS (II U 1.12. the jaw in such cases appearing not to correspond to the accepted dental appearance. rcitiurns zcnia. 2 or 3 below.2 sometimes appreciably the .5. 25. p^ is the third premolar from the tront in the upper jaw. and 2. lateral view below. 1112 tlic second molar in the lower jaw. dental formula thus variable. the molars i or 2 above and i. Tlic jaw is nearly always strikingly dominated by the exceptionally strong. palatal view above. Moreover.. in a few species certain teetli seem to be in tlic process of evolutionary loss. premolars and molars respectively. right lower jaw. No. dorsal view below. V. The total number of cheekteeth ni the Carnivora is very variable according to family or genus. I. . canines.22. lateral view above. p and in are used to denote incisors. Complications exist in that some teeth are occasionally deciduous. . Thus. curved canines "dog teeth" all in fact — one above and one below on each side. showing the position ot closure: right upper |a\v. _Q^^ a. The premolars may be 3 or 4 above on each side ot the jaw. even to taking on a subcaniiiitonii tall. but the cheekteeth is a convenient term used which lie posterior to the canitie when it is not desired to ditierentiate between premolars and molars. without being actuallv deciduous.M M 11 1 ( A "^cg-Q-O o ^ ^--crrcs-o Fii. ranging in West Africa between 14 and 26 tor the entire mouth. c. "Cheekteeth" the teeth the dentition in 'I'lie some specimens but not is in others. B.

though they are often of much reduced size and then almost functionless. 3 - b. if any. sharp. o. right lower. the occlusal surfaces being in this way reduced to keen. B. posterior to the carnassials are of a less specialized kind suited rather to crushing than cutting. it being assumed when only 3 premolars actually occur in this toothrow that it is the ancestral ist premolar (p^) that has disappeared and that the anterior premolar as it today exists is therefore p-. This chiefly concerns the last premolar of the upper jaw (p*) and the first molar of the lower jaw (nn). 67. The upper teeth always close over the outside of the lower. INTRODUCTION 17 Fig. The lower carnassial is always mi. The detailed form of the carnassials varies somewhat from genus to genus but. the upper one consists of a laterally compressed outer blade divided into cither two or explained earlier. They are maintained in the essentia! as firm close contact necessarv' to effective shearing by the rigid condyles.GENFRAr. Those teeth. The crowns of the cheekteeth lying immediately anterior to the carnassials are tor the most part als(5 laterally compressed and pointed and thus play their part too in a shearing action though in a relatively minor way. as in Because of their flesh-cutting function these teeth arc kno\\ n as most others. . and surface views: a. knife-like edges which on closure slide over the face of the opposing tooth in the manner of a pair of scissors. speaking in broad terms. cutting ("sectorial") form. right upper.M. No. The crowns of these are either almost wholly compressed from side to side or have at least some of their lobes thus flattened. Camassial tcctli. 2. In this work. the "carnassials". adapted to dealing with masses of flesh and bone. The most characteristic feature of typical carnivorous cheekteeth is the modification of some of them into a highly efficient. the upper carnassial is alwavs reckoned to be the 4th premolar (p*). lateral Fclis marfiarita ainiisis. .1429.

the majority ot it concerning the more insignificant creatures has found no place in the corpus ot recorded natural historical know^lcdgc and is now seemingly lost. where they vary a good deal but in the smaller virtual absence The that cluinks species are ot a highly cusped. The study of mammalian habits calls tor both patience and time. to Many are dangerous to known arc as those of some other. but most commonly it is the two anterior buccal ones wlijcli arc enlarged and laterally compressed to form tlie sectorial blade cusps. Initial. toi. There is a good deal ot and disposition of these cusps. But tliough a little ot this. wary disposition reacting. Petter (1969). basically. two below the blade no role and the third beneath the inner cusp. and are theretore not easy to see let alone observe with much continuity. which is best exemplified in the cats and d<igs. In some carnivores there is a wide interval between the canines and the anterior the post-canine gap. The evolution away from cutting to crushing in the Viverridae has been dealt with b\ G.IS Tin. in general. comprising. In the otters. full premolars — Way of life.1 oi wcsr atuk a thicc in j>oiiiti. miali lower. in other groups it is small or lacking. less difficult creatures. there has been a ver\' large number of Atricans deeply conversant with the habits of armed only with crude weapons and devoting a great part of every day or night to the pursuit of elusive quarry tostercd keen and accurate observation. Their livelihood as professional hunters mammals and . zi). of grinding surfaces in the t\pical carnivore dentition means of flesh are cut off and swallowed whole. Such biographical data as we have are to a great extent the outcome ot chance observations bv European travellers or part-time naturalists. in It is a tact that alter many centuries ot close acquaintance with and study ot mammals Europe the habits of some ot them still not understood in detail. variety ot sliapc that exercises a shearing action against the upper. But not all tissipede teeth conform to this predoniinautly sectorial shape. Mammals arc tor the most part secretive creatures. or in crevices amongst rocks. theretore. or live concealed m dense bush or the toliage ot or in holes in the ground. They are ottcn nocturnal. six though most are indistinct and several may be lacking. of a nervous. This permits the canines to be siuik into flesh to their depth with a considerable band ot flesh held firmly in the jaw. 2). Most ot them are. by immediate smell as well as by sight. especially as regards the more sought-after "big game" species. there occur molars and premolars with broad crushing occlusal surfaces adequate to the disposal of the relatively soft flesh offish and amplubians or to crushing of the shells ot crustaceans (fig.(. insectivorous type (fig. It is best developed in the Fehdac. broader and more complex crown tliaii the upper one. But though the former mav have existed in other creatures. breeding or feeding. thus bringing about an almost imshakeable grip into a struggling pre^. 37).tlicr uitli (tig. Teeth oi a less purely sectorial form arc found also in the mongooses. Without question. tliac their lives are ottcn not so well retreat. a The lower carnassial is onl\. especially when not surprising.'(. for example. trees. has trom time to time been passed on to European travellers and sportsmen. understandably.two-rooted but has. cusp whicii plays the sectorial attion Tlicrc are three roots. In Africa with its tauna and shorter history ot study this ignorance is much more plentiful mammalian much greater. (AUNivouis . It is warnings conveyed by slight sounds or approach or disturb.l Liisps.

in fact. or specific studies by selected individuals or teams subsidized by scientific fomidations. trained personnel of nature reserves. Li the past a naturalist had as his equipment at most a gun and a pair ot binoculars. . often of extremely brief duration. together with immobilizing drugs which enable even the most dangerous animals to be carefully examined while yet alive and to be distinctively marked for future recognition. Apart from this invaluable mobility the modern held observer has at his disposal a wide range ot scientific aids which cither just did not exist till recent years or existed only in a relatively crude form. there are also reliable cinematography. Prolonged and continuous study has. been impossible. Moreover. sound or smell. notes of behaviour have been made by observers ot diverse competence and not always correctly interpreted. except occasionally with the aid some more certain of a horse —which itself introduced complications. has regrettably usually been lacking. In Africa this. similar Nowadays the observer carries commands not only himself and possibly a co-observer but all his complex apparatus as well at high speed across rough terrain. dense grass of the Guinea woodland in the r. the main aids to animal study cision m cameras witli a wide selection ot easily changed lenses ot far greater etliciency than formerly.those who have not examined the subject closely. Such a truck. or even modern fact of reliable portable who did not know West much of the improved facilities is electricity. It was virtually impossible to follow for any distance a large mammal in rapid progress. part-time. powerful flashlights and spotlights. to sit for long periods in relative comfort while taking notes or working his scientific apparatus but acts as a without revealing his presence by movement. much interested in motor vehicles. Interest in wild animals has increased enormously. that of free range is lost in the tangle and resistant imdcrgrowth of the West African forest and the tall. indeed. In addition there are now sound recorders and videotapes. together with unrecognizably improved films. therefore. fulfdls not only the function of rapid transport protection and a hide. More esoteric methods and the tield today are lightweight pre- apparatus apart. and could thus study an animal dead or for a brief moment alive. Our knowledge of most animals is. at some remove. Basic to Africa half a century. to the majority. It is a strange thing that many animals have clearly shown that. which can thus follow them in the chase or approach them fairly the services of a Land-Rover or conveyance which closely at rest. made up of disjointed observations. In consequence. for while some of these advantages remain. All this is now undergoing great change. mainly to the open woodlands. unbelievable to those ago. Further tlian this. It) owing to the daily need to pursue and lucrative occupation. of course. enabling the observer to approach closer. intermittent amateur observation is slowly giving place to full-time continuous professional research carried out by the permanent. of different individuals of a species in widely separated areas of the continent and which conceivably may not have been acting in a typical manner. they are not disturbed by or.CENERAL INTRODUCTION plenty amongst keen held naturalists. The improvements that have taken place in photoapplies graphic material alone also the simple may seem less. Habit data are thus often far sketchier and less reliable than might be supposed b). the latter.iins. provided reasonable caution is exercised. infra-red photography. the apparatus at the disposal of observers today is vastly more varied and sophisticated.

new and interesting field open to the keen mamma- that the scrap ot information at his disposal must sureK' logist in West Africa. Yet though flesh may constitute are as a group predominaiuK- Hesh-eatiiig the staple diet of the vast majority. litter size.sketchy and open to some doubt as will become very apparent in the accounts given later ot the various species it is desirable that even seeminglv insignificant items relating to the life ot animals they may come across Finally in this general survey of the state ot our present out that since what we know — — should be recorded by collectors or but every note he contributes. For the many species which have not been investigated reliance must still be placed on old field observations. Such idiosyncrasies. and other similar biographical data. stomach contents. if field observers. it must be remembered that animals in their natural environment may not necessarily behave exactly as they do in captivity. season. Those whose experience. mammals. extralimitally some. Nor nmst it be overlooked that thcv are individuals. by reason of its . each with a recognizable character of its own which may difter in some degree from a common specific pattern. Sucli studies as have been carried out have revealed a good deal that is new besides showing tliat some ot the old beliefs are inaccurate. time of dav.1 of the small foxes of West Africa it will be seen later in and other normally flesh-eating carnivores do sometimes deliberately make a meal of berries. either adds valuable confirmation to what has been asserted by others or leads to its being brought into question. lairs. Nevertheless. for while little is that golden jackals . the pandas. Examination of thousands of collectors' labels on museum specimens reveals how astonishingly little has been recorded in the field about sucli commonplace matters as vegetation. as their name implies. The carnivores. It mav often appear to the naturalist iiave been recorded before. live almost exclusively on this type of food. though the picture of probable habits in nature has been in some cases augmented by behaviour studies made under laboratory conditions and breeding data derived from zoos. a certain degree of vegetarianism takes place. hideed. Species inhabiting arid country may find these at certain seasons convenient and valuable source of essential fluid. But it is almost certainlv detail a perfectly accurate field observation. food. There is still a vast. The well-known habit of domestic dogs of from time to time eating grass is shared by wild species also. is limited to the poultry-stealing red fox and a virtual absence of vineyards very possibly regard the reference in the Song of Solomon to "the little foxes that spoil the vines" as nothing other than rather puzzling figurative poetic prose. in the north temperate zone. This ma\' possiblv be to meet some vitamin deficiency. not original.20 I 111 (MIMVOIJIS a (11 \\ I M Al UK A All this has oi' life brought about change in the observation ot anunal behaviour and way would be almost incredible to former generations of naturalists. But the new research has up to now been directed towards relatively tew species as far as this present work is concerned. knowledge it must be pointed of the habits of most of the carnivores dealt with in this present work is still extremeh. cannot of course diverge so tar from the evolved norm as to that — jeopardize survival. of the diet blown in this work Possibly all fissipedes on occasion take a certain amount of vegetable food. however. towards not much more than halt-a-dozen of the larger African carnivores.

bi other cases the hunt is without question a coldly planned assault on a selected victim. It is often erroneously assumed that the flesh taken by carnivores is always that of other being not so much a matter of diet as number of rodents. however. food yet. crustaceans. whereas the latter stalk. besides a vast their in large — present some suitable prey. either on the part of a single animal or as a co-operative measure by a family or pack during which there is every semblance of messages being in some way conveyed from one member to another. There are of course exceptions. Fungi are also sometimes eaten. individual members of the party each gathering what morsel may fall his way. A broad distinction between those of the dog tribe and those of the cats is that the former track. frogs. others take it only rarely or when hard-pressed for fresh meat a situation sometimes brought about by their own inability. At times the excursion after food has the appearance of being nothing more than a rather haphazard affair. to hunt for themselves. living and capable of swift escape. considerable strength. bulbs and fruits as well as small mammals. and is known to consume also eggs. there are widely different methods of hunting. In West Africa a regular alternative to an otherwise prevailingly carnivorous regime is adopted by the ratel. snakes. endurance. In the sociable mongooses equally random foraging becomes. and later in this work a genet is recorded with its stomach full of rotten wood. such as a snake. the smaller species depend also for measure upon birds. through injury or sickness. little beyond on the of jackals or other scavengers which conunonly live of large predators. The search for and killing of prey may take place either by day or by night. Such methods as these last are employed by lions and hunting-dogs. the stomachs being well filled with grass. a rather fussily noisy proceeding. but there seems to be no evidence that farinaceous foods are ever taken by any carnivores in the wild. chase and pull down. Smaller species in captivity have been found readily to accept prepared starchy foods. in the case of larger prey. calls for more concerted attack. lizards. The exercise of these attributes in the chase is one of the most characteristic features of the carnivores. Some carnivores habitually eat carrion. though . which frequently makes a meal of honey and insect grubs. And though the larger species rely mainly upon antelopes for their sustenance tliey are not above taking some of these humbler foods too when necessity dictates. patiently await opportunity. fish. Yet the larger wild fissipcdes do take in much more green food than appears at first sight because many of them start on their prey by ripping open the belly and consuming the entrails. in general. In contrast.GENERAL INTRODUCTION intermittent nature and the small quantities involved this habit as 21 is generally regarded concerned with some regulator}^ action on the bowels. determination and. insects and their larvae. and poimce. both speed and cunning are commonly called for in its procurement. and need only exercise their acute sense of hearing to pick up news of a kill to become assured of the eventual effortless acquisition of a patience is called for in the case left-overs satisfi'ing meal. as when a ratel or a civet proceeds solitarily at a leisurely jog-trot along a route seemingly trusting that chance will mammals.upon them. and domestic dogs are often made to depend very largel). However. as well as. often. serving to concert the strategy and bring the attack to a successful outcome. Since the greater part of the diet is. unless some larger and more difficult prey.

acutencss ot hearing is common throughiHit the suborder in West Africa. and does. scent and hearing at the same time play at least an equal part. Voice is extremely To varied. Protection of hunting territory or nursery groimds from intruders and. as u ith cheetahs initially distantlv observing their intended prey and subsequently pursuing it at liigh speed. warning or of ripeness tor coupling that are fir more enduring and frequently more distantlv carried than those of sight or hearing. At least in the Canidae. satisfaction. Most carnivores can produce a variety ot . In these vital matters sight. obvi(Hisly express contentment. hunting-dogs in full chase leaping at intervals over intervening grass cover m order to keep on the line ot their quarrv. the ululation of the hyaena. as mentioned above. however. Though food is of first importance iii anv animal's lite the search tor a convement meal is not the sole purpose ot a carnivore's daily or nighth excursion trom the resting place. It IS smell. the more purposeful snarl and bark. that in a great number ot carnivores overshadows else in importance. and is evinced 111 practice bv the ceaseless inquisitive snitfuig ot most species on the move. Scent can. the musical call of the hunting-dog and the chirruping ot social mongooses. 1933). judge trom the development ot the bullae.22 THL CARNIVORES OF WEST AnilCA victim ni. As tar as repulsion ot trespassers is concerned sight may be emploved in two ways. probablv. tear. numbers. except possibK' the cats. Sound enters into both personal and territorial detence in the tonn ot the caunonar\' growl or hiss. marks on the body conspicuously brought to the opponent's view by erection ot the tail or twist of the cars (Hingston. convev clear messages ot species. the discovery of breeding partners are both of considerable moment hi the activities of the majority ot adults. the source of a particular utterance. or w^th fair degree ot light. at closer quarters warning postures often become a major factor in defence. embracing the roar ot the lion. the snarl ot the leopard. though it is by no means alw. probablv in the reverse ot this order in importance. Its part in breeding is limited to the initial attraction at a distance of the attention of the opposite sex by a recognised mating call.ivs easy to be sure which of these emotions is. Its importance in this Order is deducible from the widespread existence and variety ot odoriferous glands. at least at seasons. Yet despite the usual donnnance of these two latter. the mournful hoo-jioo ot the jackal. These involve not only an overall threatening attitude but in some species the presentation as well of intimidating. But little is known all ot this together with the parts that touch and taste also sometimes play in the mating ntual. warning. further. for though courtship displays are known to take place in a few species then. in fact. the upper limits ot pitch received are well beyond that which is effective to human ears. but. detiance or excitement. by the peculiar structure of the eye by which the reflecting layer known as the tapctmii lucidiim doubles the effective strength of weak light though. and other characteristic notes. These.ty have been picked out earlier wliile there was still in the Utter case tlie some Hunting in relative darkness is aided.importance in carnivores in no way approaches their standing amongst birds. sound and smell all plav their parts. It may furnish the tirst alert to danger at a distance. The role of sight in wooing is less. the purring of the cat. or in social species communal yapping. generally black. together with the repeated deposition ot their own odour. sight is sometimes obviously the key sense. sex.

It breeds subtcrraneously in a hole that is almost always selfexcavated. Otters make breeding chambers in river banks. Lions and cheetahs may occur as a small family group or as a combination of groups up to a dozen or so individuals. manv mongooses. exhibit grcgariousness to an extent not in any way approached by the land-based fissipedes ot West Africa or. Skill in climbing is developed in widely different degrees in different sections of the Suborder. but probably the only real burro wers entrance. foxes. — — common attraction of a lion's kill to feed. though this rarely occurs in the territory now under consideration. as tor example those of the Hammer-headed Stork {Scopus mnbretta). apart from the ability to scramble over relatively low obstacles. as when jackals. of large size. weasel. together with the relative inflexibility of their articulations. for the most part rather solitary in habit. but of them take as advantage. or a change in its tone. most of the cat tribe. the genets. polecat and others are basicallv solitary though at post-breeding times loosely and temporarily biit into several small family imits. the foxes and possibly.stages of parenthood. Leg and claw shape. Certain arboreal species shelter and breed in holes in trees. In the case of social animals. but it is known that the fennec's is. an actual meaning. for breeding or shelter. of holes made b)- other animals such aardvarks and porcupines. anywhere else. the jackals. Huntingdogs collect in packs. These latter animals are though consistently social but grcgariousness may in other species be of a transitory nature. to some slight degree. moss and leaves are used bv other species extralimitalK' as bedding. for that matter. may convey to young animals. A high proportion of the carnivores are to all intents and purposes solitarv' except at mating time or in the earl\. and there is not uncommonly a difference between the calls of the two sexes. warm and com- not recorded as far as most African species are concerned. is ever actually constructed bv the carnivores but these subterranean shelters. that is to say the ascent of almost vertical surfaces to any considerable height. fortable. the voice. The kusimanse and banded mongooses also forage in companies. There is also the ratcl.GENERAL INTRODUCTION 23 sounds according to mood. as elsewhere. sometimes tantamount to an instruction. which is the most persistent and expert digger of all since it regularly unearths terrestrial bees' nests in search of food and has been known to make tumiels to effect entrance beneath stone walls protecting fowl houses. usually with an uiider-water poses. as such. The marine pinnipedes. The degree of sociability amongst the carnivores is widely diverse. and that grass. elsewhere in the continent. No nest. sometimes. squirrel "'drevs" may be taken over and adapted. are are lined in is Whether they any way . In the Canidae and Hvaenidae. and perhaps some of the larger birds' nests. Of other West African carnivores. and it is possible that in West Africa. This is to some extent a question not only of inborn inclmation but of leg and claw shape as well. arc smooth-walled. the outcome of passing circumstances rather than of inbuilt possibly recurrent sociability. or in the chase to other adults as well. that is to say the fennec. as some other mammals do. These and other holes they are to be may enlarge and adapt to their ov^ai pur- amongst the West African carnivores tound amongst the dogs. not dealt with in this book. ferns. Few carnivora actually burrow. either selt-dug or adapted. there is practically no capacity for climbing in the true sense. gather round the .

Some ot the later training tor adult life has nothing of juvenile high spirits about it at all. The long. and some of it would seem to have no other purpose than pure fiui. I'lay is. to a lesser degree. the ratel. large or small. and their care and upbringuig vanes considerably. In this they are closely followed by the genets.parallelled by the adult in action after food. Co-operative luuiting. even as adults. number ot voung. their pelage rudimentary. with their eyes closed. indulged in by adults without the instigation of the young. Plav that appears to be sheer exuberance ot yoiuig spirits has none the less a more important design underlying it in that it brings into practice attitudes and movements which later in life become essential factors in seeking and killing prey. which must face the harshness of nature from birth and can walk or even run after their mothers within an hour or two of parturition. are amongst the tmest exponents ot climbing m the mammalian world. their limbs too weak to enable them to walk for several days. This does not hold true of the whole Order. born secluded in a den. the sidewavs strike of the kitten's in earnest paw are examples cxactK. tlie young al^^avs come into the world in an incompletely developed state. both of which arc exhibited by carnivores to a greater degree than in any other group with the possible exception of the primates. some of the smaller against oncs. carefully supervised childhood is accompanied by interesting developmental ploys in connexion witli the upbringing ot a new generation. In the Canidae the smaller packs of hunting dogs are essentially family groups under the direct tutelage of the mother. The larger mongooses arc poor and unwilling climbers. more especially the female. and in mode of life from tree-dwelling genets to aquatic otters. polecat and. are renowned for their apparently purposeless acrobatics and gambolling both in and out ot water. nevertheless calls tor the acquirement. takes place in the natural state augmented in this respect as Extremely little is known of what actualKthough our knowledge has in recent years been welcomcly regards a few of the larger and commoner species by the patient observations of specialized researchers. These are play and more deliberate training. quite expert. Otters. The pattern of courtship. though it mav to some extent be instinctive. The playful pounce. This is in sharp contrast to the antelopes. with light bodies. . being given directly and purposefully by the parents. but in some ot it the parents take part. though eventually two or more ot such groups may become associated under tlie leadership of a dominant male. Play is most evident and constant among the \-oung. with their needle-sharp. sometimes though much less frequently. but the rest ot the Felidae. Young cheetahs are made to sit and observe the mother in action after game before they themselves are allowed to hunt. demonstrating movements that their otlspring may copy. palm civet. abruptly curved claws and the supple movement of their limbs. gestation. as recorded later in the appropriate places. it possibly reaches its maximum development in the Felidae. However. The adult clicctah is not a great deal better oti. mating. indeed.24 Tiir CAKNivours or wrsr airiua it. Although nrost ot the West African carnivores have at one time or another been kept in zoos the amount of published information regarding their breeding habits under these conditions is relatively limited. as is to be expected in a Suborder which ranges so widely in size from the lion to the striped weasel and lesser mongooses.

especially other mammals. ijut there arc other African skins which find a market as ornamental furs. The carnivores do in fact. or certainly not at and Felidae. The importance of the dog in many spheres. some of the smaller mongooses forage in company while seemingly acting each for itself alone. combined with more effective methods of killing it that have led to its excessive destruction with incidental repercussions such as that mentioned earlier in this paragraph. Outside the limits of this book.GENERAL INTRODUCTION 25 by observation. or indeed of the African continent. certain minor economic roles. from rodents to antelopes. At a lower level. but apart from that it is difficult to think of any other direct service of — — value rendered by undomesticated side species. Yet. as a whole. a grave destruction of farm crops by these marauders. would multiply to harmful proportions. seizure or retrieval of food must not be overlooked. sheep and poultry. when the ruthless destruction of many places to a vast increase in the number of baboons and. as a consequence. and sometimes even man himself. so that his hand is raised in . for. The civet furnishes the perfume to which it gives its name. But there are. say. other carnivores furnish pelts of the highest value. alive or dead. The most important economic function of the carnivores in the living state has already been glanced at that of keeping in reasonable check all manner ot animals. too. The undoubted commercial value of living carnivores as highly attractive zoo exhibits cannot be ignored in a review of the Order's economic position. in local trade. Wild carnivores from the largest to the impinge detrimentallv upon human activities. wild carnivores as living entities play httlc beneficial part in man's economy. pest proportions. Hunting in packs does not necessarily always imply planned co-operation. though the spectacle of a lion impatiently pacing the narrow confines of a cage may not in itself be to everyone ethically justifiable an objection which does not apply to the possibly even greater economic success of making such animals part of the attraction of a national park. sometimes. the pelts of several kinds. especially those with dense or strikingly patterned pelage. as in the leopard is in Africa the chief. stealing and killing cattle. especially in countries and communities where such use is an urgent matter of business not a "sport". are valuable in the fur trade. some of the foxes and the mink ranking high in this respect. that would otherwise certainly assume. of clan methods and the understanding of the implications of different calls. genet and mongoose pelts fill a constant demand for bags and matchet-scabbards and throughout a good deal of Africa the skin of the caracal finds a ready sale as an anti-rheumatic garment. through domestication. such as the cheetah and to a lesser extent the scrval and the otters. is The adverse smallest of the picture different. leopards led in One practical aspect of this as far as man's activities are concerned has been demonstrated in recent years. The carnivores fill a key role in maintaining the balance of nature siiicc without them many other kinds of animals. as already the high level of intelligence found amongst. Economics etc. play a fairly constant part in man's economy. and it is the widely increased demand to meet this market together with the general fear and hatred in which this animal is held. for man. not only as the friend and sometimes protector of man but most notably as a vital aid in the discovery. Of these. other Orders. the larger Canidae pointed out. Dead.

their structural morphology. used herein. herein given Simpson's Superfamilv titles Canoidea and Feloidea. The separation of the Order Carnivora into two main categories. the Cynoidea (the dogs).that of Winge (1S95). into these matters. There little purpose in a book of the present nature in entering into a wealth of not verv relevant Fundamentally there has for long been broad agreement with the if not the naming. more covertK" harnihil Everyone is aware of the key part plaved by domestic dogs in the transmission of rabies. are likew ise divided hito two mam sections. 1758. their function as reservoirs and vectors ot' disease. Wild species are equally guilty though their impact is. wliich in is features altogether another matter. is of very long standing. The question of drawing up a brief key from external the cx'ception ot the H\aenidae. less direct. The two last. dircctK' or indirectlv. dentition. previously separated partl\. but these matters will be dealt with in the historical detail. itself basicalK. alone ot concern to this book. some measure occupy . and the\' are well-known hosts of ticks and fleas which themselves are recognized as having high medical and vcterinarv significance. Taxonomy. has to all intents and purposes been recognized ever since. — . using a variety of names. There is much about the animals mckided in the Carnivora. the name for the latter dating from Blumenbach in 1791. For wliile all the tannlies are individually recog- . The fissipedes. There is little doubt that the carnivores as a whole are capable of spreading. general classification. Simpson this aspect of the (194s) treats this at considerable length. external form and habits which make their apparent relationship both as a group and \\ ithin that group prettv clear-cut. The degree of relationship ot the families within these superfamilics lias also been subject to differences of opinion. Pinmpcdia and Fissipeda. Precise morphological defhiitinn of the major subdivisions of the fissipedes in the modern sense dates from just a centur\ago when Flower came to the conclusion that three prlmar^ groups could be recognisetl from features of the skulls: the Acluroidea (broadly the cats and their relatives). and for this reason their taxonomic arrangement has in essence remained much as it was in the 10th edition of Linnaeus' Sysu-uui Natuiac. were later regarded by Winge (1895) as sufficiently close to be included in a common supertamily. and this grouping. But so far in West Africa very httle investigation lias been carried out role ot the carnivores. adopted herein which is that ot Simpson (1945).ni niterniediate on skull characters the ditierences between the two supertamilies are clear most cases easily ob':erved. of cour^^e. and for the former from Illigcr twenty years being on the one hand digitigradc and on the other plantigrade. another. and the Arctoidea (the bears). What has been more in question than the C(Mistitution of the Order as a whole or of its mam subdivisions is the precise degree ot relationship to one amulicr of these subdivisionai groups within the Order.26 Tlir. CAUNIVOFrS OF Wl:ST AFRICA There is relentless battle against all sueh predators. With and in position. a number of other diseases and intestinal parasites. The name Aeluroidea for the cat group is still often come across and was employed in a major work as recently as I'ocock. and those to is whom is carnivores important should consult his account. appropriate places later. 1951 but Simpson holds that it is hivalid and otherwise objectionable and has therefore substituted the term Feloidea.

.. in a more direct fashion.. septum which can generally be clearly seen (except in the otters and some mongooses) through the auditory meatus. the characters upon which distinctions might be based are either partly shared by the two superfamilies or differ in ways that are incapable of such defuiition as is succinct and at the same time not productive of doubt in the minds of those who are dependent upon an artificial key.. Cranial characters The bulla (except in the Hyaenidae) almost completely divided internally by a 1.. Canoidea {page 29) External characters on the underparts. and which attempt to preserve cohesion within each subfamily. therefore. (d) more or less self-coloured sandy-brown.KEYS TO THE SUPERFAMILIES nizable easily 27 enough by those who already have some experience of the animals with which wc are here concerned.. leads to the families irrespective of their larger relationship. The (a) pelage displaying one of the following characters: a regular pattern of spots. or only a very small.. which entirely ignores the classic major grouping. illustrate these points. The paroccipital process spreads over the posterior part of the Feloidea (page 1 60) bulla. the flexible . B. The two keys to the major scientific groups which immediately follow. except sometimes round the lips of the meatus.. the auditory meatus long with a well-developed external lip or lips. neck and shoulders. and the floor of this meatus is continued inwards to form a partial horizontal septum... no trace of any furrow across the bulla wall. internal septum... which is in nearly every case extremely short. sometimes two or more on the outside of the tail always with a black tip and often one or more Feloidea {page 160) . sometimes on the I . mostly plentifully but sometimes obscurely and only on the head. (b) (c) transverse stripes speckled or ticked ("pepper and salt"). being sometimes very closely applied The bulla with no. In the Hyaenidae the auditory meatus is long with a well-developed externa! anterior lip. the position ot the septum is often (but not always) indicated externally by a shallow furrow dividing the bulla into two sections. being devoid of any marked external lip or lips. at least spine coalesced into a stripe or stripes.. and either the ears black and tail pencilled or the (c) with a blackish terminal tuft. of the foreleg. which thus camiot be detected through the orifice. The paroccipital process rarely spreading much over the hinder part of the less more or erect .. KEYS TO THE SUPERFAMILIES OF FISSIPEDA A. the longish fur indctlnitcly patterned except for a black transverse stripe on the rings inside hindleg. A third key. I . bulla .

.2 . ^ .. grev..\ture with no set pattern: tail symmetricallv very bushv. (d) (e) with longitudinal stripes on the flanks or dorsum. 1.. or wholly (occasionally restrictedK') light grey and the underside dark or close-lymg... . Felidae [page 373) 2 Not 2. lyhica) wholly or partly black. . standing higher at the shoulders (30 inches. . irregular. varicoloured patches. . like this Coat with pronounced longitudinal dorsal stripes. backs ot ears (exxept F... A... generallv long-haired but not symmetrically bushy... more digits less) than at the hindquarters.. Cheekteeth 3-1=18 (sometimes the minute upper molar) Cheekteeth 16. or more rcstrictedlv. . External characters Head roiuided. coat spotted or transversely striped...28 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA 2.... [pa^c 30) . dark sepia with a more or less white throat Mustclidae [page 92) Coat with varicoloured blotches. blotched in large. Cats. claws [except Aciiionyx) very curved. . . .. . . glistening. Canidae . the Canoidea Q'iJft' 29) KEYS TO THE FAMILIES OF FISSIPEDA 1. or the coat speckled dark torms often obscurely) and the tail .3 .. the back wholly. Dogs . the underside dark. ver)' sharp and wholv retractile. the longish fur ot indefuiite pattern.. tail .. The (a) pelage with one ot the following characters or patterns: sleek and sheeny. the muzzle long and dog-like. Cranial characters Felidae . jaw very powerfully both front and hindfeet with only 4 Hyaenidae Not 3. coat often spotted at least on the underside. or a single side-stripe....... Canidae [page 30) . 3.. [page 341) 3 like this Of small or fairly small size.. 2. built.. . in a all cases the siniilarlv-haired tail markedly tapers troni broad base to a slender tip... or of an indefuiite mi. [p^igc iji) 14 . and the legs short Viverridae [page 161) 4 Not 4. ... . muzzle short... the throat white with or without verv irregular tips ot the hairs spots.. Cheekteeth Cheekteeth Cheekteeth Cheekteeth Cheekteeth Cheekteeth 14 or less more than 26 less than 26 22 or 24 20 or less 4. sMnmetricallv bu^hv. Vivcrridae {page 161) loss ot 4 in Crocuta apparently 16 through the Hyaenidae (page ^i) if 18 then Miistelidae [page O-) B. or the (b) (c) "frosted" white. like this Of fairly or large or large size. the coat spotted and the (hi tail ringed. .. . . 20 or .

The widely . It is also said that the carotid canal so. but tliis. the bulky. short-legged. There are certain obvious external differences between individual famihes or subfamilies. though in and Feloidca. it covers such diverse creatures as the dog-like. though in it some cases. skunks. It is almost impossible to fmd characters that firmly and clearly separate the Canoidca textbooks are mostly found in practice to be at least on other than morphological grounds has questioned some of the existing classification (see page 163). coatis and other similar New World and East Asian animals). on the other hand. indeed. and the meatus is little more than a ring although the septum is differently for the — placed and of possibly different origin in the Hyaenidae (Pocock. Li the Fcloidea. the highly offensive scent glands). but in the Canoidea the process often manifestly independent. Those given partially untrue. badgers. but these are often hard to define succinctly and impossible of application to the superfamily as a whole. where bulla. 1916c). Even as far as the small and slender. present. is not invariably variable throughout the two superfamilies. having often a lengthened lower lip. again. in fact. a comtwo major groups proposed by Flower in 1 869. The characters chiefly used lie in the skull and especially in and around the auditory region. all characterized by powerful and sometimes first The fainiHes. and both in this family and in the Herpestinae the meatus is long. Arctoidea and Cynoidea. wamingly-coloured weasel. and. The paroccipital process. polecats. as in Ictonyx. otters and several others.CANOIDEA Superfamily 29 CANOIDEA Simpson. this it From a pretty mixed assemblage. This was. What follows. 1931 major division of the fissipedes to be considered comprises four extant Canidac (dogs). the bulla is almost completely divided into inner and outer chambers by a septum.and crabeating otters. the bears and the dogs. and the aquatic fish. is can be gathered that the whole superfamiKthe only two families occurring in West Africa are concerned. takes into consideration only those species which are of concern to West Africa. Diicker (1957) most part of general application. Poecilictis is simulates the feloid form. and Mellivora long in the Canoidea dentition is and short in the Feloidea. carrion-eating jackals. honey-hiuiting ratel. the Procyonidae (raccoons. the Ursidae (bears. weasels. is in the Feloidea closely applied to the posterior face it of the tympanic is over which tends to spread and fuse. but since there were objections to the use of these terms Simpson (1945) coined the name now most commonly employed. ratels. entirely absent from Africa). and the Mustelidae (a large and heterogeneous group of stoats. bination of The group was once known as the Arctoidea. In the Canoidea the tympanic bulla is to all intents and purposes unobstructed internally and the meatus is of some length. the Canidae and the Mustelidae.

it one extreme the little tennec weighing about i-S to 2 kg and at the other the jackals which attain s to X kg. the iip|ier part of its posterior flap not being continuous with the mam rim ot the pinna but arising behind it. one . DCXIS. Antarctica.As tar as Australia is eoiieeriied it is believed that the now native wild d<ig.iv. Despite such disparities ot size. tuniishcci with conspicuous erect e.inid. but there scarceK' ever anything that could be regarded formal. have a great impact upon both the natural tauiia and domestic stocks. In West Africa wild species. It is species. nearer the coast than the middle ot the Cluinea wo< ot the . Areas ot black or white mav torm in amongst tliema well-marked ert.K. On the outer margin of the ear a bursa is alw. general overall tanuly resemblance is seen in v. This. according to widely diverse colouring trom blackish-brown to bright entircK selt-coloured but most often ticked or speckled with lighter or generalK it pretty long and exjiibits darker feature as . r. and ratlier slender but muscular legs terminating in well-padded. has considerably lessened m recent times. digitigrade teet armed with straightisli claws. On the other hand some ot tlte foxes range well into the Sahara. do occur in the closed torest or. to hot Canidae are to be tound in verv diverse ecological settings. iiulced.30 III! (AHM\illlls HI W ) s 1 AIKU.iKo in luher ways var\' selves in eoloiu in i or . Even laik. brought into use to cc^mbat predation upon valuable tarm stock. well-designed tor running. tliL- bl. ETC. and a number ot islands m various parts ot the globe trom the West Indies to Oceania. except at mating and breeding times. Wild dogs mav be to all intents and purposes solitary.1 tips the individual hairs. The C. b\ reason ot human population expansion. ICWES. hi West Atrica there is . The animals included \\a\- and. the\ The pelage is genus or rcil.irs and narrowing to a long tapering muzzle that ends m a naked black rhmariuni.ircK ti> is alwa)s dense. m this taimlv torm a very important section ot the carnivora and another. West ii. Though the members ot this tamiK vary very considerably in size are all built on a tairly well-detined plan that makes tlicm readily recognizable as canines.i\s present.nid obsi 'ilie which gives extreme bushiness the t. with whicJr tliis account is alone n<it concerned. a deep-chested body. are to be tound a wild state over most ot tile world with the exception of New Zealand.occur in packs. a long and abundantiv bushy Atrii. sometimes ot large size. however. trom the arctic snows and dry deserts.d of is the so-called siderise to slriped n. as in the case of the wolves (extrahmital) and the hunting-dogs ot Atrica.irious parts eit the body: a liead.ick i>lteii b. These packs otten have a familv-group than tormerK' and in part to more etfectivc methods ot control <">r extermination. must have been introduced into settlers this essentialK' marsupial island-contiiK'nt bv early or visitors man\' centuries ago. Thotigh. tl.i. or i-logs and their cldse km.niie. 111 .nul on the iiii . shiucw iiu iviisi.nit . or they may habitualK.A iSii Fainilv CANIDAE Cir. fixed and regular pattern ot stripes or spots. to apprcciablv' lesser numbers ot wild c. due in part.nii species. Description. Distribution and general. which ma\' is least tone. the dingo.

curving gradually out and then. recurved. most promiiK-nt!\. The angular process is small and sharply divided from the main body of the ramus. at least as tar as the front of the and since the jugal process nasals are long also short there thus a wide gap in the circumorbital ring. but it must be remembered that there is very little chewing carried out in this family. the teeth being mostly used for severing chunks ot flesh which are swallowed whole. the bat-eared fox. canines a — deriving from their — All the cheekteeth (fig. seems disproportionately small and to constitute a relatively minor part of the total skull volume. tire elongated rostrum reflecting but certain highly specialized domestic tonus of the family. 4) it is low. hi this genus may be ^ or |. extremely large. frontal region is marked bv is fairly well-developed. and in Lycaoii non-existent. West African genera. with which this work is concerned. The post-canine gap is at most of verv moderate size. canid skull (tig. the cheekteeth In the the onl\. though well-developed. 8) it IS restricted to the extreme posterior part of the cranium. Dentirion. The dental formula the family with a in the Canidae is basically jYjt 4. S) in v\hich the former is almost completely lacking. more sharply. the slightly up-curving rami being. ideally suited. 4) is The the wcli-kiiown sharp face of all . The Skull.throughout few (extralimital) exceptions. itself is otten torming a slight flange over the orbit but lacking any finger-like extension.C'AN'IDAE 31 (Plate i) gives It a striking appearance and and a characteristic shape that furnishes an immediate point ot recognition. the cheekteeth. from front to back. in again. The name. The braincase is rounded but.African example. The coronoid process rises steeply. except in Lycaoii. strong and tapering to a sharp point. the jugal bone pla\ing a major role in its constitution. their sharp cutting edges sometimes trilobed.developed in the posterior part of the toothrow. is of which Otocyoii. subtriangular postorbital processes. high above the t\pical carnivore subcylindrical condyle. the incisors. are relatively small. 10) the sagittal crest is tall and knite-like. The up-curved zygomatic arch is of moderate strength. hi Lyciioii (fig. In view of the manifest importance of the teeth in this family and the relatively strong construction of the upper jaw. the mandible appears unduly slender and weak. prominence in this family are always very tall. of general use throughout mammalian dental nomenclature. The bullae in the West African forms are large or. shallow. The four premolars ot the upper jaw nicrease progressively in . long and narrow. As tar as West Atrican species are concerned there is always at least some development ot sagittal and supraoccipital crests except in Fciiiicciis (fig. considering the reputed intelligence ot the Canidae. the dental row from the canine to the posterior molar thus forming a flattened S. to sinking deep into flesh and maintaining a secure anchorage upon a struggling prew Their build prevents their plaving any further role in mastication. and the latter relatively insignificant. The and narrow and always reach back orbit. The palate broadens posteriori)-. The mesopterygoid fossa is mostly broad and deep. in Caiiis (fig. 6) have cingula. occurring from Ethiopia to Cape Province. in Fciiueais. and in Viilpcs (fig.

arc not broad. was thought and that the jackals do. They share in feeding and bringing up the family. two much lower inner ones.xcavated but arc probably most often basically holes made bv other animals. The Cauidae all appear to be monogamous. There arc often two or more exits. the great scavengers. by reason ot Its great breadth. consume an unexpectedly high proportion ot insects and fallen fruits. consists of a large anterior blade. are sharp and ot triangular profile. have for long commonly regarded this latter next to the hyaenas. Daylight shelter tor the purpose ot rest. improved and adapted. The lower premolars arc ot the same torin as the upper ones except that /m is simple precisely similar to y)2 and . or even in dense grass opened sufficiently for the purpose by a rotatory movement of the animal before lying down. the foxes. have always been recognized as habitual predators. aardvarks. adults. in the Caninae the crown comprises two outer cusps. This is dealt withmorefulh' true than . or more especially for breeding and the earlv protection of the ^oung. the Simocyoninae (Lycdon). The mandibular molars narrow this last. avoiding. beiiii. section ot the blade. /!/i. a much smaller tooth. seeking out killing their own meals. . 1112 one opposite and one opposite the rear 1113. though in the early stages the male is often kept at some distance bv his mate.)3. /)'. and hence solitary. has two cusps. is by tar the bulkiest tooth in either jaw. and there is a larger secondary narrow cusp in line with and posterior to the main one. though all the C. later. tlic upper caniassial. The molars are far more complex besides being ot markedly diHerent torms in the upper and lower series. little more than a peg. hir lower. and there may be one or two litters a in tact. except in necessity.ither simpler in their cuspidation. p^ has a p'~ and /!' two each longitudinally sited. forming an important component of the sectorial blade. living almost lion's or the cheetah's kill. heel. They also ditter somewhat in the two subfamilies. Most of them are to a very large extent nocturnal. the lower caniassial. pangolins or termitc^. surmounted by a small cusp. or both. All. Its cingulum is welldeveloped and anteriorly torms a small subsidiary cusp. and there are two similarly small internal cusps. or at least crepuscular. has a third root situated transversely to the first. b oe a secondary. Apart from this. divided into 2 cusps. and the smallest tooth in the mouth. others. though of the same general form are r. "earths" as they are popularly termed.THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA size troin the tirst to tiic last. though there may single root. But sometimes. which is of somewhat more complex construction. Habits. direct exposure to the sun. Litter size amongst wild dogs seems to range between 2 and as many as ly. the jackals. more particularly in the case of young as yet unmated. the pairs remaining together tor some tune. cusp anterior or posterior. Ill- is of similar construction but lesser size. and an internal when iiinvorii. Earths mav be selt-e. hares. been has Some of the wild and as. temporary concealment is sought in naturally occurring craiuiics amongst rocks. hi the second subfamily. p^. both above and below.-uiidaeare preponderantly flesh caters they do. the molars.»i. with four cusps. is most commonly found in holes in the groimd. posterior to and in line with is this is a third much lower external cusp. own account than was supposed. less entirely on the remains of the Recent intensive observation shown notion to be hunt more on their However. nevertheless. dogs. to the main one. always the tallest check' tootii.

most of tire sounds being characterised as harsh yaps. eagles. an extensive vocabulary of signal notes. A slow walk is rarely adopted except within a limited range of a few yards extent. Over longer distances the normal means of progression is either. but this time with the legs tucked under it. for example. die age 33 of the mother possibly being a determining factor in both. are pretty varied. ground in rapid succession. a canter. not only between species but according to circumstances as well. so far as they have been recorded. When yoimg and The Canidae have no tions in their paths by the parents. The young. The two forefeet then consecutively touch the ground. impcllmg the animal upwards while the forelegs arc stretched forwards until the two pairs of limbs arc fully extended and the whole body is in flight out of any contact with the groiuid. for the attraction of a mate. the control of the yomig or the co-ordination of the pack. that has not as yet been investigated or recorded. unless actively protected same attacks as other small mammals from . The availability of food has a considerable influence on the numerical is size of the litter or the proportion of it that can be successfully reared. the whole body becoming a second time suspended in flight. the two hindfeet touch the onwards and slightly not outstretched as previously. The gait in the Canidac varies a good deal according to circumstances but follows a common pattern throughout the family. probably varies a good deal amongst different species and may lie anywhere between 7 and 11 weeks. Their relatively defenceless they are. and by loss of efficiency from luidermincd health or accident which prevent them from maintaining their place in the pack or against stronger. No set breeding The average period of gestation is in the nature of 9 weeks but. Several factors serve to hold the number of Canidae in check. There is. though not well-investigated. variously known as "cubs" (foxes) or "pups" (jackals and hunting-dog) are breast fed for 6 to 10 weeks. or. the hindquarters as a unit. in full piu'suit. great powers of climbing. The relatively low in density of antelope population in Africa. a gallop. at higher speeds. angry lions and the like but the risks of destruction they run from these or similar enemies seem to be slight. at slow speeds. but they can overcome low obstrucboth by leaping and by scrambling over those that offer adequate footholds. numbers arc kept in control more by diseases. An interesting ceremony in this connexion is described later imder the jackals. subject to the pythons.CANIDAE year. West Africa. The hunting-dog when in full cry intermittently performs leaps to obtain a view of the prc\' which may be hidden by the tall grass. Voices in the African Canidae. Nothing truly resembling the familiar bark of the domestic dog seems to be uttered by West African wild species. reiterated melancholy whoops or long-drawn-out notes. In this last. more active and thrusting members of their own kind. and give the animal a second onward thrust while the hindlegs are brought forward until they cross the now backwardly directed forelimbs. which leave the ground. other carnivores or driver ants. mostly regurgitated by the parents. sometimes varied by bouncing seasons have been cstabhshed for Africa. a four-legged run. hi the adult stage they may be killed by hyaenas. or. without doubt. being gradually weaned to solid food. of the hunting-dog there and the small directly responsible for the general rarity size of the packs comparison with East .

The question as West Atrica is concernei. or even the propriet\' ot am subdivision within the chiet questions at issue its is the limits assocuilion with. tlKir t. at least in Simpson's opinion.ihlc I . . adult skull length not more about than about .and ol consequent views. lowever. casiU icnii. the C")toc\ oninae comprising soIeK Liiocyoii. or degree ot separation troin.4 (hgits on the toretoot it is retained herein as representing the subtamilv Simocvoninae.IS i. 111. on the score ot its slightK' simplitied molars and its possession ot onl\. theretore.1 i. though with their heavy build and lumbering plantigrade gait appareiuK' so dissimilar trom the dogs. forefoot with oiil\ 4 iligits: . ot whuh the\- form .two in the region with which this work tox. \-er\' closcK' related and.s.iiniK. Siitwcyonitidc (jhi[. the b.'c 34) Subfamily iSyj TYPICAL noes The 2iS) with varicoloured blotches.only about one. . 1 li. .ie . .1.It the position here. CANINAE C.!0 mm.1 . On narrower issue. inorc c(iiiipK\itv tliaii at first sl-chis hkclv.uid often w itli splashes of black. tjiough it is true that it dithers shghtlv 111 minor matters ot general appearance trom the more typical members ot the tamiK'. wolves and so torth.uiin. KEY TO THE SUBFAMILIES OY CANinAI' (Previous ke\' page ( 'o. The tossil record is unusually ricli and the intorination which it others leads to a diversit\ ot possibilities in tlie matter ot plivlogem.iin greater than recognizing No 1 generic significance. The third. all three subtamihes ot living caiiids are in tact tairlv gcneralK' recognized. 1//' with two small internal cusps and a heel.idult skull lengtli about 200 mm..ic might . in tact. forefoot with 5 digits. the extent ot. XltliiuiiJlli tin C .( 75) third or less ot the size ot ///' Co. other group..IS big .u-tut. One ot closeness ot which should be placed upon the fanuh' and the and in particular the Ursidae.ire in distribution co-extensive with the t. 111 occurring though oiil\. and the distinction which may be drawn between them..woiioim has. but not a varicoloured patchwork.inid. is contined to southern Atrica Atrica and the eastern side ot the continent as tar north tar as as Ethiopia.//'-' Cdiiiiiae (/ii.ip|H'ar to lie ./' with little or ]io sign <if lingual cusps. in point ot tact. are. one could mistake Lydioii tor anything but a dog. Bur this IS ot no great concern to this present work. In practical terms.late otisho(it trom them.? 1 1 1 1 ( \ I! I N I \ c ) iM s o 1 w I s r M in I A Tiixoiioni) in/. . The accorded .- gnnip. /. the bears. Simpson (i<)4_s) gives a long siimiiiar\ ot the Kinsiderations and opinions involved and tnrnishes reterences to the very extensive hteratnre on the snbject. the ver\ uiiitorm tamil\ Canidae is a ttirther point 111 some dispute.ill. the |ack. toxes.. his Is a matter tor more speeiahzed works and it is pointless to Jo more tlian glance . It somerimes gri/zled or though it is admittedly doubtful whether these and other minor distmcticsus should lo^icalK.ds.i' or more . reduces to the validit\' or otherwise ot two subtamihes.ilt .i. a tairK. .

Oken's work lias been ruled to Lii/jm'. the Carnivorous. was the Latin for a wolf. LchrbKcli titr Natur<. bullae not so large. This was called Dr. liead size . nal. 47: 364. 1837. skull under 120 mm. There is little doubt but that this genus has had a greater impact upon man than any other group of mammals with the possible exception of the ungulates. I: tor a dog. 2: 1037. coyotes. mm . Annis Sci. 8. Z. Lupus Okcii.. a North Atrican vern- Sehae'fia Hilzheimer. postorbital processes with a slight dorsal depression Vtilpes {page 62) flanks mm Genus Cam's Linnaeus. despite greatly reduced numbers. Type species Cams /rt/Hi/iVins Liimaciis. Zool. it has given rise to the millions . their length almost equal to the //)-. Type species Canis adustus Sundevall. 2.3. be taxonomically unavailable. species Canis anrcm Linnaeus. head & body generalK' measuring 400 or more. Canis was the Latin word tlie Oken. Beob.. 1869. Back and/or flanks with at least some fairly defuiite and obvious splashes ot black. & body length 350 to 400 mm. This in the British name was compounded trom Dicha Gray. 175S Sys/eiiia Naturae. iSifi. Catalofim: 180.CANIS . jackals. the tail less than half their length. 35 by tar the greater and more varied part. in most parts ot the world even today impinge considerably upon human activities. ]'nlpiianis IJlainville. 2: 279. . rlios CANIS 3 S.. Fenneciis [pdgc 54) breadth across the back margins of. tor apart trom wild species which.Size larger. Type Type species Canis hipns Linnaeus. mm Canis {page 35) Back and without any defmite black markuigs.. maximum skull length over 130 mm..Caiiis (iiircMs Liruiaeiis). the dumcstic dog. though sometimes greyish in tone. Unavailable. The name is a Latinized form of rfiV/i. familiar animals as well as which in some dispute and is The general characters of the subfamily are those detailed above for the family with the exception mainl\. of fairly large size. iy$S. 1X16. the precise ancestry of a diverse nature. foxes and various other the domestic dogs. 1906. postorbital processes without any depression on their upper side Size small. after Cuvicr. Eight genera arc less is now recognized covering doubtless of the wolves.of the points brought out in the foregoing key.. bullae very large. Lvlirhiicli dcr Nalur<<vsiliiclili' 3. usually at least 400 ears moderate and the hindfoot appreciably 2 more than their length.cschichh. Linnaeus. 1: tojg. and Edeulalc Mammalia Museum Type species C<im/s anthus acular name for a jackal.. head & body measuring 590 or more. Thos was Greek name for (probably) a jackal.00I. Ernst Schaff in recognition of his help in the investigation of jackals. KEY TO THE GENERA OF CANINAE (Previous key page 34) r. the tail well over half their length. lothcd. size moderate. Type species Thos riil^aris Okcii (-. Padtydorniatous F. <>/ the Latin nulpcs fox and canis dog. ears extremely large tor the of the body (about 90 mm) hindfoot about equal in length to the ear or not much longer.

. origins and possible relationships merit some study and record. 1890). Pcrsi. have never. Ot these.a Mts.unc is /?(/( Thoina?. These two ma\.icus.gathered truni the descriptions <it the two West African jackals which — C follow. though it may be observed ni passmg that there are several different strains in West Africa whose appearances. the z\goinatie arch stronglv up-curved aureus {pn(. L. as partly indicated by the above synonymic 1 : Golden Jackal 40. 1954). This leaves. widespread though this last may be. The foxes were at one time also considered appropriate to this genus but there is miw fairly general agreement that they are best separated as I 'iilpcs. skull and with a marked change of level . It will be appreciated that.arched [pai^c 49) Backs of the e. Bciin. with a range extending over much of the globe from Australia to the Arctic. It is not a function ot this present work to deal with domestic varieties. have altered a good deal through the years. the zygomatic arch . of which two. m the forms ot the European tox and the domestic dog. in tact. there must be a good deal of variety ot appearance and form in the genus. Certainly the two genera. amongst the most highly trained and skilled. dorsal pelage often with irregular black patches. No useful purpose is served b\' attempting to provide a general diagnosis ot it. been shown to do so.. Caiiis at one time being held to cover almost any species ot dog-like appearance (exemplified in ditlereiitiated thus: KEY TO THE GENUS CANIS IN WEST AFRICA (previous key page 35) Backs of the ears gre\ reddish. Sytfiiia Nntiirae specific ii. even with artificial insemination (Gray. this last probably a domestic term anciently introduced by man and subsequently gone feral. which includes only names of concern to West Africa. or was. Wild species ot Civiis occur in Europe (wolf). Africa (golden. North America (wolf.shallowly curved in the vertical plane adustus profile fairK. The limits ot the genus.c 36) CANIS AUREUS (. black Ogbomosho hunting dog is. only three true wdld dogs of the genus Caiiis in Africa. The Litiii for goUfeii. and Australia (duigo).36 ot domestic dogs 111! (MINl\'nl!lS OI WI. I7S'S. Asia (wolf. are known to occur within the limits licrein dealt with. (i<hisii:s. taxonomicalK' speaking. i<. attributes. iViivHi and C.i ( Lmn. skull profile shallow. side-striped and black-backed jackals). coyote). S. Hank generally with a blackish l<ingitudinal stripe beneath a white one. therefore. and at others to be reasonably separable into a number ot independent genera.SI AIKK A upon whose varied special abilities man is dependent in many spheres without taking into any account a more intangible emotive intimacy. almost flat from the nasals to the frontals. the main characters of which can be sutficieiuK.inst. though not infrequently in popular belief held to hybridize.ii). about the middle of the nasals. the golden and side-striped jackals respectively.iim5 rtiirciii Linnaeus lotli cJ. golden jackal). the small.

CANIS 37 o .

1921. Morocco and the countries bordering the Mediterranean. Zool. 25 (of the 210.S8). thient Its but this mav be a niisleading term. Senegal. 1903. 47: 364. This name is the mediaeval Latin adjective meaning pertaining to the back. 173 Amhiis was. the n. this wide distribution it will be readily understood that a good of variation of colour and size occur and that. Senegal. 1S32. 1906. Caiiis vulpcs tiorsalis Gray. Sudan. probably given in reference to a distinctive dark s. nat. wolf. . tlie Arabian peninsula. including tlie whole of India and Ce\lon. Caiiis ripariiis Hemprich . according to the Roman author Phny (Book S) a member was Lx-licved to he periodically chosen by lot to be metamorphosed into a wolt tor a period of nine ye. It is also frecjuently referred to as the Asiatic jackal since spread across much of that con- and was more commonly and better known from there than from Africa. Thence the range continues across south-eastern Europe. Canis lliooidos Hilzheimer. Manakaoki (Air) and (just extralimital.ancient Greece. m Riippell. Zool The name varie<. 295. 1906. pt. 21: 264. 17. Canis liocdcrleini Hilzheimer. 183S. Lake Chad. This name was to replace Catiis t'iiric\. Tchsiderak. Jardine's Nnliualist's Libniiy.atus is Latin meaning composed ot various colours. 195 1 : 224). Distribution and general.atiis Cretzschmar. range From West Tazerruk. to as far east as Burma and Thailand. Named after Professor Dr. fr<im I^ahomey and from Cameroun. wide. Soc. certainly it is m West Africa. Thos mirctis imbiciiius Cibiera. the collected study material is for the most part meagre and of scattered provenance. Bcob. Ciivicr. The golden jackal (hg. is. but it almost certainly occurs throughout the Sahel vegetation zone. 1S20. csp. . I. 9 (of Mannnals) Senegal. Africa specimens exist in the British Museum from Takoukout (Damer- gou). {Vido Ellerman & Morrison- Scott. in suitable localities. With deal . Histoiic NatnrcUc ilcs Mainniifeics. 13. 3) is sometimes called the common jackal. indeed. . Stiiii^fthicn-: Nubia and Upper Egypt. This together with the Subdesert are its main habitat. Doderlein. preoccupied. Proc. 30: 16. Soc. common enough 111 the field. It is replaced in the Sudan and 13oka by the side-striped jackal. in CJcotiroy and text.irs. in Ahaggar) The species has also been recorded from near Timbuctu. This name is compounded of the Greek ihos. Senaar. in consequence.X Ehrenberg.THr CAKNIVOIIFS (Cciiiii) antJius F. in . (Not Caiiis fomdmis varicgaiin Gmelin. zool. Synthcltie Pliysicae sen Icoiics cr Dcsiripliom-s AUiiiiiiuiliuiii 31.nne of" an Arcadian family of winch. Yet more fundamentally frustrating than this is the plain fact that the early type descriptions on which alleged races are based arc so inadequate Taxonomy. Several attempts have been made to syiionymizc many of the proposed names. In Africa it extends from Kenya and north-eastern Congo northwards and westwards to Senegal. scries). Catiis varii<^at\[s Cretzschm. Cmiis anthus soudanicus Thomas. but the taxonomic position with regard to the golden jackal in Africa remains so confused and obscure that it is impossible to conic to any precise conclusion. El Obeid. given by reason of the pelage. pi. for 1837: 132. zoo]. a large number of local races has been described. Kordofm. 10. Soc. Hist. Thos sciic^alcnsis Hamilton Smith. The reasons arc twofold. Proc. Although jackals are. C a Justus. . Coast of Abyssinia. near Arkiko. pi. Alias zu dir Rfis<- im Nt'nilkhcn Afrik. from Portuguese Guinea (Madina de Boc and Gabu). and the termination -ocdidcs implying resemblance. iS^rt. pi.!. Lomi. i S39. Bol. Upper Egypt. deciis sccunda. and a good deal ot southern Asia. 17. Oi: WRST AIUICA & Ciivicr. Lofid.

That size is not always dependable. certainly as far as West Africa goes. to judge from British Museum specimens. the early days of this century. is demonstrated by a pair of apparently similar age from the Plain of Tokar (extralimital). rehance being almost entirely on colour.2. leaving merely 3 dating from relatively be without any clearly to differentiate recent times.M. both dorsally and on the tail. Nos. very possible that the existence or form of black markings. It is true that one is male.1. for over a century been in the position of attempting to equate specimens with ill-dcfuied taxonomically classical forms. often deduced from single specimens. but West Africa on the basis of existing classical names and in the face of the lamentable deficiency of material is little more than an exercise in plausible ingenuity. B. indeed.9. direct One only of these.1 and 5. has ever in a manner been held alone furnished in to occur within the area covered by this present account. and indeed probable. one a fairly old animal with scarcely a trace of black. or even from illustrations demonstrably wrong in other respects. partly by external appearance and partly according to locality. C. but in size sufficiently and attempts to do this tor . especially when only two or tlirec skulls are taken into account.9. There can be very little doubt indeed that within any one population or family this cannot help but be a matter ot considerable variability and one upon which little sound argument can be based. but when it comes to the consideration of the remainder of alleged forms the position is not so clear-cut. it is scarcely possible to base any convincing argument upon the threadbare data it yields. the other a youngish one. one is simply a replacement name. directly or indirectly. This. the material available is often so limited and of such scattered origin that. would seem to apply to the amount ot rufous colouring in the pelage make-up as well. It is possible. with a relatively large amount. compiled from names which have at one time or another been associated.1.CANIS as to 39 real meaning or ability to afford any proper criteria by which from others the animals to which they refer. Dependence upon pelage pattern is vitiated by the almost certainty of a high degree or individual variation. It seems. This is well-evidenced by two skins from Rio de Oro (extralimital). have been credited with a constancy of occurrence and a taxonomic significance which they do not possess. especially of the chief character taken into account. but here. A glance at the above synonymic list. one being 15 to 20 per cent larger all roiuid than the other. shows that of the 10 forms listed 6 were described before 1840. the other female. lupastcr skulls from Egypt arc indisputably far larger than any others. 5. the amount of black in the coat. Had they been collected at ditferent times at slightly different places they might well have been given separate distinctive names. with West Africa. Colour and pattern are also affected by age and moult. The size and proportions of the teeth appear to be more reliable than the skull itself. but no such marked sexual disparity is evidenced elsewhere as sex-linked. that certain African forms oi aureus differ from Asiatic forms and from each other in colour collectors' Workers have thus markedly and constantly as to merit trinominal distinction. and it its diagnosis cranial and dental data well as external measure- ments. as soudaiiicus. Skull character and size would appear to provide a soimdcr line of reasoning.

and and dental measurements to corporeally diagnosed classic forms. Thus.40 Tin. Cuvier stressed the fact that the two jackals had been found in captivity to interbreed fertilely. while species must always remain separate. first. enough show that there is little profit in too searching an examination. as indicated in the previous paragraph. forms have been all speciticallv attributed to western Africa. in fact. are better able to take full advantage of this frectlom tlian most. it nothing else. aiitluis It this is so. and there as is little nothing more than a race of aureus. or just by reason of a roving nature. basic species aureus apart. Cuvier indicated that the two reputed forms existed svmpatrically. tracks. The position can only be summarized. tend to belie the meagre verbal diagnoses. spread across Asia and the a jackal. however. the wiry strength ot their build. the maintenance ot discrete races under in the part other food supplies. donalis and saicgalcmis. There are other ditticultics. to relate cranial this any precise conclusion. CAUN'IVOKF. as the male o? authus an animal which has since been pretty generally regarded as something . in the chase. can be regarded — — which he contrasted authus. seasonally as the result ot the movement ot game and of Africa under consideration. the status universally accorded it today. There can be wild diigs. and as this could hardly be so with two races of one species and one is left wondering especially since they had been demonstrated to interbreed whether they do. seemed to make it improbable that two separate species were involved. by Gray as a fox. so juvenile as to The other two forms — more northerly part of Africa as described earlier on. their stamina. and such is. Tjiis. had already laid the foundations of future doubts. in tact. not impossible. matter one factor contributor\ to racial little doubt about the wide-ranging Like their more domestic relatives they can cover considerable distances.S Ol WEST MRICA tlie these. by human standards. must turn now from these general considerations to a more particular investiga- We tion of the reputed has been said to West African forms. There such circumstances would seem to be altogether anotlier matter. at a tair speed. The that. is anthnsl No one seems very clear from Cuvier himself onwards. their readiness and eager persistence in pursuit. aureus. and the modern viewis that the golden jackal exists as a single species. it typically may be at said at once that donalis. occupy the same country or what his so-called aureus. They may do this. be indeterminable but m all probabilit)' once plunge us into doubt. What. cieseribcd from Senegal. as in otlier charaeters. Before leaving the general aspect ot capabilities ot these obscurity must be mentioned. dirtercntiating it from aureus not very exactly in words and onlv slightly more clearly in pictures whicli. and illustrating. three above synonymy shows Considering these is unquestionably aureus. indeed. Ten years later. in response to sexual urge. and tlieir ability to be selfsupporting. without any marked impulse to return upon their is. it must be repeated that material available trdiii West Africa in is so limited that it is it is it scarcely possible to come to anv case difticult. with reason to doubt the correctness of the view. further confusLxl the issue by describing. antluis. Cuvier who. no vegetational or physical barrier to wide transcontinental movement. and dogs by their verv nature. Cuvier described aiiihiis as a species in its own right. The original type specimen had been a female kept in captivity in Paris. might be. Yet a complication remains. untiringly and often.

they differ from one another totally in appearance and very much in age and size. newly received from Rio de Oro. no account is taken of the possible influence of age. This is the more so since. "as being more nearly typical of the Senegal jackal described by F. but his female as 15 inches at the mid-back. No. but it may here be remarked that no specimen of any kind in the British Museum shows any sign of the rufous colouring on the fore part of the belly which constitutes one of the clearest pelage distinctions. by diagnosis. C. Part of the argument put forward in support of the various alleged forms lies in coat colouring. for example. was never very clear regarding West African golden jackals. in fact. Thomas (1921) made only one other reference m literature to anthus when he attributed to this form a very much more heavily blackened specimen. Hamilton Smith gives no actual measurements other than what is presumably an estimate from ments turnished are sometimes given in different parable. for all then even more obscure position — . as mentioned above. Cuvier. This brings us to the consideration of the third reputed West African form. that one jackal is at least an inch higher at the shoulder than the other. scnc- which Thomas galcusis. "an artist seeing both would hardly admit more than the approximation of the two species". because.M. in the t)'pe diagnoses now under review. is regrettably inadequate. the tendency to refer all North African jackals to tliis species had given rise to a situation not least due to Cuvier himself Oldfield Thomas. indeed. expressly related to Senegal but no specimen from this area existed in the British Museum. mentioned earlier. for this bears not the slightest resemblance to Cuvier's plate. consequent upon the erection of antlnis. collected by Angus Buclianan at Takoukout (Damergou). practical purposes indistinguishable from Buchanan's five later specimens from Air. as recorded below. 2. Hamilton Smith devised this name for the second. as mentioned in an earlier paragraph. jackal which had been described and figured bv Cuvier as anthus. and there was thus nothing which could with confidence and any justitication be regarded as truly representing the form. part in different size or build. .CANIS quite different. as Smith wrote of Cuvier's two illustrations.28. Rio de Oro is well north of Senegal. This is. Hilzheimcr (1908) in a long 41 to sort out the monograph attempting by remarked on the confusion which. It may therefore be wondered how much more typical of the Senegal jackal they really were. From all this it will be appreciated that there is very considerable uncertainty regarding the identity of anthus. 21. one is left in some doubt as to whether it really was the male rather than the female that he had in mind. In the matter of size. (1925) then named riparius. which bears no resemblance to this whatsoever. Li 1903 Thomas especially remarked on the value of the two specimens. 11. Smith's comment applies with incomparably greater force to his own picture of scucgaknsis. B. and. in Cuvier's illustrations. outside the Tropics and of a different vegetation. Verbal description of all these three categories. antlnis was. male. certainly. o( anthus from aureus. The yoiuig one with its blackish back has more likeness to Cuvier's illustration of anthus than the older one. and the few measureforms or are in other cases not comstanding 17 inches [pcuccs) at the shoulder and 16 uiches at the hindquarters. gives his male as these figures. His description is also largely at variance with Cuvier's. Cuvier than the North African examples which have usually had to do duty as such".

M. and though this may possibly not be justified. and if this is so and there is good reason to support the view vaiiegatus must be replaced by soudankus rather than by iiuhiauus which it antedates. the competence in draughtmanship and colour matching of the artists concerned. Sctzer (iQSfi). mentioned — any case. In view of the facts outlined above. certain forms named chiefly for Egypt and Sudan have been said to occur also in the west as. How poor. described much earlier by Hemprich & Ehrenberg from the "coast of in . male and female. further synonymizes doedcrlciiii and thooidcs with soudaiiiais. Over the years many systcmatists have spent a good deal ot effort and ink in attempts to establish exactly what Cuvier's Caiiis aiitluis. Cretzschmar's varkgaUn. of the animals with which we are here concerned is fraught with doubt. his male in 1830. though frequently — in literature. This brings into prominence the considerable importance attaching to the circumstances of the making of the three illustrations involved: that is to say. as Cuvier's female was described and illustrated in 1820. A brief examination of the remaining names in the synonymic list must therefore be made. in fact. following G. in view of the uninterrupted nature of these biotopes and the absence of impassable physical barriers. Cabrera therefore intended that it should be replaced by iiiihiamis. Hamilton Smith's artist was can be gathered from a glance at his version of Lycdo/! pictiis. Anything else is frankly unhelpful. Thomas (19^5) came to regard his soudaiiiais as identical with riparius. and laniilton Smiths sciicgdknsis in 1839. the possibility of inaccuracy of reproduction of colour in printed categorical assertions regarding it. Because of the transcontinental nature of the major ecological zones. and in this work it is proposed to draw 110 nomenclatural distinction beyond the specific name aiirais. It is extremely improbable that any dnect comparison ot the appearances of living animals can have been made. Nothing short of a wide-reacliing review of the species based on first-hand comparison of very considerably broader study material than today exists can lay sotuid foiuidations of the subspeciation of aureus and justify in response to verbal or were reconstructions ot build made to this. both verbal and pictorial.THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AI1U<:A A good deal ot the argument must necessarily depend upon the illustrations. It is simply an expression ot the opinion that to trv to et]uate any existing inadequate material to these insufficiently and confusingly diagnosed forms. but Schwarz (1936) thought that there was much to be said tor identifying Thomas's so\idauicus with varicgiUus. merely because they are classical and repeatedly and luiquestiouingly appear in literature as occurring in this area. and whether the paintings were in fact executed from the living animals or from pelts and measurements made from them 1 prompting. hi addition books during the early days of the 19th century cannot be overlooked. Allen (1939). is both misleading and unrelated to the reality of the situation. is excluded by its prior use by Gmelin elsewhere in the genus. Under the influence of Hilzheimer (1906). the two animals thus named by Hilzheimer appear to have little connexion with West Africa and are. The whole matter of description. There remains only yiparius. and Hamilton Smith's scuc(ialeiisls might be. they well might. This is not to hold that West African golden jackals may not prove to be validly distinguishable from those of Asia or elsewhere in Africa. the present writer regards such attempts as little more than a futile waste ot time. antedated by soudaiiicus.

but two from Tokar. Only in one area are as many as five specimens involved. To these Sahel specimens are added for comparison three skulls from the Saharan highlands of Air and Ahaggar. seems unlikely. near the Red Sea. Unfortunately nothing is available from further west. All but one of the skins embraced by the table bear a pretty close resemblance to each other. Given single specimens only. that is to say from Senegal but the area generally implied by this geographical term. lies in this same vegetation belt. but there is no regularity in this from which clinal or racial trends might be deduced. the distribution of a single race between such an area and West Africa. could indicate that ^\c are in this dealing with a different. and some of the available Ethiopian skins in fact agree well with the Air series. as recorded earlier. as well as its extratropical provenance. The possible exception is that from Rio de Oro. The size variation becomes very apparent when the skulls are laid out in order. It demonstrates a succession of specimens in the British Museum across the Sahel vegetation zone from Takoukout in Damergou to the Red Sea. On the face of it. and especially in the early days of last century when anthus and senegalensis were described. When Thomas accepted Hilzheimer's view he had no skin or skull from the type locality of riparius on the Red Sea coast with which to make any kind of direct comparison of his soudanicus.. Of all the north-eastern specimens in the British Museum those which would seem to correspond in provenance most nearly to riparius are two from the Plain of Tokar. a female. that from Chad. as the table on page 5 5 shows. the rather more arid contiguous . a male. though there is some variation of size between the largest and broad general agreement. indicate that it would be unwise to lay too great a stress on apparent size difference argued from scant material. These correspond in appearance to West African skins. North It will be seen that is the smallest there a . The table referred to at the end of the previous paragraph is chiefly concerned with mean cranial and dental measurements. zone. The possibility of such a range is thus not so improbable as at first appears.CANIS 43 Abyssinia". the larger. Setzer (1956) by implication rejected this. and also one from Rio de Oro. with the Abyssinian mountains in between. p*. a female. and it is probably justifiable to hold that. with its next. of equal age yet vastly different size. male. The position is not easy to evaluate. It must be remembered that the means are derived from very limited numbers which fail to take into account the range of size normally occurring in the different populations. with one possible exception. larger. but the vegetation map (Keay et al. In this animal the upper camassial. is appreciably larger than in the others and occupies nearly 26 per cent of the toothrow from c-iu~ as against about 23 per cent in the rest. all these localities Iving nominally m Subdesert. for though some external data are provided they are not wholly reliable. and also fairly closely in cranial and dental measurements. all the animals in this transcontinental series could be assigned to a single race. The smaller of these two. neighbour from Lake Chad. matches the Takoukout animal. 1939) shows that there are continuous vegetation zones passing around these from the cast to the west coasts. it would be difficult for any taxonomist to equate the relatively small Takoukout skull. This fact combined with the different appearance of the pelage.

mixture of very long. Further th. The flanks are progressively less speckled than the back. jointly forming a conspicuous black tip. consists The dorsal pelage is dense. The nose is rufous. with long white hairs on their iimcr face and a marginal bursa. it docs not seem justified to go. with no taxonomic significance. the luidcrtur being also palely reddish. in so far as present purely West African material is concerned. Sometimes instead of the intensely pigmented terminal zone being sharply boiuided it merges through a longer or shorter weakly pigmented zone into the white. though sometimes very pronounced. terete bristle-hairs and shorter. the general appearance being a mixture of buff and black. finer. once again.iii this. but it is very possible that this. the base being white. the cars golden-brown on their backs. the terminal portion black. To sum up: trom what has been said it seems likely that. the crown speckled bufiy-grey. in a greater or lesser degree. and at the end of the tail they become lengthy. But. and tall within the limits ot normal idiosyncratic variation. This applies to reputed ditlerences ot muzzle shape and length ot leg as well as to marking and size. There is no sign in British Museum obscure specimens of atiilins. not banded. Owing to the more or less regular length of the bristles these marks sometimes tend. The bristles. often on the nape and mid-back. about 65 long. towards forming slight transverse patterns. generally present in a minor degree. long and rather harsh. wiry. arc four-zoned alternate black and white. very much \'ounger. Finally. This gives rise to rufous areas in the pelage. All the West African skins available tor study in the British Museum are sufficiently similar It to merit a single description. in connexion with the question ot races m general it is ot interest to note that Dobroruka (1959 and 1963) has recorded a change ot reputed race between young jackals born m captivity and their parents. usually some 50 to 75 beyond the root of the tail. and such departures from a mean as occur are in all likelihood individual rather than racial. in combination with contiguous hairs. is a matter of simple individual variation. and also that the second. butlcoloured undcrfur. ot the Rio de Oro skins has the dorsal pelage sprinkled with black in the manner of the Sahel zone animals. There is insufficient study material to draw any firm taxonomic conclusions from tliis.44 THH CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA African. on the fore-part of the belly indicated in Cuvier's illustration ot . Wliere the black occupies only the tip the general buff colour is scarcely affected. giving rise to larger or smaller splashes of colour. The upper lips a of mm mm are white. But in general the black markings are scattered irregularly and vary in amount and pattern individually. General description. it must not be overlooked that argument here is based on a single specimen alone. but the hairs are only black-tipped. race. A fully grown golden jackal weighs some 6-5 kg. the is w hole underside little from chill to anus generally buffy-white. The black speckhng is carried on to the very long-haired bushy tail. without very greatly increased data. a conspicuous element of the coat. the area of mild pigmentation being reddish. too. we arc dealing with a single form. These terminal zones aggregate into a pronounced black mark. both morphological and biological. though there is sometimes a speckling and colour the rufous zone on the throat. Tliis latter is of variable length. where it is long it forms.

li.28 : .11. 4. 21.> i7i/fc/i.<: >kiill.CANIS 45 Fig. ^'fl"/. No. .M.2.

J. poiuicing upon hares. cleaning up. Hopson noted that they were frequentl\. 4). their dietary is much wider than this. Skull In all West trontals to the nasals as to wait at a safe distance till well after siuirise before feeding can commence in earnest. seize a few mouthfuls and nip quickly awav before the heavier and slower-moving feeders can prevent them. the last ot which thev may either pounce <->n or catch in flight. especially it the latter is brightly moonlit. and the forelegs carry a longitudinal black streak to the wrist. cutting-grass (Tliryoiioinys) and the like. and that 0(1111 is well over 130 per cent of /. are palely red on their outer aspect. In iuhisiiis there is no hook. Their popular reputation is solely that of scavengers. Like most dogs they can sleep or be active at a moment's notice as occasion demands. Ground-haimting birds such as francohns and bustards tall prey to them. The mandible is more curved and rather more powerfully built than m aJiistiii. The zygomatic arch upcurves strongly. Golden jackals arc to be seen on the move b)' both day and night. The\' also eat a good deal of . and they do a good deal of killing <i n their own accoiuit. forming in some cases an almost semicircular outline. or grasshoppers. Close studies of these animals in the field have been made in recent years by Wyinan (1967) and Goodall (1970). generally with an incurved hind-margin and a slight backward hook at the top. The sagittal crest is low over most of the braincase but becomes sharp and keel-like posteriorly and joins equally pronounced lambdoidal crests to form an acute pyramidal pronnnence. but at mating times and during the raising of a family they are always in pairs. and sometimes these or small family units hang together for extended periods.i6 rill.i2 4. too. African skulls the profde show s a marked descent from the opposed to the relatively flat outline at adiistiis. and though t\\c\ do most of their feeding by day it is sometimes necessary to follow up kills made at night by lions or hyaenas even though they may probably. larvae.1113. in company of the vultures. The rostrum is shorter. page 55. the front margin descending in a broad convex curve from this hook to the base. they arc known to take lizards and not infrequently to kill and eat snakes. that both /)* and iiii are longer than they are ni luhisliis. sometimes very much reduced. but it is only part of the story. the nasals are shorter. It is possibly their easiest way of procuring a full meal since it calls tor little more than patience or the skill to see an opening and the agility to dash m. and both margins are almost perfectly straight. They also consume a surprisingly large amount of insects: dung beetles. sometimes clear. and iu addition to this the length from front to back of p* is at least 82 per cent of the length oi ui^ + be seen up to tour in a party in the Sahcl woodland and Sulradora pcrsiai (Salt Bush) thickets near Lake Chad (private communication). have (tig. in fact. rats. termites. is broader. and much of the following accoimt is derived from these sources. Habits. apart from a few hastily snatched mouthfuls. the depth of the ramus being greater. when other larger carnivores have killed and eaten their fill. That thc\. A. It will be seen from the table of measurements. tdic and liiiid. less tapering and slender tlian in adtistus. CARNIVORES OI WEST AFRICA The this is true. The coronoid process. The chief feature of the dentition is the relatively greater length of the carnassials. Often golden jackals are solitary animals. They mostly confine themselves to small prey. ground squirrels. But.

of course. These shelters "earths" may be dug out by the jackals themselves but are probably more usually enlargements of already existing. Golden jackals have rather loosely defmed hunting ranges the defence of which from these within 34 hours. such as rats or snakes. When golden jackals himt antelopes for themselves and succeed in making a capture they. others peacefully accepted. as much as 20 square kilometres is some or more. but there are reputedly one central chamber and two or three independent escape routes to the surface. a source of dung beetles. Goodall (1970) once saw a lone jackal chase a female gazelle for some 3 km. Adult gazelles. like others of the dog tribe. Further. smaller creatures. duikers. or adaptations ot larger burrows previously the home of an aardvark or warthog. unsuccessfully. Droppings of all kinds are. promisinglooking holes made by other. The area concerned also varies considerably in extent according to the circumstances of the environment. make no deliberate attempt to kill their prey but rip open the belly and start eating the entrails. like a domestic dog. exhausted to do more than They are often held responsible for the theft lambs. for the most part. but the caches are sometimes — — not very scriouslv undertaken and. These homes may be in a secluded spot or. These animals often carry away more food than they can consume and trot. However. It is generally recovered robbed by hyaenas. at other times as well as at breeding periods. only if three or more jackals arc working in concert. themselves ruthlesslv hunted. lurlike the far more nomadic hunting dog. sometimes. they kill bv shaking. Not much has been done to explore and describe these earths. This they may do on the surface. kids or even calves from domestic stock.CANI5 fruit at 47 the right season. intruders being driven back. They also readily cat fresh droppings from rhinos. but Goodall once saw a jackal eat a snake alive beginning from the tail end. Like other medium. both animals being by then too of fowls. and go to sleep. warthogs . or anything else that or sickness also fall would make a suitable meal and is incapacitated by wounding prey to these predators. this surplus is then buried. fallen figs and the berries oi Zisyplnis jiijiiba (Hausa iiingarlya) being said to be particularly welcome. That there is no meticulous insistence upon exclusive ownership is demon- . according to Goodall. Another sort of vegetable food they have been observed to eat is certain kinds of fungi. It would appear that golden jackals can survive for long periods without drinking. but this they large-size carnivores. arc. Besides the varied articles of diet enumerated above golden jackals will mark down and follow the females of antelopes that have just given birth in order to be able to pick up the after-birth. When at rest golden jackals curl up. very much centred roiuid a home burrow. golden jackals steal the more or less helpless yoimg of antelopes unless the mother is by to fend off the attack but even if she docs make a determined defence it is unlikely to succeed if more than one jackal is concerned. but the lives of these smallish predators. Smaller creatures. appears somewhat arbitrary. duikers or gazelles. hyaenas or hunting dogs. since while she is dealing with one aggressor another leaps in and carries off her tawn. not far from those of other den-dwelliiig carnivores. hence. usually in several different places. where game is more scattered and the chance of picking up a meal correspondingly reduced. It may be only about zi square kilometres or. and they are. it is not generally realized that golden jackals quite frequently themselves hunt and kill fully grown antelopes of the smaller kinds.

Certainly in their juvenile stages they are in danger from h\'aenas and possibk hunting dogs as well as the cats and large birds of prey. This employed bv mu/zles to the (it when their elders return ceremony primarily from foraging. or one taniilv. or failing that the face. There is no question ot the parents entering into this. cAUNuiiurs oi west muk. most of the time. Nevertheless. the boundaries being clearly demarcated by constant urination or the deposition of faeces. A full list of lethal enemies is not known. The much more restricted territory around the burrow is i. Soinetmies more tli. Since golden jackals associate. of course. sometimes 111 the defence of territory. Fights ot a serious nature between golden jackals break out sometimes at kills.treated being complete strangers while those calmlv adnntted are erstwhile. potential reservoirs and spreaders ot rabies. Goodall observed the total tew days. is One of Wvman's most the cubs interesting observations is the existence of a behaviour pattern relating to the solicitation ot food.olden jackals at one such teast. Hyaenas arc driven off b\ snapping at their hindleet and legs.4S Tin. but as onl\' 6 ot these were hilly adult perhaps no more than three families were represented. but possibK' leopards and other large telids attack them. Goodall.\ckals are aided in this by their extreme nimbleness. Goodall once observed as many 14 t.ui . who response regurgitates chunks meat iipoii wlikli the \(Uingsters then teed. clearlv refers to the . Undoubtedly disease pla\s its part. are made very he always feeds first. and W\ man indicates. their tails and laving their ears back in but alwa\s keeping their the\' regurgit. such as hyaenas. oiiK in limited tamily groups there Is obviously not the same scope tor the development of a recognized social hierarchy as there is amongst animals which live 111 larger and more diverse packs. th. though now independent.a or hyaenas' kill stnitcd by tlu' luit unusual presence at a lions" ot as more than one pair. The ditierent nature ot the receptions accorded to intruders upon the range may possibly be accounted tor bv those liostilcK.1 pair feeding together off their recently-made kill. This would not. in a photograph. Goodall (1970) observed clear indications of social order established amongst the cubs of a single litter. members of the tamiK'. The j. the main object is to bite into the opponent's neck.with much stronger but more clumsy opponents. They dance around a greeting the parent waggini. thus knocking it off its stance. ot jackals. an accurate knowledge ot the extent to which they may be expected to range in search of mates or better feeding grounds is therefore ot some importance. It is well defined. on the other hand. The numbers of jackals must somehow be constantly kept in check. When there are young to be pr(Hected dangerous visitors of other kinds. but between themselves the male seems always to be dominant. Golden jackals are demise ot a litter ot five weakly cubs 111 a period ot themselves. and it is hotly defended against trespass by other jackals.Ue ciirnci ot the month of the adult. In these. A swift movement emplo\'ed bv |ackals 111 common with other members ot the Canidae is a quick rotation ot the body sideways.|uite a different matter. being always verv quick indeed in their movements which thus enable them to contend successfulK. striking the opponent with the whole flank. which are accompanied by a good deal ot snarling. like all dogs. be tried against an obviouslv bulkier opponent but is used amongst the jackals themselves and is an effective method ot frightening vultures awav from kills.

Bate. Transvaal. The cubs arc milk fed for about three weeks and arc thereafter gradually introduced to solid food For the first few days suckling takes place in the den. but survival tor as long as this in the wild is probablv unusual. Ofvers. the head and cars laid back with nose stretched upwards to the sky. almost black. There may be from i to 5 cubs. good CANIS ADUSTUS interior Sundevall Side-striped Jackal Catiis adiisliis Sundevall. vvitli a is used also b\' fully adult jackals. 3: 121. and ultimately when they are old enough they carry out the begging ceremony. Vcr. his head lowered and his ears laid forward. and they do not assume their lighter. for The same ceremony. When feeding is over the female carries out a of grooming. NatiirL'. Caiiis ajiistiis wiitralis Schwar?. 68: 60-62. the of South Africa. They are fully weaned at about two months. their forefeet pressed against the mammae. 49 similar result. The sound is a high-pitched. and are fed by recan gurgitation. 191 5. Sonietinics regarded . and the pups themselves indulge in much boisterous play. The Latin subspecific name was intended to indicate that the type came from the middle of Africa. The side-striped jackal to Ethiopia . iiassaii. (fig. It is always answered by other families in the distance. Jh. The father as well as the mother deal takes part in the upbringing. possibly covering all West African jackals of this species. two-toned "0000". Cameroun. As the time ot actual coupling draws nearer the male makes more meaningful advances to the female with his tail stretched out horizontally. A golden jackal has been known to live in captivity for about 16 years.CANIS die cubs can cope with. is howling. The female repels these advances with a bite. i5ahomey. starts Courtship with periods of prolonged grooming of the other's tur by each prospective partner. When the parents return the cubs greet them by nibbling at their muzzles and ears. VctmskAkad. The mean period of gestation is 9 weeks but it may vary by as much as 5 days on either side of this. near the Uhain River. When they are strong enough suckling takes place in a standing position with the cubs on their hindlegs. Goodall observed a female to have a second litter within six months of having weaned the first. the mouth wide open. Northern Nigeria. litter. It inhabits rather moister regions than the golden jackal. Unlike the hunting dogs or li)'aenas. goldengrey colour until they are nearly a month old. According to Simdcvall. 2 or 3 being common numbers in a litter. Siockh. golden jackal cubs are often left alone for long periods while both the parents are out hunting. Guinea and upper Gambia on the west. Tlieir eyes open at about the loth day. 5) occurs from the Transvaal northwards on the east and to Cameroun.. Forli. but when the cubs move about they come to the mouth of the burrow in response to a whining call of the mother and are fed there or just outside the entrance. given by Roberts (195 1) ^5 Magalicsbcrg. The name adiisnn is the Latin word for sunburnt or swarthy. Distribution. possibly of a previous which have some reason remained at the burrow instead of joining the hunt. Another activity carried out as a family. fairly rcgularlv morning and evening and sometimes at night. Coupling probably takes place in darkness. Their first pelage is very dark. as related above.

The nose is red-brown. Northern Nigeria. indeed. on the flanks. the cheeks. Nigeria. speckled IS to say 111 West Atnca troiii West Africa in the Britisli Sudan and Doka zones. having trom the Shendam area ot N. Borgu Game Reserve in extreme tlie the otlier from Gambia. and then only ot small point of distinction between the t\\o. skin. which may emphasize or obscure it. seldom. The upper lips The chin is are narrowly end. has also been reliably reported somewhat north S. and the latter so to 60 m the other. yyhitish but this pallidness scarcely spreads to is grey. terete bristle-hairs: the former being approximately 20 compared long as compared with about 30 in aniens. a black stripe along the flank of this latter. banded. not There is golden-brown as m Aside from gross iUirciis. partly because the black in the coat is more evenly distributed. except size. 111 some upon moult. This black flank-stripe is emphasized by the existence of a white band above it which divides it from the darkish. far more conspicuously because of their greater contrast to the deeper-coloured lower part of the tur. the throat mostly whitish or buflish but there usually a speckled collar at its Io\yer The rest of the luiderside is clothed w ith long hair . One of the distinguishing features generally cited between this species and the last is that the tail tip is white as contrasted with the black of iiiirciis. 9 28 E. but no skull. but it is not always easily discernible and often bv no means as clear as it is made to appear in most illustrations. and also. the crown of the head and the nape are speckled. lacking in the golden jackal. difterences ot appearance the pelages ot the two species arc appre- ciably discrepant in detail. although very much shorter than in the latter species. When the coat is turned up backwards a sharp diswith 70 to So tinction between the two species becomes evident: (uhntiis is seen to be largely pale reddish-brown in contrast to the buffish-white ot aureus. the ears in aihistiis always one certain are grey on their backs.ST AimcA tli. The red of the luiderfur often pervades the dark speckled saddlepatch of the back. and in some upon the actual lie ot the coat. It is in some measure dependent upon individual idiosyncracy. Questions of set coat patterns apart. Only two spcciiiiciis exist Museum. side-striped jackals are altogether much darker animals than golden jackals. It can. ot the Benuc it at its about dens X and bv G. the exact locahtv unrecorded. That a[ Mhistiis is and it is possibK' a trifle less harsh. the extent to which it does this depending upon the state of moult and the consequent density of the bristle-hairs at the time. the white subter- long but not quite so long and dense as in similarly consists of abundant tuie undertur mm mm mm mm show up bands of the bristle-hairs. Such a mark certainly occurs in the majority of specimens. Description. While this is true of South African and many East African specimens it docs not appear to hold for West African animals and certainly does not occur in the two examples from that region in the British Museum or those from the same vegetation belt as far east as Bahr-cl-Ghazal. vary very much in distinctness on the two flanks ot one jackal. Child who has found and in 55 the western Nigeria.50 nil rMlMVOlUS tlic (M Ul-. It and very long. aiiiciis. aggregating into black patches. the white subtcrminal bands to the short hairs covering these areas making a conspicuous "frostiiiinal ing". in Doka woodland. Another reputed distinction between the two species is that which gives the common name to ihhistiis. It been received from a zoo. one from near Gombe.

51 CANI5 .

liahr-el-Cihazal (I5oka less much contused than that ot As a species woodland). often with a considerable ainonnt of black on it. It IS obvious that with the extremely limited material from West Africa available two specimens only. which arc thus less open dorsallv. with any certainty. or impossible now. tar more than m black. Tiie figures tor the usual four bodily measiu'ements given in the table on page ss are nierelv estimates compiled from a tew e>ctralimita! data which themselves in conjimction with Schwarz"s (1915) figures published for cciilnilis were derived from a dry skin. and iii] is well under 130 per cent ot iih -p ot adiisliis. cciitialis.j. The zygomatic arch is far less curved vertically than the subsemicircular arch ot JI/IV//./i' - carnassials are smaller than in is (iinciis both in absolute terms and in their ratio to the molars. The ramus is not so deep and is only sliglitly curved.<: and extend further forward over the anterior uares. Bate. the zygomatic breadth. but this river does not appear to cross that boiuidarv. The .V The mandible appears to be less powerftilK' built than in lUiictis. The bush)'. was originally the subject of a perfectly clear diagnosis. to t'lx the tvpe locality. Only one ot these. The most likely position of Bate seems to be roughK' 7 N.//-. h was said b)' Schwarz (1920) to lie on the Uham lliver on the derman side ot the Cameroun frontier. The supraoccipital crest viewed from the front is much less angular. not much more than 70 per cent ot the length ot /. The first obvious ditterence between the skull ot <uhistiis and that of — the former's longer rostrum.v.precise idea ot the relative sizes ot (uliisliis and iiiiiriii since there are no external measiirenients relating to West Africa and verv tew from elsewhere. but . and often this is not always clear some sign ot a black longitndinal line and is sometniies lacking. iUircii<. that is slightly more than iiiirciis. almost semicircular in outline. Skull (tig.•i2 Tin (AllNIVllHIS (i| W I s I MUKA and tcct arc a b. Both anterior and posterior edges ot the coronoid process are practically straight. IS E. The taxonomy IS in so tar as it West Africa is concerned. but it is ditticult. 6). at least i/kiii/. hi tins species p^ . It is 111 but it alwa\'s has a is hi West Africa the tip diHicult to give the British Mnseum am. which Setzer (1956) assigned to hwclui Heller. Taxonomy. so tliat tlic angular process is not much elevated above tlie level of its lower margin. verv long-liaired tail is basically burtish. One animal from liahr-el-Ghazal was said to weigh yy kg. the process tluis being ot a truncated wedgediiicus lies in instead of shape./. the braincase. probably came from within the limits set tor this book. The skull is narrower all round. The next nearest recorded specimens to the tvpe oi tciilnilis seem to be those from Chak-Cliak. Tlic limhs tliere is deeper shade nt red than ni on the torelegs. the interorbital and postorbital widths are tor the most part less. tcuicli ot red.iii/ei/. From these it would seem that there is not a great deal of dirterence in size except that the ear is possibly shorter in ndiistiis. The nasals arc generally considerably longer in adiistii. that is in the Guinea wdodland. sloping evenly from the supraorbital region markedly dipping below the frontal. and differing somewhat in appearance from each cvther — — .v.described during the present century. of widely separated provenance and possibly ditterent tor study it is almost vee:etatioii zones.iving long liuHish tips over a pak' cliocolatc base. and most ot the nine races subset]uently named have been fairly adequatcK.

6. x . No. 6. B.8. 28. Canis adusnis: skull.M.3.CANIS 53 Fig. sex ?.

on the other hand. It must be remembered that this species is probably less often seen than the golden jackal because for most of the year in West Africa. . more timid and secretive animal. the Sudan and Doka zones. described as noteworthy for its very light from Gombe. That to except that the hii'clui type seems to be a is little larger. Fecduig habits are m general very much those ot the golden jackal. a relatively slow woo-it'oo-woo. As many as 7 pups have been recorded in a litter. shelters and breeds in a hole in the ground. seem to be a rather closer match to this race than to cciiindls. are also to be seen on the move in the early morning or late evening. There is very little to choose iji size between any of the specimens referred to in this section match Schwarz's ground-colour. it occupies vegetation. At night these jackals make their presence known by sitting and uttering at intervals their sad yapping howl. though they tail to correspond wholly to Heller's description. Neither tlicse races troni West African specimen would seem diagnosis ot ccntnilis. mostly solitary in its habits or accompanied by a mate at the right season.54 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST APIIK A pomtlcss to attempt reasonable comparison witli descriptions ot further cast in Africa. aroiuid 9 weeks but varying by 4 or 5 days on cither side of tliis. A side-striped jackal has been known to live in captivit\ for 10 vcars. but ndustus is reputed not to steal farm stock. indeed. indeed. needed before any usetul purpose can be served by attempting to attach a third name to West African animals. This jackal. Side-striped jackals are by preference nocturnal but. All. or by pups in due course. like aureus. in which the groimd-cover is considerably denser. Habits. is very similar to the British Museum speeunens held by Setzer to be hirclia. like the other. These are not very well recorded but do not seem to differ in their essentials verv markedly from those of the golden jackal. the extent ot which it is quite impossible to estimate from exiguous collections. but 3 or 4 is probably material a Much more common number. Doubtless the issue of geographical races is obscured in all these wild dogs by a good deal of individual variation. except at the height of the dry-season when the grass has been bm'iit. The period ot gestation is similar to that n[ aureus. to be a rather shyer. It seems.

'J Q 'J _ ti W S != -^ = . .e CJJ— -£->--^-s-^-^ .a — a -s-t isi. .CANIS 55 o t^ «-< jHrnr-*ccoc !?*c\t~^o pt*it-^'C 7^7^" 0*^00 pisqo B a.

. 1811. 1788. Tunis. A. 1820. Abyssinia. K. as given to a species.56 I HE CARNIVOlilS Ol WIST AFKICA Gciius FENNECUS Dcsmarcst. James Bruce. : 131. tiguruig far more copiouslv in literature than mam. size for a The second name. Meyer. Manuel dc Maninialoi. 1 : Cdnis ardo Gmelin. 1827. fainec. was a well-known explorer of northern Africa in the second half of the 1 8th century. h'cnuccus brucci Desmarest. Gcographische Gcschichle dcs Akiisclicn und da vicrluszi\. Tableau niL-tliodiqiiL. Prodromus systcmatis Maiiimaliuni ti Avunn 131.more widely . GjMij^eimcaK Lesson. Sena. . Distribution and general. G.irest. l\'oui'i:im Diciionnaire d' Hisloire Niitiin-llc. 6. The name was said by Zimmermann to be that used in "Barbary". the third name is a Latinizarion of Sahara. given because fox. Linnaeus' Syslvnui Natumc. . G. Vnlpcs denhami Boitard. A. 75. Barbary.a etc.. Encyclopedic Mcthcdique. Col. Type species Caiiii ccrdo tncj^as the Greek words (mc^al-) and oiis (otoi) ear. 2i. svciiska I'etenskAkad. In other words. The name is a variant I'ii'ina anrita . This name is another spelling of zi-rdii. Haudl. This was named in honour of Lt. . 1S04. Mammalogie: 235. species FiHiiecus arabicus Desniarest(= Ctinis zcrda Ziniincniiann). Algerian as invalid because. 24. 1804. Le Jardin dcs Planlcs: 213. Since there is only one species there is no point in entering into a generic description. as far south only as Air FENNECUS ZERDA I'lilpcs (Zimmermann) Feniicc minimus siiannsis Sahara. Sahara and North Africa behind the Atlas Mountains. 1777. Ciinis zcrda Zimniermami. minimus. Libya. The range of this essentially Saharan animal has already been given above. This name is regarded Skjoldebrand. pi. 13th ed.. . genus distributed over a small area of northern Africa from and Sudan. not a subspecies. In suitable localities it is not uncommon and because oi its small size and rather charming appearance it has tor long been a favourite with writers on natural history. 1842. Mt'^ahiis ccrda Illiger. Algeria. oi zcrda. Mcgtilolis IlHgcr. it was triot this annnal's dnninutive nomial. after whom this was called. Type 1. a famous traveller m the Siliara and explorer of Lake Chad in the early : iQth century. The name a Latinized form of the Moorish word Proilroniiis systciiwlii tor a fox.i-n Tltiere 2: 247-24S. is Latin for smallest. Bisk. it is an animal of dry sandy deserts or subdcscrts. . A. G. 181 Gmehn (= large Caiiis zerda Mammalium ct Avium Zimmermann). 38: 267. The Latin adjective aurila means having large ears. Tableau methodique dcs Mammiferes: 18. Fcnncais arabicus Desmarest. Nouvcau Diaionnaiic d'Hisioire i\'atiin-Uc. 1780.ic 168. 1793. Tills is a monospecific Morocco to Egypt.. Interior of Africa.dcs Mamniifercs: IS TS04 Feiuiccs reiinccus Dcsm. Systeniatisch-summarische Uebersiclit dcr ncuesteii zoohgischcn Entdeckungcn in Naiholland und AJrika: 91. Dixon Denham. Algeria. and thence across to parts of Arabia. This name was made up from . Nubia. Sahara.

tuidcrparts aiid the insides soft. In others the pattern is more diffuse. The same apphes to a darker. iji the North African examples. There is hollowed on their no very marked intcrorbital constriction. luiderfur. The skull tapers fairly sharply from a moderately broad braincase and enormous bullae to a very narrow rostrum. huge ears and a very bushy tail. The femiec (Plate i) has a head & body length of about 300 to 370 a tail of 160 to 240 mm. the frir being but only half the length of that of the back. is very bushy. but in the Air examples they are nearly is muzzle and well as long. Sand dmies are therefore ideal. but they are all youngish this area. The abiuidant and & wholly dominated by the enormous. 7). but in the western specimen from A'ir there is no trace of this basal tijiting. which is roughly half as long as the head body. is pale chocolate-grey in the basal half the extreme base being narrowly white. especially on the hinder speaking. dorsally m dark-tipped with a pure white subterminal band. it It must have soft does not occur ever)'where iji the Desert and Subdesert zones bccaure sand into which to burrow. forming a very prettily-patterned patch. the majority of specimens having fme bristles with long black tips thinly dispersed over the entire dorsal region. the supraorbital ridges arc well-pronoiuiced but narrow and sharp. upper surfaces. It stands about 150 to 175 at the shoulder and weighs about 2 kg. richer coloured. The head. in utterly barren situations since food must. The tail. very long. but there is a certain amount of variation. band along the spine. very fme. be available in Description. apart from these scattered bristles. The West African examples. both above and below. comes rather abruptly to a narrow animals. but all around the marginal area on the inside there are dense long white hairs. The pelage is so soft to the touch because it consists. is pmc white with the exception of two dark. Broadly nun and mm it is sandy. the slender arches sharply up-curved. the cheeks. but much of the rest of the face. The upper parts of the limbs are. the bristles are of the limbs are pure white. pointed ears which are broad as their backs they are sandy-grey. the maxillary process broad. in the maiuier of Vulpes rather than Cants. entirely of dense. There is a deep blackish-browni mark not far from the root of the tail covering a scent gland. reddish-sandy. The profde dips appreciably just forward of the orbits to give this narrow and low muzzle. some rather redder. of course. and the upper lips. reddish-brown lines descending from the inner comers of the eys to the lips. The braincase is rounded. In some skins. though any really close relationship to the true foxes has been brought into question. too. and the extreme tip is also blackish-brown. with a broad face and large eyes. the rhinarimn. The crown and front are sandy. surroimding the eyes. but not fair quantities. In general appearance it is a mimatiuc fox with a sandy coat. often know^l as the fennec fox. On white. Tliis. in part of the back. are much shorter-fiu-red. indeed. in the northern African specimens. Skull (fig. almost absent from some. clear others. The pelage is long and very soft. while in the Dongola (Sudan) skin it is relatively pale.FENNECUS distributed 57 and rather more important animals. the very long hairs with which it is clothed beiiag towards the tips a rather redder brown than the back. the circumorbital ring widely . The distance across the zygomata is wide. and it is. some specimens beiug rather greyer.

but there is no significant diilerencc can be deduced from the mean measurements of three h'om the one area and of five from the other. Hill (1961). There is nothing particularly remarkable about the lower jaw or the dentition apart from its very sharply cuspidate nature whicii probably facilitates an insectivorous diet (fig. Habits. a galago. But. this which engaged naturalists than this. The tennec has long and widely been regarded as a kind of fox. because of the fascination which this miniature "fox"' of charming appearance has long exercised over human-beings. l^etter (1957). Though these accounts concern animals in unnatiu-al conditions thc\. they avoid the full hirce of the mid-day heat. The old coiifusion of naming has now been s\\ ept aside and ti. Saint Girons (1962). Volf (1957). i). or sagittal crest open. actual and in permutation. So far. 3: 148) referred to it as the anonymous annual. It is not possible in a work of the present nature to do more than glance briefly at some of the recorded facts. but superficially the animals from this area seem somewhat paler and shorter haired than those of size so far as from further north-east. despite the multitude of names. It is true that in the early days Butfon (177O. Its hind margm is about level with the middle of (/i-. at a very considerably narrower pitch than that indicated in the previous paragraph. Suppl. Good descriptions of its behaviour and disposition under these circumstances have been given in recent years by a number of writers of whom the following arc the chief: Rcnsch (1950). Vogel (1962) and Gauthier-Pilters (1966). and that Lesson (1S27) wrote ot it (in translation) that perhaps no animal had more Taxonomy. some doubt of the animal's precise relationship still remains. is very broad betweeji the carnassials but narrows abruptly and becomes practically parallel-sided anteriorly. Fermecs are essentially nocturnal or crepuscular in their activit)-. they are not averse to sunning themselves for brief periods before the dav is far advanced. is pretty straightforward. the feniiec has been more closely studied in captivity than most carnivores.58 THE PAnNIVORES OF WEST AfRICA is little The and only poorlv developed supraoccipital ones. 2N — 64) indicate that the genus lies closer to the wolves {Caiiis) than to the foxes (Viilpes). The West African material from Air is poor 111 quality and meagre in amount and it is therefore not possible to draw any reasonable conclusions. the information from these sources amoiuits to little beyond the most obvious facts of life in the desert. the more convincing in that many traits are displayed in common b)' animals of different origins at different times and places. by animal has been knowji to science. but the cytological researches of Matthey (1954) have shown tliat the chromosomes (diploid number. in all. they have made of it by turns a dog. like so many desert animals. no races have been described. \ct though. There no bullae are extremely large. 15ut . Accoimts of the. but. especially as a household pet. more especiallv those which most probablv rc\eal the femtec's normal activities. and is in fact very frequently referred to as the feiuicc fox. The palate in the wild have been briefl^' given h\ several collectors and observers over a large number of years. or the type of the genus Fciiucc. However.nevertheless cast important light on instinctive behaviours.xed \\ ith apparent permanency as Fciiiicais zcrdd.

1939. x i .M. No.1746. 7.FENNECUS 59 Fig. B. ?. Faiiicais zada: skull.

wholly barren desert having since food must be available in fair quantities. For this reason stable sand-dtuies fixed attraction by the roots of sparse vegetation are ideal. a pattern that may be observed in many domestic dogs. in nature. or. itself. All who kept these animals refer to one habit that makes them pets: the constant difficult to tolerate as have domestic and very noisy nocturnal scratching resulting from attempts to dig or concrete floors. and it would seem from indications. That the instinct to hide is very strongly developed is illustrated by the fact that even in captivity fennecs always seek to shelter underneath furniture. and very likely they obtain most of what they need from moisture in fruits and bulbous roots. as these are sociable little animals which in suitable areas live amicably together in some numbers. carried very rapid. which it digs for itself. in which the humidity probably remains at a high level. that male and female hang closely together for long periods. to judge from behaviour in captivity. protection against the night cold that develops rapidly after sunset in sandy deserts is to some extent provided by the dense woolly pelage. foimd that urine could attain a high concentra- other surfaces moistened by dew . The fennec's home is a hole in the groiuid. fennecs are intermittently active for short periods and this might be explained by the necessity. These "earths" are lined with soft material. though it is not certainly known. indeed. Another highly important reason for the avoidance of intense insolation and the frequent seeking of shelter in a deep burrow. if nothing more resembling an "earth" is available. particularly direct insolation. When above ground on the hunt for food. This would seem to indicate that even if these animals had access to oases. Schmidt-Nielsen (1964). they would prefer to get what extra supplies they — required beyond what is provided in fruit by licking small quantities troin leaves or or rare showers of rain. Rensch found that his fennec drank little or nothing for the first two or three years except at the mating season. into unyielding wooden It has already been said that fennecs dislike intense heat. by pulling over themselves such bedding as they may be provided with. highly sensitive to cold. Favourable localities for femiccs are characterized by no soft sand into which burrowing can be carried out with ease. and they have a number of different escape passages some of which are said occasionall)' to commmiicate with the homes of other fennecs. and this is another reason for the depth of the burrow so that a wholly equable temperature can be maintained. in addition. The unit of these communities is almost certainlv a small family group. but they very much appreciate warmth. is exists in these sites. They are. It is imlikely that the majority of feiuiecs in the wild have easy access to standing water in order to drink. is the need to conserve water. Rensch mentions his fennec as licking drops from a tap. Observations on drinking habits in captivity are curiously conflicting. but Later in life it drank daily.60 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA very little of this insolation suffices for their daily needs and they soon seek shade though they ma)' emerge for a second spell. Vogel found much the same thing. or other pools. fairly deep probably to avoid overheating during the day. but he noticed. Given a soft soil such as out with the forepaws. in connexion with loss of bodily water. digging. to scatter water from the drinking vessel with its forepaws or nose. but. that the animal was averse to drinking out of a bowl but readily lapped up drops spilled on the floor so much so that it was observed. to return from time to time to the warmth of the home.

and tuberous or bulbous roots domestic dog. to eat grass in good deal of vegetable matter. They also. They particularly resemble poodles in their ability to stand and walk upright on their hindlegs. such small birds and a and jerboas. fennecs are very fond of the bright yellow. particularly in their manner of cleaning themselves by licking their forepaws and "washing" their heads. in hiding three or four times before settling These animals scratch a shallow hole to defaecate and urinate in and they cover their droppings with sand. According to Professor Monod Dekeyser (1955). evinced in sniffing at or quizzically away surplus tit-bits of food. is little it is operation that can commonly be engaged Fennecs are seemingly almost omnivorous. These animals have a longevityof about 12 years. at times. these little In many of their ways as. sometimes even raising the tip off the ground as cats do. or lie flat on their bellies with both fore and hind legs stretched out. being able to accomplish a standing more or less vertical spring of 600 mm or more and a horizontal spring of 1200 mm. at least. in turning round down. fattened up and marketed for eating. too. Like cats. not an by panting. more often. too. "desert foxes" reflect the manners of some domestic dogs: for example. Salvaclom persica. Schmidt-Nielsen records that the young are dug out of their nests. are very competent climbers and can ascend vertical obstructions that offer some sort of foothold. — . In other ways they are rather cat-like. Feimecs utter a variety of sounds from a low growl to a higher snarl when content and being stroked or fondled the\make a purring noise similar to that of a cat. Vogel observed his fennec. pleasure after many months of separation and tliis at a distance by sight.FENNECUS tion in the fennecs. eggs. Opinions differ as to whether these animals are ever completely tameable. small ones are eaten while standing. but as this involves loss of essential moisture from the tongue in. amongst others. and when they sit on their haunches they curve their tails sideways and forwards like a cat. There is an annual moult. They can also squeeze through remarkably narrow crevices. The large ears are cleaned on their insides by the hindfeet. often growing in fleshy clusters at ground level on the roots of. commonly occurring in the Sahel and Subdesert zones. the possibilit)of smell being eliminated by a glass front to the cage. They are given to yapping at night. fennecs can cool off to some extent. leafless parasite Cistanche phelypaea Cout. 6l When over-heated. lizards. and there difficulty in feeding them in captivity since they readily eat most things from roast beef to marmalade. just as domestic dogs can often be seen to do. can purr something like a cat. fennecs are very competent jumpers. has shown itself to have a very long memory and to be able to recognize its owner with excited . flinging the earth backwards with a scraping action of the hindlegs. Big pieces of food are consumed in a of Dakar quoted sitting posture. the so-called salt bush. regarding unfamiliar objects. and in the way they stretch their hindlimbs after sleep. As with almost any wild creature it is probably merely a matter of inbuilt temperament. insects. as gerbils Fn their natural surroimdings they live on small rodents. hke dogs. sometimes shovelling it over with the nose or. like a when opportunity offered. in their inquisitiveness. One fennec. Fennecs. varying from one individual to another. This latter ritual is performed automatically even when it is pointless on the hard wooden floor of a cage. of which fruits form the main part.

111 Sueli pla\' activities. in the event. or for that matter at an\. Solitary plav tossing these in the air or shoving also takes place.may plav a kind of hide-and-seek. are recogni/abl\ related 10 beluiMour . ill From the age of about 6 weeks they indulge racing plav. this can be somewhat ot a tri. this became more pronoimccd after parturition and so he was separated from the niotjicr. This observer found tlie pattern ot female beliaviour with the male to differ before and after parturition. After penetration the male turns round so that the two sexes face m opposite directions. Juvenile fennccs play with each inlicr verv like fox cubs or the puppies of domestic dogs. Petter found tliat after mating the female continued to act normally but the male grew aggressive towards people whom lie knew well. exhibiting in the first place elements of greeting behaviour and in the second of breeding behaviour. spent their time in romping or. the black mark the root of the tail is erected and displayed. espeeialK' the voung.62 1111 (AUMVOUIS (II W IS 1 AIUKA MatiiisT . chasing each otlier. using articles ot food or substitute tlieir to\-s. Most pla\' takes pLace at evening or . Inclination to pla\.time or any age when offensive or defensive postme seems necessar\-.iK. which thev have only just met. witli captive tennecv.ils human beings. the pursuer with cars erect and directed forw^ards. their ears free though giving no hint of their future huge size. tables and chairs. but instead. hideed. the begiiuiing of April. zigzagging or making abrupt changes of direction.appears to vary with taljuig to a muiimum at breeding time. Their eyes are closed.isiiii. Gauthierl^ilters (1966) records games between \'oung teiuiecs. and Saint Girons. digging deep holes in the sand. Should i-itlier creatures fiil thev pla\' willingK. that is tlie bringing and offering of food though the male was. Under natural conditions the -soung appear aKi. Where opportunitv offers the\. in a very confuted space. Gauthier-Pilters (1966) has recorded in sonic detail her observations on play in the tennecs made on 21 animals over a period of 11 years. Volf records verv much the same sort of thing. There is apparently no attempt at Mibsequem copulation.ays to be born in March creatures.hours. hich for safety had to be tied at night to her camp-bed and which. The period ot gestation is so or si days. The pelage is fuie and short.Ci. and coition lasts i{. Volt. if necessarv. biting each other in the legs and neck and rolling each other over. at the latest.ver\. to judge from the experiences recorded b\. From i to 3 cubs are boni. sijice they persistently play after dark for hours on night. Should play become too rough and one of the participants get cornered. all born in the wild. the back becomes arched and the ears are laid back in a threatening attitude. They also shake small objects as if shaking a rat to death. Feiuiecs at have no abilitv to raise their hackles like a dog. thev will do even. Chasing own Fennccs will play even w-ith strange anini. despite their thus restricted freedom. at interv. This author records a T4-day trek with half-tamed tennecs w. never allowed to take tor the owners ot these luH turnalK. By then she was so upset that she kept transportnig her newlv born cub from place to place and ended by thus accidentally causing its death. the pursued with Tliis them laid back. se. them about with foot or tails is sometimes indulged in.aithier-Pilters. preferabK' over and luider beds. but cats appear unwelcome and breeding in captivity have been observed and recorded b\ I'etter. dogs and jackals.with nose.

training life. defence. and strengthening the necessary muscles and inculcating instinctive reaction on occasions demanding offence. Table 2: Numerical data for i'enncais zcriia .S various situations regularly arising in later 63 cxliibitcd 111 in effect. capture or kilhng.VULPF. rehearsals. and for which they arc.

other is more admirable all qualities: courage. series). in one minor point. two of them being found withui our limits.64 I'lilpcs THE C. endurance. Smith. this genus has often been synonymized with Canis.ARMVOHES OF WEST AERICA Okcii. Type species Catiis rulpcs Linnaeus. whereas in the latter the reverse is the case. form in bears a close overall resemblance to that of Cniiis.x of Europe {I'lilpcs viilpes). and over the more arid areas of Africa. No general description ot the I'lilpa skull given here. much of Asia and of North America. whereas in Viilpcs there the upper surface. Jardinc's Wmiralist's Library.ils): 222. and. having a long. However. is disputed. soft. doubtful of the validity of generic distinction between of the lives ot the majority ot species apart 'iilpcs Habits. the soles of the feet in the African species are abimdautiv hairy between the pads. ill Africa. 25 (of the species Caiiis corsac Linnaeus. fnlva. occurs over a great part of tliis wide range with the exception of the more southerly parts of Asia and Africa south of the Mediterrajiean region though its identity with the American red fox. has 1 a slight concavity in It is this lack of any important cranial or dental disagreement that made taxonomists sometimes and Civiis. rather in the style of a cat but with not so wide a range of expansion and contraction. despite shortness of limb they can move verv fast over long distances. foxes are smaller and have shorter legs they are much more able than dogs to slink along with their bellies almost in contact with the ground. Type Distribution. This genus is spread tluoughout Europe. Little enough is known from the fact that the palaearctic common red fox has been intensively observed and to is some has degree studied over a long period of time. This species ing in its popularly regarded as exhibit- appearance and behaviour the acme of slyness and cunning. 417 of iy56). apart from a considerable of size. "//)« Fleming. Nevertheless. of which three occur in Africa south of the Sahara. in one form or another. indeed. No. in general. often ver\attractive coat and an outstandingly bushy tail termed in hunting circles the "brush". n). Some. determination. foxes have scent gland on the top side of the tail about 50 to 60 beyond the root. Skull disparity (fig. 1034. the combination ot these that has reiideicd this fox . 9 (of Mamm. is Type species Vtilpcs aviiiiiunis Okcii (= I Cam's Linnaeus). this organ — — — . (^yimlopcx H. Lihibihli viilpcs da Kalnr^cschiihk\ 3. 1822. iSif). dense. is riieppclli vet more Its so than piillidd. are five according to Anderson (1902). It indisputably. Okeii's Lilirhiuli similarly unavailable (Opinion 2: 1S4. if not all. in at least one of our West African species. The Philosophy of Zoology. The common red fo.1 mm exists. 2: 1033. In foxes the pupil of the eye is a vertical oval. and attributes. Rather less than a dozen species in all are recognized. differing. frequently alternatively designated V. There clawed digits on the forefoot but only four on the hindfoot. It its name passed proverbially into European languages as the most apt and succinct expression cf thc^e has. Foxes are small to moderate-sized carnivores. A more positive character dividing the foxes from the t\'pical dogs is that the tail in the tormcr measures more than half the length of head & body. 1839. This profusely haired tail in conjunction with a sharp face and prominent ears makes it difficult to differentiate foxes precisely from some of the typical (wild) dogs. This concerns the supraorbital ridges which is Cauls are dorsally smootlily convex.

dorsal pelage darker medially but not bright red or flanked with grey. but they are also commonly active during daylight hours. have family units . Beyond these generalities it is difficult to go have been recorded for African species regarding the various aspects of breeding. but the two are now generally looked upon as validly separable. But it is perhaps w'orth noting. it may be safely assumed that African foxes take a wide diet. that 65 and most exciting animal of the chase. . as to whether the foxes constitute a separate genus or should be regarded as wholly one with Caiiis. of course. diseases. it was in fact a jackal. birds of prey. that a Hunt in semiEnglish style existed some years ago at Zaria (Nigeria). Most foxes arc in large part nocturnal. Their enemies are the more powerful carnivores. as pointed out by Ellerman & Morrison-Scott (195 1). others are more gregarious. especially in the early mormng or late evening. There is good reason to suppose that proximity to man so far from being distasteful is welcomed by foxes since any occasional danger arising from it is more than compensated by the ready availability for food of domestic animals and birds. breadth across the outside ot fi 11 mm . Taxonomy. — mm • mm . — long. Some live only in small teristics. And it is these characin large measure enabled these harmful predators to survive in considerable numbers in the face of human expansion and of intensive organized hunting over many centuries. The two species that occur within our limits may be separated thus: for nothing appears to — KEY TO THE WEST AFRICAN SPECIES OF VULPES 3 5) (previous key page Tail over 300 mm. breadth across the upper cheek01. more concentrated in amoimt than wild prey and less apt at defending themselves. tip black. whereas. though there has been at times a little confusion of thought vide Thomas (1918). from an historical point of view.under 45 teeth under 30 mm. Concerning these latter. when wolves. bears and other carnivores antagonistic to man's interests have tended towards extermination. tip white. all species of Vidpcs shelter and breed m self-constructed "earths" in the ground or. These last. and their possible impact upon man. the larger snakes and.VULPES possibly the favourite too. and little about feeding habits. not only of flesh but of fruits and other vegetable matter as well. . There are no problems with regard to African species. So far as is known. c pallida {pa^c 70) c • mm. In what degree. who cleared up points relating to nicppdli and pallida but fell into the trap of supposing that Gray's I'ldpcs dorsalis from Senegal was indeed a fox. It has already been mentioned that opinion has differed in the past. its activities being directed against the sand fox inhabiting the neighbouring fields and hillsides in fair numbers. this craftiness and skill in self-preservation are shared by African species is unrecorded. in the protection of holes formed by rocks. have not been investigated for tropical African foxes. if at all. dorsal pelage with a bright reddish spinal band flanked with greyish. ears under 80 long. cars over 80 the upper cheekteeth over 30 Tail mm rueppelli {pa^c 66) over 45 under 300 mm. much more rarely. from Luinaeus onwards.

This was a vernacular name. Nubian desert and Kordotan. In suitable locahtics these small foxes. zocl. South side ol Mt. sfii hoius ct Dcscripiiowci Mdiiiiiinlfiiiii . as given in G. . apparently..(i//i'/i /rq' ubcncl:! . iSzy. with a head & body length ot some 450 and tail about tlorce-quarters of this. and skull m good condition except tor the left zygoma partly missing. Saiigethiere (dated word tor hnngrv 01 body and thin legs. Moving towards the mid-dorsal line the luidertiir acquires pure white. pi. 2. 1^:15. are tairly abundant. long and soft imderfur amongst which are stout bristle-hairs. Allen. I93y). 26. folio fi. 1S33 fide a MS. 1S2O): 15. 4: S08. M.1 are more creamy luiderparts. Description. No. pure white. In the majority ot specimens the pelage below. RiippcH's tox (Plate 1) occurs from the Sahara in tlic west (Air. nippclii [sn] .issumes a bright rufous colour. . The bristles. both undertur and bristle-halr^. (Not a synonym ot r.iiiistaji. pallida. Bague<!aii. The name fdiiitliiiis is the Latin starred. The species is plentifully represented in museum collections. This accords to the flanks a varyitig degree ot speckled greyness.iM/s (Schm?) C'liriV. The w itli the exception ot cases noted later. ohen rocky or stoiiv rather than sandv the type ot desertic terrain vernacularlv termed Haiihulii. in Riippell's Atlns ch ihn<tUilicii Ajriha. attcr ol norrli-eastcrn Africa tor the I'lViif fntitiliatf whom this was named. about 3s to 40 mil) long. Ootigola. . and south to Bcrbera Arabian pcinnsuhi north as Baluchistan and Atgli. 28: 5. given. Tibcsti) to Libx'a and Eygpt in tlie north ot the con- of the Red Sea. to a red dorsum is brought about in the f<illownig \\av. m the spinal region. the terminal portion . relativeh' lightK' speckled. and cast as far ranches across t]ie mm .(i. tairly wideK' scattered. in others. Noi'il. The flanks tinent. 1000 Museum. Dongola. note by Shcrboni. Fetter (1952) characterizes them as one of the commonest carnivores ot the Sahara. Syiuholac Physicac.ilidit\ metres.66 I 1 1 I < A 11 M \ ( Ml I s 1 1 1 W I s 1 M in I A VULFES RUEPPELLI (. the underfur in some specimens remains even from the same area. mm long. Am ilciii iV(iH^i). Caiiii sablmr Hcinprich &: Ehrenberg. Distribution and general. Rcise iiii Cretzschmar. and cast\vardl\' in Africa to the shores it on the Gult of Aden. Throuohout this wide area it confuies itseh to arid sites.. dccas secunda. This change trom a white belly. explored and collected i/cr in various parrs Senckenberg Nature-research Societv. 5.'. tlirough grey. 1921. skin good. '. Ot doiibtfiil v. As 111 other members of the family the pelage consists ot a dense mass ot very tuie. Init 111 all cases some ot the bristle-hairs develop a few niillimetres ot black tip.all have a pure white . This creamy colour in encroaches towards the red median band two patches just behind the slioulders. and. The overall impression of the coat ot Riippell's tox (Plate 1) is that ot speckled grev back with a broader or narrower not very clearly delimited speckled pale red band d<iwn the spine. The subspecitic name is the Latin tor bluish-grey and rcters to the dorsal pelage. and final] \-.L. HoL. are piux white. it starts to become darkly niouiitains. in reference to the slender I 'h//vs nippclii cnf'iti. and some become black throughout their length. From the Red Sea to the Dead Sea and Iraq. become dark basalK' but iiearK.Scliin/. In fact. tdiiard Riippi-ll. also The underfur here is about 2<. .. Type in the British .1 deep mauvy-grey colour.v Kiipix-ll's Fox . generally. is On the Hanks. usually trom the neck to the root of the tail. 11. Thomas & Hinton. Frankfort-on-Main. 21. 'I'liiirnitli . though there are rarcK' surticient specimens from anv one locality or area to furnish adequate data. J. .

Plate Sand Fox (I'liZ/x-s pallida): Fcnncc (Famvais zcrda): Riippi-ll's F<ix (I'ulpes rucppclli) .


The reason for this is not apparent. The legs are pale red on their outer aspects. RiippcU's fox is reputed to be largely nocturnal but like all foxes it is not infrequently to be seen on the move during the early and late hours of daylight. themselves. It does not seem to be moult corrcspondingh' less and the colour bears no resemblance to anything occurrii^g elsewhere in the coat. being bordered by two very conspicuous dark brown bands descending trom the eyes to just forward of the middle of the upper lips which are. The)' are pointed and much larger than those of I'tdpcs pallida. but in a very much paler torm. Skull (fig. Two specimens from the Hoggar Moiuitauis have the belly and lower chest a very striking. which according to Anderson (1902) clogs the surrounding fur with a yellow — mm secretion that gives off an aromatic odour. having only a slight dip over the nasals outline. . but the only other collector's note contradicts the idea of rucppclli being purely a fox of stony ground since the relevant specimen (from Wadi el Natrun near Cairo) was dug from a burrow in the sand. a specimen captured in the region ot Agades.1. It has already been said that riieppelli often affects a more rocky. The neck and the crown of the head are pale reddish or sometimes buffy. B. writes ot . terminates at about the mid-length o(\ifi or sometimes anterior to There is nothing remarkable in the dentition. and is when this happens the degree ot frosting marked. however. Little is biown of this fox in the field. the postorbital processes arc blunt and narrow.7. There is very little constriaion between the orbits. 32. The tip is always white. The profile to break the otherwise flat much the same. the total amount of black varying considerabK' with different hairs about 50 specimens. but the camassials arc of greater size in this species than in pallida. bristle tliat come together and give the coat highly frosted appear- The ends are subject to wear and to snapping. It is about ance.VUIPES subtcniimal liand and a 67 these wliitc subtcrminal zones. the pelage where this occurs being. almost semicircularly case upciirvcd in the maimer of C. not far from the root. in comparison with more normal specimens. S). The sanic feature. The bullae are relatively large. it is known that the species does occur hi the same areas as the sandloving fennec. An example from Somalia is labelled as having been trapped on a hill. hilly terrain than pallida does. both scanty and peculiarly close-lying. The cars are pale red or bufty-red on their backs and have long white hairs around the margins of their inner sides. cacli its narrow black to lie tip. intense mauvy-rcd. the same colour extending down the front of the face to the rhinarium.M. is found also in a specimen from Dongola (Sudan). Habits.3. aureus. The zygomatic arches are strong. The brain- is rounded. There is a gland on its dorsal surface. 5 mm wide. Indeed. Buchanan noted on the label of the cacsia type from Moiuit Baguezan that the species is locally held to occur never heard of at Agades in the plains a little further south. The rostrum is relatively more slender. white. as Table 3 on page 74 demonstrates. This is like a small version ofCaiiis adiistus is without such well-developed occipital crests. white inside. Petter (1952) appears to be the only author to have given some accoimt of the only ill the mountains and is Petter (1952). their upper surface having the slight depression that differentiates I'ulpes from Canis. Something of the same dark colour actuall)' encircles the eyes. the palate usually this. No. The extremely bushy tail is a mixture of buff and black-tipped long.

-'.2('i.6S Till ( AKNivours oi wrsr Ariiu a Ik. s.I i. .. j. No.M.(M. B. 21.2. T\pc of iyji'. I'lilprf iiirpprlli: skull.

VULPES living animal. while two others of the same series. a female with 3 newly bom yoiuig wliich had their eyes and ears closed. it wagged its tail rapidly and would lie down for caresses with its ears laid back. This species does not appear to be so gregarious as pallida. 34. 86.M. B. have white undersides. where gerbils. all collected within 10 davs. On the other hand.i487^therc is a very marked difference of impression.8. 4 from Afghanistan and B. Yet.2. be difficult to fuid any significant distinction between B. Other specimens have. but it never drank. carpet or cement. which are stretched to their maximum. and a particularlv red one from Arabia. but it nevertheless has scent glands. over an hour.M. its the anal glands. and where the opportunity to drink would be extremely rare. Almost nothing is known about breeding. this apart and despite the animal's wide east-westerlv range. for Egypt. Taxonomy. insects. flesh and vegetable. 52. The captive animal only occasionally actually ate out of its dish. 97. indeed.10 from the Hoggar Mountains in the Sahara. objectionable odour of the common red fox of the palacarctic regions. — complete contrast to the two very diverse skins just cited it would. No. B. 10. This captive animal became very attached to the human beings with had had close relations from an early age. it preferred to fill its mouth with a large quantity of food which it then carried away and iiid in its beddijig straw. This is so in rneppelli. together with two more from this area. chiefly in regard to a captive specimen in Paris. been known to possess quite different temperaments from this animal. Fetter's fox thrived on a mixed diet. it is nearly always possible to pick out an individual which exliibits such variations to a degree that other specimens from the area demonstrate to be not properly representative. the duration of gestation or the size of the litter. This would accord wdth the sort of tiling to be expected in the free state. Speckle-coated tropical mammals very frequently display appreciable variations of tone and pattern amongst the members of a single local population. with strangers it would growl and retreat. The latter.9. separates its hindlegs. 15.9. without injuring it. No. roots and fruits would be the kind of food taken. was in fact pointless. able to detect movement or an luiusual sound at over 100 metres. being either aggressive or wholly indifferent. If given live food it would play with it for a long time. Should anything threaten to rob it of food that it is in the process of consuming it presents its hindquarters to the presumed aggressor. the preferred period of the year.M. there is over all a considerable uniformity of appearance. holds up its tail and ejaculates towards the unwelcome visitor a malodorous secretion from it whom years. lowers it head and arches its back. returning to repeat the action once or twice before settling down to actual eating. without knowing widely separated provenance. No. and. given sufficient material. utter short barks and snap. Riippell's fox does not have the ever-present strong. Anderson (1902) records.X. 69 He noted it as having exceedingly keen sight and hearing.M. on wood. In their . No. If extremes are selected as an exceptionally dark skin from Somalia. Halt-a-dozen races have been described. As in other canids it went tluough the motions of scratching earth over what it had hidden even though this. It remained playful with advancing joy at visits from well-known friends was expressed in sonorous cackles and long moans. makes small menacing noises.

Buchanan collected four skins within a limited area. One ot them is badly moult (end of July) and need not be considered. pliiloiii. Oualo. in lliippeH's Athis zu dtr im uonlliihui AJrika. Bull. with the possible exception ot those from north-east Africa. Dikwa.iugcthiere (dated 1S26): 33. 1550 H13 is feet. referring to the light-coloured peLige. The type of cacsia would therefore seem to be nothing more than an idiosyncratic exception and not. black-tipped tail and a smaller ear.ihrus. Englind. view ot these facts it is the attaclmient ot subspccific by no names in In regard to the reputed West Atneau race aicsiti. Riippell. good. The type not only has the breadth of the dorsal band reduced but the tone of its red also appreciably deeper than is usual. very exactly matches that dark specimen from Somalia mentioned in an earlier paragraph. Named . in forest ot gum-trees (Acacia). admittedly derived from a most inadequate number of specimens. Lieutenant von Oertzen. .. Vulpes pallida haitcrti Matschie. 28: 4. oertzctii (Cyimlopex) pailidus Cameroun. The Latin pallidus means pale. The type. and the term sand fox is also not altogether truly descriptive since this animal does not confuie itself entireK. pi. Sber. are not properly applicable to examples from moister biotopcs where the pelage assumes deeper hues. and missing on both Called after Dr. 1921. 165.70 THE CARNIVORES Of WEST AFRICA bellies.2. Distribution and generaL The sand fox. all at about 1000 metres ui Air. II. typical of a distinct sure that any real value is to be found nicppclli. This Paris Natural History Caiiis was named alter Professor Alphonse Milne-Hdwards of the Museum. sandy places but is fox (Plate . Akiul. Fnniuic Bit/. indicates that there is very little difference of any significance between specimens ot nicppclli from various areas. the other two behig good matches for the majority of specimens from Sudan to the east and the Hoggar Mountains to the north. The two alternative names. Soc. It any case were to be made out for separating West African specimens racially it would seem to be more likelv to stand on their rather more silvery appearance. nciturj. & Hinton. is roughly the same size as Riippell's fox but has a relatively shorter. But even this is marginal. though apt in regard to Subdcsert specimens. E. liave intense red ine. llitu. VULPES PALLIDA (Cretzschmar) Canis palliJiis Sand Fox Ri'i^c Cretzschmar. Cayor.. Takoukout. 1910. No. 144 (i): y. Gts.: 370-371. in the Berlin Zoologisches Museum. 10. on and around Mount Baguezaii. Senegamhia. In in and irrespective nt altitude. and its consequently more wholly grey colour". sometimes called the pale fox or pallid i). iy3s. at Tring.^. in fact. I'ldpcs edwardsi Rochcbrunc. The table of measurements on page 74. stands in this respect alone. about 25 miles across. 21. Hartert who collected for Damergou (Niger). Slxi. 1883. in respect ot its lesser area ot red. P{tris (7) 7: 8. good except that Lord Rothschild's museum skull. which may prove to be very slightly smaller. Thomas sides. A. Gourma-B.1. The remainder differ amongst themselves. 11. Kordofan. skin.23. and the skin. said by Thomas & m Hinton to be "distinguishable by the nearly complete disappearance of the ochraccous on the back.after its collector zool. Novil. Type. ll'isi. 1827. Type in the British Museum. Canis pallidas (Mivart) subspecies /mdv/i Zimata. No. Gandiole. S. A lapsus calami for the above.

band of deeper tone riuming from neck to tail.) that the sand fox is common near Lake Chad and numerous colonies of up to 30 burrows are to be seen in Acacia tortilis var. Sahel) usually on the crests of sand dunes. West African specimens exist in the British Museum from Takoukout. and Gonibe. but it also occurs. A. Kontagora and Zaria (all Nigeria). The bristles are medium-brown. and the neighbourhood of Fort Archambault (Chad). In the correct localities it is a fairly common animal. but this will be dealt with in more detail later. The neck and the crowii of the head are much the same as the back. the imderfur is white-based. Farniso. which passes through a progressively deepening red-brown zone until it becomes. with its fmely speckled sandy coat and black-tipped tail (Plate i). 71 soft. white on the inner faces. considerable trans-continental range to the Sea. All specimens have a broader or narrower. little fox. it then has a paler or deeper The mm becoming finally in the terminal third huffish or reddish. The legs are lighter or darker red-brown on the outside. which form the usual black mark not far from the root and come together terminally to form a very pronounced black tip. black at the tip. J. raddiana woodland [i. friable soil rather is on other soils. ill-defined. in most cases. The live weight of an adult is about i. the present section concerning itself only with a broad general description of the pallida pelage. The cheeks are pale to a ver\' varying degree in different forms. The pelage becomes paler on the flanks and passes in the majority of cases witliout any very sharp lijie of demarcation into a pale underside. and contmuLng thence to the lip. Elsewhere it has been recorded from Kaycs (Senegal). sometimes rather indistinctly. sepia zone. then generally pure white or creamy. Skull. The pelage is composed of the usual mixture of abundant fmc long underfur ajid scattered long. being confmcd to the Saharan and subdistance south of the Sahara. in the somewhat moistcr Doka woodland. succeeded by a brilliantly pure wliite band. The former is from 15 to 20 30 mm. The eye is surromided by a dark ring. near Timbuctu and Gourma Rharus (Mali). Description. Agadcs and Zindcr (all Niger). Sahel and Sudan types of vegetation. The muzzle is sharp. Hopson observes [in litt. giving rise to the different overall impressions that have led to the erection of races. the Subdesert. apparently more rarely. the backs of the ears slightly darker in tone. However. It is from Senegal Red species has usually been divided into five races. pure white in those from the Sahel and Subdesert. white-based. some Saharan region of Africa between about 10° and 20° north. these are discussed later. it demands a than a stony one and thus differs from Riippell's fox. which is not so bushy as in nieppclli is the same basic colour as the back flecked to a greater or lesser degree with long black tips. the latter from 25 to stouter bristle-hairs. broadest at the inner corner.VULPES fouiid also. though elegant. but having a most typically an inhabitant of the very dry zones. It is the white bands and the dark tips of the bristle-hairs that impart the speckled pattern to the back.e. The intensity of colouring in the pigmented zones IS considerably variable. pallida not of such wide distribution as nicppelli. In broad terms. This does not differ to any marked extent from that of nieppclli except that . V. The tail. There is an appreciable range of colour from creamy-buff to pale red.\ to 2 kilos. By comparison with the strikingly coloured nieppclli this is a relatively dull.

6.9 &: 11. The nominate race was described from Kordofan (Sudan). In addition there the usual paucity ot material is from which ditticult to draw conclusions. M. The only point at issue is its subdivision into races.illiili and its complete independence from nicppelli or other species.S.72 THE CARNlVORhS OP WEST AIRU'A the bullae arc sliL. 1901) observed that they swim well and readily. but no one has given any detailed account of these. there for example.3. e. on the Nile below Kliartoum. Rothschild & Wollaston (m de Winton. near Khartoum. its exact provenance lying possibly in has been recorded of their social existence in soft Subdesert. 21. No. The most pronounced both carnassials top between the two and bottom. The on page 74 shows that there is not specimens of each reputed race.luly larger and the nasals appreciably longer. Sahel vegetation) corresponds ver\' closely to the i-t . Like all members ot the genus they shelter in burrows. 1959). and skins from Gombe (Nigeria).M. Anderson (1902) records that Withcrbv found skulls of the species in the nest of a kite. the ratios which the caruas- bear to these are considerably little Habits. giving a table much paler impression than the colour of the actual a great deal to as dorsum w in size arrants. way of life beyond the bare fact that they live a fairly open sandy on the Red Sea. are from i to dirterence species lies in the dentition. Tlirec of these have been attributed to West Africa: hartcrti from the Sahcl vegetation. in fact. as so often. Nos. They are well matched dorsally by others from Suakiii 300 miles to the northtvpical pallida. hi 3 piilliiia mm shorter than in nicppclli: and as the length ot the posterior cheekteeth sials is much the same in the less. Taxonomy. possibly in Sahel vegetation. hartcrti. Nor are there any kno\\ii facts relating to breeding. Anderson (1902) said that his specimens (presumably from Suakin) Keay "agree exactiv with the type of the species in Frankfort". The trouble lies in drawing clear lines of distinction and in the danger. The question of subspeciation in paUiih is. Although these little foxes are pretty common from over a stretching tor 6000 kilometres across the continent cast coast to broad arid zone west coast. 2. 13. They do. both localities reputedly 111 Subdesert vegetation (I'/i/e the map in al. two species. a skin from Agades (Niger. Turning now to West Africa. in the face of a good deal of variation. owing to the exposure of the flanks and part of the belly. choose represented solely between the tew bv the tvpe. a wide discrepancy ot coloration between the type ot lunterti. and ocrt:ciii tor the Doka. It is not that is. B.. but a specimen is noted as having lived for nearlv three years in captivity. II. Evalua- tion of pelage character rendered a little more by the different setting of the skins. Before considering other races the first thing is to determine the appearance of No precise type locality was named bevond the general description "Kordofan" and there is nothing in the British Museum actually so labelled. those that are flat. 2. seems to be a little smaller than the rest in nearly every respect. agree very closely with Cretzschmar's plate. cihiumhi from the Sudan woodland. a ditiicult one. Petter (1952) noticed that these foxes do not emit the usual foxy odour. 23. appreciable differences do not exist between animals from difterent localities. No question arises as to the standing of p. the most likely specimens to correspond to the original locality being those from Shend)-. of entering is into a complexity ot rather meaningless nomenclature.

well into the Sudan zone) are a close match for one another dorsally. Most of it would cover a range ot pallida specimens. might be held to correspond to this. this remarkable type differs from it in size. The flanks of the two Zinder skins are paler than in tliat from Faniiso. but he does state that the coat is grey belov^'. Specimens from Kontagora and Zaria in the Doka zone of Nigeria have similar dorsal coloration but their bellies are mostly skins The zones) '. in contrast to the usual piure white or near. However. But there are differences below. whitish. Out of the 1 1 West African skins. some 370 km to the south-west and in the same vegetation zone (Sudan) as the type locality. Nigeria. Zinder and . and especially between the extremes from Subdesert and Doka. Matschie described the underside as reddish. The only two measurements given by Rochebrune. inadequate data. in only three cases are there more than one example available from a given locality (Takoukout 3.3. In the past these slightly warmer-coloured skins have been assigned to edwardsi. 28. as Thomas & Hinton pointed out. correspond to present named races.white oi most pallida. Rochebriuic's description of this form is far from precise.M. for length and for height. is marginally paler and browner. The overall impression is therefore that of a much more intensely coloured animal. being of a slightly warmer red-brown than those from nearer the desert. No. though witli 73 regarded as representing typical pallida in somewhat more white on the face. from further south. but it seems scarcely worth while drawing a nominal distinction between the two. and the underside quite different from that found in any other London example oi pallida. It might thus be West Africa. On the strength of the description furnished. There remains Matschie's ocrtzcni to consider. He described this as being "isabel" on the back. if any. in which the grey colour is possibly extraneous. Sahcl zone some loo km to the south. The mid-dorsal pelage is very much that of the Zinder and Farniso skins but the flanks are more brown. are ill-defmcd and have no great significance. No British Museum specimen could be likened to this. It is true that. Specimens from Gombe. The type of harterti. but this conclusion is drawn from the measurements of a single example compared with equally or almost equally. at Zinder (Niger. harterti seems to be smaller.9. This is unusual and only one specnncn in the British Museum could possibly fit such a character and that is the Farniso skin. the throat rosy-white. but one has a pale pinkish-ochraceous wash from throat to aims. It will thus be 'iccn that there arc appreciable differences between the various existing West African specimens. from Takoukout.VULPES Shcjidy material. But it would be diflicult to say with conviction which. but much of this is probably due to staining. his summing up of the case for edwardsi seems altogether too sweeping: "Confused with Caiiis pallida of Ruppell. pelage and many anatomical characters" Whether the Zinder and Farniso animals really correspond to this Sahcl form from Senegal is at least open to doubt. near the edge of the Sahel/Sudan and Farniso (Nigeria. and especially B. The Farniso underparts are greyish. the other being chiefly white with an extremely pale hint of pink in one axilla and over the belly.6. this is a somewhat disputed colour but usually reckoned as a dirty yellow and is depicted as such in Ridgway (1912).

Gombc each 2) and these show at least slight differences from each other. and especially ui view of the very limited material available. In these circumstances.74 THE CARNIVORES OE WEST AFRICA . and no matter what proliferation of races were proposed it would remain impossible to sav where one started and another tuiished. It would appear that the existing specimens arc randomly taken samples from a clinc. it would seem that no practical end is served by attempting to categorize specimens into hard and fast subspecies. The best that can be Table 3 : Numerical data for riieppelli species of Viilpes pallula .

being smaller than the antero-extemal cusp of the caniassial (/)'') and the palate is relatively broader than in the true canids. is rather doubtfully lumped together with two other living genera. Type species Hyaena picta Temminck. throughout Africa. Taxonomy. This is the form. 1842. These matters are not pursued here and we proceed at once to consideration of the only genus of immediate relevance to West Africa. and to and Subdescrt animals "p. from cidos of the Simoc^'oninae and are mottled coats. . and Ction. Included with these is a large number of fossil genera. added to the name Hyaena. 1893 hi this Subfamily the sole African genus. foxes and wolves. Lycaoii. Cuvier. and in structure by their feet. implying resemblance. The basis of all these was very slender. the posterior upper molar [iti~) is much reduced in size. in Griffith's Cuvier's (= Hyaena a wolf. The rather doubtfully justifiable association of Lycaon with Speotlws and Cuoii has been referred to above. kynos a dog. as no more than races of this. . The name Simocyoninae is derived from the Greek siinos flat nosed. Speotlws. 1827. and kyon. only one valid species. Himting Dogs 1827 Lycaon Brookes. Hyaenoides Gervais. Le Jariin ties Planles: 215. 1829. three of which were applicable to West Africa. from Asia. if they have any validir\' at all. Subfamily SIMOCYONINAE Zittel. cdwardsi with its reputedly grey belly would seem either not to exist as such or to be applicable to a wide cliiial range between to say pale Sahel the two extremes. in fact. Type species Lycaon tricolor Brookes in Greek m)thology who was transformed into Cynhyaciia F. and the modem view is that there is. In the skull. Matschie's creations ranking. both fore and hind. a South American dog. to form a convenient taxonomic imit. chief!). Type species Hyaena picta Temminck. As regards the organization of the genus itself. Lycaon was a character Animal Kingdom 5: 151.of uiterest as uniting the Canidae with the Ursidae. kynos dog coupled with the name Hyaena. This is simply an academically more correct spelling of the above. the bears. It has no particular significance apart from the fact of the muzzle in Lycaon and Speotlws being somewhat less sharp than in the jackals. Genus LYCAON Brookes. picta Temminck). are the sole African representatives The himting dogs characterized in appearance bv their varicoloured. but though the relationship of these to each other is possibly not as close as a subfamily connexion would imply the group is a convenient one and could only be rationalized at the expense of creating a number of smaller not very meaningful imits. Histoire Naturelle des Mammiferes 2: 53.lYCAON done call is 75 of intensely coloured specimens with dark bellies "near oertzeni". having only four digits. Matschic (191 5) erected a great many independent species. This name was formed from the Greek kyon. pictiis. Greek termination -oeides. Diclioimairc des Sciences Naturelle 59: 454. resting almost exclusively on variations in pelage pattern. 1855. pallitla". Hyenoides Boitard.

saw a pack of at least 30 in April 1969 in Borgu (extreme western Nigeria). lower Shari River (Chad). There arc records of occurrence from the north ot the lvor\.ite mcms to hunting. a German government oHicial. Ann. 2: 91. nat. Cos. the packs tend to be smaller. nmnrj. in general. Northeast ot Asbestos Range.itschie and mostly applying to southern . Boil. 5. Bcii: }t<i>-\iv>.ih. Griqualand West. as is eoiitmed to Atrica hut to has a very wide rajige throughout Africa. Shcr. good condition. natnrj. and those of thirty to forty were common. I LYCAON PICTUS llyiiiiui piciii I'iita kuitiiit. probably near Dikwa. 7. he specific lume is Latin Lycaon piclus in sluiiiais Maui). Karl Ebermaier. might at of the Nigerian Federal Forest Kescarch Department. district. 1907.ind Cape luiiuiiig dog. l-rcniidc Bcti: 364-366. between the Oti and Oak.Coast.and eastern Africa. No.!. ot Mii. Dog wcul Tciiimiiick. becoming ot the land ever less and owing to the widening settlement and use by man and it the consequent reduction ot available food in the torm ot antelopes.ncnsis Sansaniie Mangu. 191 5. Ilyaaici rciwlica Bnrchell. 1822. the less more so todav as kinds ot grass-woodland but is numlicrs are. & 1^23.76 THE CARNIVORES OT WF.!»»/. Professor Mischlich. ccrtainlv today inislLMdiiiglv. north ot the Oti River.: 369-371.C^ape of Good Hope. Slier. sometimes only six or eigin. South Africa. for typical. Lycaon chcrnmicri Matschie. This was named in honour ot the German Governor ot the Kamerun. (7) 19: Type in the British Museum.uin ami was applied to tliis animal because ot its varicoloured coat.iiul means given painted or oiii. somctmus too rcstnctcdk. hut Heim de Balsac (1936) thinks there more than good evidence support of a distinct Saharan race. H. 1S33. L}'rrt(i» inischliilii Matschie. who sent the living animal to the Berlin Zoo.uhi Togo.i. Sii. The luniting dog. Q. but R. naturf. ili-\7<'skiii Mam skull (not ']'. The name is a Latinized form ot the town Mangu from near which the animal came.i Uivcrs. The specific name is I atin . or possibly even more. Shcr. This was called after Us collector. Near Djaniiaga. Distribution and general. near Matschie. (Adrar des Itoras) in 1927 (Lhote it is specimens \\ere captured north ot In Ouzzal 1946).S. Tihesti Two and Enncdi. white and yellow pelage. and it is said to occur m Tanezroutt. and especially in West Africa. 1S27. the upper Volta area. I'rcnmic. pliys. and across this belt to Sudan. colour ot tlic The specific name is a combination ot the Latin words tri- meaning three and I in/cr the skin. Northern part ot the Kete Kr. Eritrea and Somali. Mao. A century ago times be seen to hunt hi packs ot up to a hundred.ime protiction in this Reserve it seems possible that it is there becoming again more numerous. and both Lycaon tnanf.l/r'Vn i: 456. Unix. given ni reference to the black. Lake Chad area. probably near Bimbila. // Lyiaon typicus A. Trnrch in llic lulaior of Si'uiliciii . lint. 3: 54. called the . Ges.» i. (— "Burchell's Lycaon"). Togo. South ot the Sahara erratic in its an . 1915. Smith. mostly erected b) M. in (intiith's Cnvkr' s Animal KingJofn 5: iji. Co. In the much ot the coiuiiieiit trom the Sahara little is South an in former of these it is generally regarded prohably occasional rare visitor. 2: 229.7.74. Kemp. halt ot them pups estim. and \Mth general g.bT AfUICA (Tcininmck) . Cains {Lytaoii) tiUolcr Brookes. There is a further extensive 20th century synonymy. Thomas & Wroughton. and often less. 1S20. Afr. rrcuiulc. 1915.uninal ot the more open its occurrence.inibit|uc. The racial name is a Latinized form ot the type locality.ited to be five or six months old (personal communication). The L. Thence the species ranges .

LYCAON 77 ^^ .

where it tornierly d\\ eh in large numbers. and private comiiuinication) and also by those illustrating black. with a head & of West body length ot 14 cm and a bushy tail of 35-5 to 3S cm. the basis of his proposed specific naming. constancy of pattern is seen to be non-existent. The proportion of one colour to the others varies very considerably. blackish or pale yellowish-brown. 196SI. where in the British Museum collection more than one specimen exists from a given locality. that trom Mani (Lower Shari River. is. the other a skull from Lake Chad. ^vhich are much smaller and have pointed cars. occasionally in tltrees. Kiihme (1965b). thus. South of tlie Tropic of Capricorn. as do their relative positions on the body. bristle-hairs and has no underfur whatsoever. Lyciuvi about 9) is easily the bulkiest and most solidly built African canids. terete. close-lying and not at all dense. (tig. as a result ot the annual grass burn. the fur thus exhibiting nothing of the intimate "pepper and salt" mixture common to so many mammalian coats. yellow and (often) white. These bristles are. the one an unmeasured skin trom Leri-u-duchi (Zaria. vastly ditferent from that typical ot the jackals and foxes. During the rains. by the . the ground cover in most places in this zone is both too dense and too high 2 metres or more to make hunting in the manner ot these dogs a practical possibility. but also. Chad). indeed. It is. of entirely different composition since it consists solely of stiff. very readily distinguisliable from the jackals.ick but the hair is considerably . Not only were the data on which this sup>position was foiuided mostly exiguous. These tints occur over sharply dcfuied areas of the skin and result in a broad mottling of the pelage with little ijitergraciing of one patch with the next. is probably more in the nature ot 20 kg. The pelage is harsh. This is amply confirmed by photographs of packs taken bv R. standing 61 to 66 1 cm at the shoulder. on the other hand. (Howell. and it its Though quite obviously a dog. and though it certainly occurs in the Guinea woodland this is probably for the most part during the dry-season when. Northern Nigeria. This applies in a somewhat lesser degree to the tlic down and eastern halt of the continent south to Transvaal across to — Ooka zone. Instead of the colour ajinulation common in the pelage of other canids these bristles are to all intents and purposes imicolorous trom root to tip. rarely singly.78 "I HE CARNIVORI-S OI WEST A H) H. inner ot the b. but the average in a piack. The weight of a tully grown animal would be some 27 to 32 kg. A and Portugese East Africa Angohi and Soutli-west Africa. of moderate length. blotched with very conspicuouslv large and rounded ears. In the British Museum there exist trom West Africa only one complete specimen. and it is. this type of country becomes very open. pure white. Nigeria). Description. H. and two partial specimens. relatively widely spaced at their roots and emerge from the hair follicles mostly in pairs. teaturcs just enumerated. The chest and belK- arc motllcd 111 the m... it is now absent or only a very occasional wanderer.where vision and pursuit of quarry arc not much obstructed. by comparison with the closely packed fur ot the foxes. It is therefore most commonK' to be foiuid in the Sudan and Sahcl woodlands where the grass is tairly short and relatively sparse. The Himting Dog is quite immistakeable with its short coat. Matschic (19T5) tried to establish fixed patterns in relation to various geograpihical areas. Kemp in the Borgu Game Reserve. The hunting dog prctcrs open coimtr.

the terminal quarter being conspicuously piure white. the nostrils are well-separated long. and a broadening black stripe riuis medially through itself is this region over the crown and down the is centre ot the face to join the faint or lacking. do\\Tiwardly curving postorbital processes being wcU-dcveloped. with strong ridges and arches and a massive dentition. open. can not. The mandible robustly built. The feet themselves are strongly built. The tail is short-haired in its basal third. the throat and upper part of the chest white. The proximal margins of the digital pads carry long fringes of stiff reddish hairs. cars. The palate is broad tliroughout. the short claws being deep and powerful. sharply upcurved. solid rami and strong coronoid. though prominent. as in other members of the famih'. all- black muzzle. The mm . condvlar and angular processes. but the rest of the sole between these and the plantar pad is scantily clad. scarcely obscuring the skin. seems unexpectedly small it is romided but carries a pronomiced. p*. though here there is also a white tuft situated over the lower part of the inner edge. The females usually have about 1 2 teats. wide and deep. being particularly so between The zygomatic arches are broad and strong. In the only two West African specimens available for study the chin and under the jaw are black. The bullae. their hind margins continuing and converging posteriorly across the temporal region in a diamond outline to meet the forward end of the sagittal crest. large. The inuzzle is noticeably short. about 115 to 125 extent on their anterior faces as well. The interorbital region is slightly constricted. Posteriorly the palate comes to an etid about the level of the hind margin o( in~. The dentition is powertul. and shows little of that marked anterior jiarrowing between the premolars and canines that gives the more typical dogs their sharply pointed muzzles. As in the other West African canids the cheekteeth are f^. with deep. The legs are variegated with the same colours as the back. In this subfamily there are only four toes on each foot. 1914b). Skull (figs 10 and u). in-. since the pointed not very distantly separated from the postorbital process the orbit goes some way towards complete encirclement. is much reduced in size and is less in bulk than the antero-extemal cusp of the caniassial. The distance between the plantar and carpal pad is luiusually long and narrow. But the posterior upper molar. and is process on the upper margin of the jugal the camassials. The hindfect are similar but narrower. As canid skulls in general go it is short and broad. but not quite so near as in the hyaenas. The posterior part of this line sometimes short. triangular. The skull is very powerfully built. in comparison with the size of the skull and their relative is development in the jackals and foxes. and then has a longish-haired black and white bush. broad and heavy.LYCAON shorter and yet 79 more scanty. are black on their backs and to some rounded. The outer upper incisor (i^) is much enlarged and caniiriform in . The two middle toes are widely separated but joijied by a narrow naked web (Pocock. the pointed. all the teeth being relatively broad and strongly cusped. The back of the neck and the top of the head to the forward level of the eyes are pale brown. the anterior nares very The muzzle and widely open. be characterized as large. The braincase. sharp sagittal crest which joins an equally prominent supraoccipital crest to form a backwardly-projecting pyramidal "helmet".

74. of males. . relatively rare. also applicable to West Africa. whose published observations contaiji a great deal of information relating to the daily and iiightK' habits of packs in the Serengeti plains and Ngorongoro crater (Tanzania). ' . Lyiium piain: skull. which has resulted m an ahiuidant recording ot the chief features of its mode or Some of its alleged habits. even in East Africa. Habits. skilfulK' and persistentb'. these and hunt. appear to have been directly contradicted by close and specialized stud\' of the species vears. The interest on the \\a\ from time to time observed.ieks of this magnitude are likel\. Estes & Cloddard (lyfiy) and Goodall (1970). traditionally by word of mouth from one naturalist to held and passed from writer to writer another.i m . r\pc.\tcr. No.iboiit half-. The limiting dog lias. i'robably a dozen dogs might well be regarded as constituting a more normal pack for this region. 111 numbers. niiihitis nitilninlis.. the outer lower uicisor attention of life. extremely scantw In East Africa packs have pretlominance. as their common English name indicates. CertaiiiK' 111 West Africa few p.7. Ainthiiig larger tlhiii this IS tiida\'. over a long period ot vears. often been touiul to show packs. observed at close quarters over long periods. however. Tlie made in the field in recent most prolonged and concentrated investigations have been carried out by Kiilime (i9''isa and b).to be found. li.' >>( iliaiim^.il view (/g) li also enlarged hut not to the same marked extent and not caiiniitorni but riattisli and bieusped hke the rest.M. and repute of hunting dogs rest.s. though one such has recently been observed. for. l. 10.So till ( AIIM \ lUil S ol WIS! M UK A Fig. although sohtarv individuals arc di^gs generallv live a higlilv communal existence These vary in number from an extended famiK' unit of . Much of what has been noted in these areas is doubtless.i-dozen to a sizeable group ot 30 or so. 7. attracted a good deal ot shape. 111 which tlie\ secure their food. C'oncrete information ot anv kind relating to the area covered bv this present work is.

1967) and moonlight hunts have also been recorded. a change of diet apparently being desirable. but such nocturnal events in ill-lit conditions are relatively rare since Lycaon hunts by sight rather than by smell. v. No.S. A chase has been known to be continued till after dark (Estcs & Goddard. in the early morning and if the weather is deeply overcast. palatal &' dorsal views normally engaged in regularly twice a day. it may as an exception be carried out during the intervening period. found that something in the nature ot 69 per cent of the kills were Thomson's gazelle.7.xt in the search for other flesh.M.74. and iS per cent juvenile wildebeest. however. readily available prey of a kind that was one day willingly taken being passed by the ne. What is pursued is is Hunting late evening. but . or for some other less apparent reason. B. -< ' . Lycai'ii picnis: skull. According to Kiihmc's observations it would seem that what is acceptable as a meal may vary from day to day.LYCAON 8l Fic. . Estes & Goddard. II. 7. Tvpc of sliariiiif.

may doubtless also be taken. Warthog are fronr time to time hunted. but bushbuck. thoui. When a Land Rover stopped near one of these kills some of the pack made attempts to drag the hartebeest away and two dogs did. Nevertheless. succeed in drawing it about 27 metres (personal commimication). Hiuiting dogs are. On two occasions U. always recognise their danger is shown m E. iys6).is three hundred metres. that soon after dawn the various dogs of the pack emerge from their sleeping quarters and wander slowly round defiecating and carrying out an extended greeting doubtk'ss dctcnnincd to sonii: cxiait b\' the size ot the pack.happens is. mouth and of and face.iii does the presence of lions. been commoiiK' held that Lycaoii strikes far more terror tn the heart of the antelope population tli. hares [Lcpiis). When suitable quarry has been sighted approach to it is made with some care. Li West Africa it is unlikely that anvthing as bulky as a waterbuck or roan would ever be tackled. Tin. and that not only would antelopes stampede at the first hint of danger but would actually entirely desert any district tainted by the mere existence of luuiting dogs (Bere. to take the morning luuit. Probably the main sources of food in West Africa are gazelles. cob and hartebeest. Traditionally these dogs were believed to pursue their prey tirelessly and relentlessly over vast distances luitil the quarry faltered and fell from sheer odiaustion. in fact. What in fact reaiU. not as a pack though others may be present and all on the move in search of more satisfying prey. though less gregarious than the others. though attempts would certainly be made on their calves.S. known to take much smaller fry such as cutting-grass [Thryoiioinys). the outcome of prolonged terror and ph)sical effort. the may be tlie greater tlie possibihty oi being able to i ceremony. mdeed. in fact. M. giant Gambian rat {Cricctoinyf). A bushbuck killed by hiuiting dogs was in fact observed by David Brown in the Borgu Game Reserve (Nigeria).h Estes & Goddard estimated the alarm distance in these . that . If all are not present a not unmusical bell-like call uttered to assemble distant members. This consists of poking the licking the lips nose into the corner of the other dog's EventualK'. but this they usually do as independenr individuals. each with ever\' other member of is the pack. ground squirrels [Eiixcnis) and so forth.uitelopes do not. f-ang (1963) where a herd of gazelles is recorded as actually riuming inquisitively towards an approaching pack until they were no more than about 30 metres away before realizing that they were Ln grave peril. also found that antelope herds were cither not visibly wary of near-by hiuiting dogs or took flight only when an obviously actively hunting pack on the riui towards them was within some two or tail head and in the past it li. Kiihme. in the papers cited above. It \\ as even said that in the case of the larger and stronger antelopes such a chase might extend over as much as s or 20 km and that during this the leading dog would be deliberately relieved from time to time by relays of others which were less fatigued. H. ('AI!niv(ii(i:s or wkst m-iuca more numerous tliis overpower the larger sorts of antelopes. A look must be taken at some of the long-held views regarding the method of hunting that have now been upset by close and continuous observation. reedbuck. Kemp has foiuid the kill in Nigeria to consist of a fully mature hartebeest in good condition. oribi and crowned duiker. in a slightly crouching attitude with more or less both lowered. at a walk. some half an hour or so after daybreak the pack moves ofi at a trot in open formation to look tor game.

as in the past supposed. E. as Kiihme observed. but he did. a rate which can be maintained by healthy adult dogs over long distances. failing to escape on a probably most often due to the fact that direct course. nevertheless. The antelope is not always captured. for Estes & Goddard (1967) found. Prey given a leading start of 300 metres would be caught and overcome in a further 600 to 800 metres. Kiihme observed that the kill was preferably made as swiftly as possible. and but little alarm when a pack is merely walking or trotting. The idea that these dogs lope untiringly behind a fleeing antelope until it drops from exhaustion must also be abandoned. can get just as exhausted as their quarry. until ultimately the hunt nearly always resolves itself into the pursuit of a single animal. for example. pursiung a shorter hue. moreover. There is no deliberate taking over the task of leading it is dog in relays. Nor does the hunt always resolve itself into a single kill. Not all the pack can keep up with this. Lang (1963). So far from the dogs patiently and steadily rmuiing an antelope to exhaustion before killiiag it. This is possibly a gravid female or the tardiest to abandon grazing tor flight. not catching up till the leaders have already had 5 minutes or so at demolishing the victim. If more than a single antelope is being chased there appears to be no deliberate selection of any particular victim from the start. was abandoned after 4 to 5 km. is carried out at a trot of about 11 km an hour. most frequently a male. however. if not successful. describes an incident where a pack divided into two. choice of that which becomes the ultimate prey being as much a matter of chance as an)thing. follow one that fruitlessly covered somewhat more than this. and Goodall found that the hunt.LYCAON circumstances instinctively 83 somewhat higher. pantmg in the grass and just capable of staggering ofi". still in may more or less open order. gain gromid over both the antelope and erstwhile leader. this pack had travelled 8 km the preliminary search for suitable prey before it actuallv started to hiuu it must in all have covered some 13 or 14 km. resolving itself nito a question of the slowest member ot the herd. Once the prey has been set in motion the dogs break into a run and follow. and laggards or young dogs may still be i or 2 km in the rear at the time of the kill. as popularly supposed. or. If change takes place the quarry. in the calving season enables them to edge very near to a mother and her fawn before snatching the latter. exhibiting no fear even though dogs be at very close quarters but stationary. Estes & Goddard reckon the average chase to cover i. and whereas the fore- most dogs follow immediately on its heels others further in the rear can more easily follow the chord of the arc and so. It is. Yet this is not necessarily always the pattern. The at a search for prey is steady 48 km m . Since. At the start of a chase every dog follows that beast wliich is most directly in front of it. It is this that enables the dogs to approach fairly close before setting a herd in rapid retreat. but they tend to switch to any one that is obviously less distant from its aggressor.xliausted gazelle. This according to other observers is rather short. in Ngorongoro. actual pursuit an hour. that the dominant dog of the pack selected the victim and led the pursuit. This is confirmed by Macintosh (1953) who writes of the fuiding of an e. and if the chase goes on past a certain distance the dogs. quite certain that a herd of antelopes knows when a pack means basincss. and hence nearest. M. starts to circle. Short spurts can if necessary be made at about 56 km an hour.l to 3 km and to last 3 to 5 minutes.

It the chase ends with onlv one or two dogs m at tlie kill the hyaenas can then leap m. is obscured by grass the hunting dogs make intermittent leaps to keep their prcv in view. end m a kill. This is dealt with later. stronger predators have to be taken into accoiuit. or w.mdcr in their vicinitv eating tlieir droppings. Ss per cent. during the chase. that is 43 per cent. at so that ultiniatelv other times thev delight in mobbing a single hyaena. then a second hunt is almost immediately entered upon. Lions are not above robbing hunting dogs of their legitimate kill. or eaten alive. impossible to sav for certain but there is some likelihood that the victim does not suffer so much or lumps of 111 this as might parts at first seem. 1963). renewed hunt should tarn out to provide an insutlicient meal for all or part ot the pack. If the hvaenas do pluck up enough courage to sneak 111 again and seize part of the pre\. Spotted hyaenas are another matter.rlie\. tor other. waiting for them. even as a pack. u s I \ (iHi s oi \i 1 s r Ai i(i( A and some iSO inctrci nr sn awav a hunting ilni. frighten the dogs off and snatch a Itasty teed before the rest of the pack comes up and. indeed. the white tail tip at these moments becomnig very conspicuous to an onlooker. biting fiercely at its buttocks its onlv defence is to squat down and so protect its hindquarters .ihle to do anything about it. in the normal hunt the foremost dogs atter a while fuld themselves almost literalK. alwa\-s by sight. startinr. It is either literalK torn apart bv seizing the limbs and tugging m opposite directions. so that the outcome ot attempts at superpredation b\. and sometimes skin and leg boties —generally (1967). not smell.largelv on the relative numbers ot the two contenders tor the meal.S4 Till 1 4. bv ripping open the bellv and devouring the entrails. in which the\ then follow them. an odd sort ot enmity between hiuitnig dotrs and spotted hvaenas. success rate apart. All but the tousihest — heads. Goodall (1970) records onlv 39 successful kills in 91 lunits. of course. Sometimes the former tolerate the latter in close proximity. hoofs. In such cases the Iruut. It is. being m a daze and a merciful state ot shock. disappear with astonishing the heels of their prev and tliev then rcpeatedlv a successful jump skill t'orward to snap at the hindquarters. of course. or at times even deliberately stimulating them. flanks or bellv. There is. Hiuiting is. hunts do not always result 111 a satistactor)' meal. . m a pack rests tor some s or lo minutes and then tonus up it similar for a stati. to all intents and purposes. b\.-. Lang. are It has been mentioned above that not all hunts widelv diverse estimates of the success rate.can then safcK' close m and polish ofl the skin and bones or any other residue that ma\. M.uid thev are reduced to waiting on the outskirts nf the feeding pack until the dogs have hiiishedand the\. However. establishes ownership. and thev are too powerful tor the dogs to be . analysing a much smaller number of hunts found a success rate ot over twice this. Estes & Goddard on the other hand. at least by those with unsatisfied appetites. Opinions have diftered regarding whether these dogs liimt mute or not.a reversal of power. Eventuallv. away ribbons ot At length the animal is brought to a standstill or knocked down and the dogs leap upon it. These left.them depends ver\. and it the quarr\'. are bigger and stronger than hunting dogs but they lack proper pack co-operation. the late-arriving laggards tor example. tearing flesh. There is no doubt that hvaenas sometimes deliberately sit and watch hunting dogs.are chased oft (E. There is no attempt to kill it outright. SimilarK'. to set out on a himt. There horns.

which it preys since these are pretty constantly on the move to fresh be set to unrestricted nomadism by the existence of other neighbouring packs. Kiihme estimated that the pack he observed occupied a livijig area ot roughly 16 square kilometres and hunted over an area of between 100 and 200 square kilometres. Macintosh (1953) records the attack by a pack on It will to follow a the tyres and wings of a slowly moving car. each with a recenth. ful be appreciated that it is thus not normally easy or possible for a casual observer hunt at close quarters from its inception to its end. apart from its antelopes on pastures. even as a pack. It is driven to this wandering habit partly by the migrator)' nature of the Lycaon. in their nimble fashion. when it stopped. and the fmer details of what actually takes place during pursuit were therefore witnessed by relatively few people. though there seems to be appreciably less insistance on strict territories in hiuiting dogs than with many other predators. This accounts for a good deal of supposition. some degree of boundary observance has been noted in East Africa where the large antelope population is sufficient to support numerous Lycaon packs. The problem is lessened today by the existence of motor vehicles that can travel safely and easily across country. different since the interest of the completely centred roimd the earth or earths m. the hunting dog being consequently of relatively rare occurrence and the territories over which the few packs can roam correspondingly large and probably. Only if one chanced to be actually near at hand at the correct moment and suitably moimted was tliis possible in the past. of necessity. except at breedmg times. It therefore. On some limit may life is. each claiming right over a more or less defmed area. and it eventually slinks oft". though golden jackals. by nature a rover and in the course of a year may cover an extremely wide stretch of countrs'. killing a hyaena or even doing it much visible harm. vultures and other birds of prey which almost invariably try to share in a kill arc driven off and made to wait. the more so as it is carried out at a fairlv high speed. becomes something of a sedentary unit. Such a pattern postulates a set breeding season for all females.LYCAON 85 while snapping at dogs that come too near. Kiihme's pack contained only two adult bitches. it would be interesting to know what happens where there arc several adult bitches family upbringing the pattern of entire pack is breeding It at different times. normally wide hunting range is. which the pups are being raised. less well defmed. During three months of breeding and the other hand. of inaccurate observation or wrong interpretation of a pack's behaviour. But there never seems to be any question of the dogs. often manage to dash in from time to time and secure a mouthhere and there. and this is the method of observation employed by Kuhme and other modern field workers. apart from brief daily sorties after food. for this reason. Jackals. H. though subsisting mainh' on . R. coming towards it and getting out of its way very slowly or. Himting dogs are little disturbed by the presence of a vehicle at a reasonable distance. has already been mentioned that hunting dogs.born litter. Anyhow. Nevertheless. Kemp (personal communication) twice foimd these animals to pay little attention whatsoever to his Land Rover. lying down in front of it. but in much of West Africa the herds of antelopes arc comparatively small. One stood on its hindlegs to get a better view.

V kg ot meat daily (Dekker. But they certainly do drink on occasion. too few in number to be able to a consume all ot their Hiuiting dogs. imsatistied kill.S6 Tin.m. 1965). sheep and goats. but here again Kiihme's observations rmi coiuiter to this widely held belief since he foiuid that his small pack never killed more than was absolutely necessary to satisty tlie S adults and 15 whelps. in the wild. and they certainly IS . in the Borgu Reserve he once observed about a dozen animals which had just made a kill but the rallying hoot heard in the distance not only indicated that the pack was in fact larger but. (loodall says that they will do so daily it possible.and they have themselves been relentlessly hunted and shot or killed with poisoned bait on this accoiuit. Estes &: Goddard (1967). hi parts of Africa. It may here be noted that these zoo specimens were given an occasional whole chicken or whole pigeon. and quite clearly deliberateK' seek out water-holes to this end. When the Litter were very yoiuig and ate relatively sparingly the toragers regularly killed and brought home a single 30 kg antelope morning and evening. It was probably their depredations amongst domestic flocks that chiefly earned tor them the reputation ot ijidiscriniinately slaughtering tar more than they could possibly eat. mdicating that. or from like sources. apparently like to alternate tront one species to another. (. nothing more than a rough estimate. On the other hand. There is. nothing would come amiss to them so long as it was readily do not hesitate to eat the dead of their own kind. estimated that there was an average of 2-7 kg a day of meat available to each dog. may be included in the diet of Lycaoii. when these are not conveniently available they turn their attention to other kinds of flesh. . birds. It is interesting to compare these estimates with the figure given tor zoo animals of i. but the commonest expLuiation ot only partially eaten prey is probably that these corpses are the outcome ot second hiuits by Ir is virtually certain that obtainable. working on a pack numbering 2t. but at the end of the rearing period when all 23 dogs might be assumed to eat practically adult meals this would work out at an average of something like 5 kg a day. This figure is. of course. but when the pups had grown and become more dcmandijig they doubled their twice-daily kill. strangely enough. and it is to be presumed that much ot the trom blood or from licking their coats when wet with dew. the smaller packs getting the larger anKiimt. never feed second time from the same kill. they have shown themselves to be highly destructive of cattle. Kiihme never observed necessary water can be picked up pack to drink. get relatively little exercise compared with those hunting for themselves in the field and their demand would be correspondingly less. served also to call away the dogs by ones and twos trom their newly killed hartebeest. Such captive specimens would. such as francolins. this amoiuit would however vary with the size ot a pack between 2 and 4 kg.ABMVoui:s oi \\\%t amuca and that ai. some evidence in support ot the charge that these ajiimals kill more than they can eat. At a.tclopcs. members ot a pack. R. unlike many his other carnivores. and particularly in the past when they were in larger packs and of more common occurrence. of course. H. however. \\'hich still remained untouched at dusk. This must be luiusual. Kemp (personal communication) twice observed in Nigeria that the kill had scarcely been damaged except for one hindleg and the belly ripped open. tor it is known that these dogs can go tor long periods without drinking. .

it is true. with lu'aenas and some other . This is probably due to glandular exudation. and those young which are ot an age to require a full meat diet. They do not seem to engage in the fierce protection of boiuidaries practised by the spotted hyaenas. The yomig. and partly with this end in view. be successfully tamed but have an imwelcome drawback as a domestic pet in their strong odour. 1970). according to Kiilime (1965 a & b) developed a classless social system that involves the ready sharing of both food and labour. 1967). but they have also attaching to them another smell that seems to permeate their very bones and persists for many years after their death. An exactly similar ritual had previously been discovered in the hunting dogs by Kiihme. fmds that there is a recognized social order not only throughout the pack as a whole but m each of the sexes separately as well. however. wild dogs are playful and rarely quarrel.hunting dogs on man and in fact. work (on page 48) that Wyman (1967) food-begging ritual amongst the jackals. shared. . that when. view is diametrically opposed by Goodall (1970) who. regurgitate some of the meat with which they have recently. On their return trom himting they make a point ot regurgitating food for them in preterence to the females and. actually biting the adults in their lips or legs. The pack was normally led in the hmit by an old male. This conclusion was reached as the result of long and close observation of a single pack. It is extremely interestijig to note that the males take a tremendous part in the raising of the young. in their imrestrained impatience. A cupboard containing thoroughly cleaned skulls of Lycaon has a particularly nauseating odour. but even when on one occasion this dog fell into fourth place he was still foimd to influence the direction taken by the leaders. That is to say that on the arrival home of the toraging party those dogs that have remained on guard. flesh-eaters. in response. Estes & Goddard (1967) found that there was a pack leader. It is this voluntary sharing of food that enables labour also to be parcelled out between those that hunt and those that undertake the vitally important duty ot guarding the helpless young against marauders. been filling their stomachs. it was observed in one pack. while agreeing about the sharing of food and labour. but no other rank order. through death. excitedly thrust their noses at It has been noted earlier in this present a observed lips of the returned hunters luitil these latter. and was derived trom the interpretation of submissive body postures. There appear to be no records of any attack b). these animals seem understandable fierceness in the pursuit and capture of tlieir by nature to be of an essentially friendly and sociable amongst themselves. They share the same shelters. they seem in nature to regard human beings witli some indifference. they arc not even aggressive towards other packs unless these approach too near to the breeding burrows (Goodall. They can. the .LYCAON Apart from disposition tlieir 87 necessary prey. and then even at breeding time. and peacefully look after each other's young. often go beyond the mere ritual of nose-thrusting and become aggressive. no adult females were left the feeding and bringing up of the orphan pups was willingly and successfully undertaken by the males alone (Estes & Goddard. They have. This performance is repeated until those that have remained at home have received enough food to satisfy their hunger. cither male or female. Such a their kijid these Amongst own only briefly.

parasites. harsh bark which. These luiderground shelters have not been described aii\. Kemp. but when it is a question of breeding. This it is. is not really much like that of a domestic dog. but. hunting dogs. ncvertlicless. Tins last sound is uttered alsii at other moments ot high iuiticipatorv excitement such as when about to set forth on a hunt. In the course ot their hunting. ComiiKiiiK'. a find has been made and there is immediate need to concentrate all forces on the line of assault. is essential attcr the first slmrt pennd in oi milk feeding. Care later in of tlie voting. The normal cr\' ot alarm at possible danger is a growl breaking into a short. botli in tlie steps taken to tliey are lite guard them and role the matter of seeing that properly ted. however. Though their main purpose is for 111 It is also used call is indicated . The bv the observation made b\' R. This. all the adults retiring until the pups have first tully satisfied themselves. seems to plav a dominant m pack behaviour. a good deal ot time spent scratching at their Like other dogs. either to gather the resting pack together tor hunting or. deep. cogenc\' of this should a dog tuid itself separated from the others. these utter a variet\' of sounds according to mood or circumstances. 2 or 3 km. A softer bark is used as a greeting. according to Kiihme. (:A1(M\(MMS (11 W 1 s I AlKliA N(i niotlicr. Any ot the voung which the adults tonnallv register with each other their fellowship ot the community are snarled or snapped awav. that it was sutticientlv compelling to induce a dozen dogs to abandon a newly-made kill without feeding. Although it is soft and musical it carries a ver\' long distance. or when mobbing hyaenas. too. and especially between those about to remain behind and those who sallv forth after food. he about during the da\ or sleep at night simply curled upi on the surface in whatever slight cover the vegetation affords. tor wlien the yoiuig dogs reach the point of accompanying their elders on the hunt thev arc given absolute priority over the kill. but unrewarded.detail but appear to be lined with grass. the whole life ot the pack becomes centred round a burrow or burrows made in the abandoned holes ot aardvarks. easier with their short. and there is a good deal of whining as an aeccnnpaniment to begging for food. is the onl\. Their most famous note is the ott-repeated bell-Iike "liooo-liooo" used as an assemblv call. feeding and the ripping ot their still living prey to pieces these dogs become well splashed and smeared with blood. It seems that most ot a chase is earned out in Mlence. noted above. thcrctorc. but the dogs break into guttural or raucous velps when closing in tor a kill and emotion rises to a pitch. there less shelter tor fleas and other ectotiu'. H. This begging ritual at the homecoming has been extended to a similar.kuul of pre- cedence recognized within the pack. This becomes an almost bird-like chirruping at the kill. sparse bristle-fur than would be had thev the dense tangle ot long tuie undertur possessed is is bv the foxes. leading a nomadic lite.SS illl. hi this type ot pelage. giant pangolins or other excavators. and it is not until they are accepited without protest at this twice-daily ceremom of mutual recognition that they can be reckoned as tully adult members of the societ\'. of course. greeting ceremonv carried out between adult members of the pack m the earlv morning and late afternoon before setting out on a hunt. when c]uartering tm' game. but thev take good care attempt to take part in this ritual later to lick who m themselves quite clean.

this being done by the male. arc suckled for from 10 to 12 weeks. actually in or not far from the entrance to the earth. If she is upset or thinks place to place. their eyes opening between the loth and 14th days. eat her them in danger she carries them in her mouth from presence of the male seems to be necessary at the period immediately following birth (Cade. or only any danger has tlircatencd. and there may be any number between 2 and 19 pups in a litter (Goodall). The period of gestation is from 69 to 73 days. This is a tricky period and should anything happen to disturb the mother she may. especialK. though very much centred on the nest. Gradually in this wa)the young are weaned luitil they take large pieces of flesh for themselves. 1967. and even suckle. from time to time. as he does. one another's yoiuig. in the general care of the litter. which may take place either at the direct vocal invitation of the mother or in response to whining requests from the yoiuig. Coition takes place several times over a matter of a couple of days. if not all after the first couple of weeks. as has been found many times in captivity. regurgitated by the hunters for from this stage the eiu'nc pack evinces a lively interest in the welfare of their next generation and. which weigh 350 to 380 grammes at birth. a varying in search of food are absent. is carried out becomes From above groiuid. left Jiiunbcr of dogs and bitches always remaining on guard duty while those unprotected. The male parciu. Though breast feeding is continued for nearh' 3 months the pups are in fact given meat after about a fortnight. . Diuring this act. she may either lie down or stand. Throughout this against the mother's belly. too. over a short distance. by young spotted hyaenas. may take some part in this. Indeed. The pups. through accident. 1967) or in closely proximate liolcs. that the mother yomig. whose active duties in comiexion with the litter were then over. as part of the commiuial life and communal sharing out of food and duties they look atter. But though the close presence of the father for a period tuiwelcome he must remain within easy distance. The whole process of raising a family to the point where the young dogs can take care of themselves and join in the himting occupies about three months. period the breeding-groiuid is never. This is specially prepared for them by the female chewing to small size some of the meat she has begged from the returned himtcrs and regurgitating it for the second tune for her offspring. The did not clean the new-born puppies. indeed. The abscjice of precedence within the pack appears to extend to the matter of mating. Dining the period of upbringing the site of the home burrow is changed. Not infrcquejitly two or more bitches litter in a single earth (Brand & CuUen. no adult female remain the males competently see to the upbringing of the litter. cither without quarrelling or with at most minor disagreement. In the latter case the pups stretch up on their hindlegs steadying themselves with their forefeet from 2i to 3 minutes (Goodall). should. . 1964).heat or inclement weather or tor sleeping at Jiight. as has already been said. now. probably 7 or 8 being an average size. the males not contending for the females as they commonly do in otjier groups. Much of the suckling. Crandall. quit it more and more frequently and for increasingly longer periods. Suckling sessions last only in sharp contrast to the lengthy bouts indulged in .LYCAON parturition and 89 tlic protection of the young they may also be used by any aduk as an occasional refuge against the n^iddax. the time of the openijig of the eyes onwards the pups. Crandall foimd.

Nothing is definitely known ot the expectancy ot life of these animals in their natural enviromnent but one has been known to live in captivity to an age of about lo years. It has alreadv been mentioned. in fact. mostly single. moreover. specimens that now exist seems to pretend to an luidcrstanding ot the situation that dots not. of course. of a companion. together with those two of Matschie's proposed species for which measurement data arc given in his paper. in connexion with the general description of the Lyme. apparent diflerences of size cannot be ascribed to entire populations on the strength of single skulls possibly ot varying ages and of unknown background. lias interesting to note that in order to escape very pressing danger a jiunting dog been kno\\ii seeiningl v to teign death with complete success though it is not clear whether this was. It is. Further. Subspccitic names are therefore ignored in this present work. some valid racial separation may become evident. But any present attempt to maintain such distinction on the basis ot the tew. . exist. given a statistically significant number of specimens from each of a variety ot localities. and for some further time atter its aggressors had gone away ard left it lying. and the characters on which these species were based. came to the conclusion that there was absolutely no foundation tor Matschie's proposals at specific level. Taxonomy.90 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST this. in tlic MUKA mouth to tlic To do It is early stages. possible that. by worrying. The accompanying table shows the measurements of the onlv two British Museum West African specimens. and that valid separation even at racial level was doubtful as ajiy distinctions appeared to be clinal. at some future date. The material c-in which this study was based was extremely limited for each of the separate species proposed. other teiiiales besides the actual motlier sometimes assisting. were such as might be suspected as intrinsically iticonstant. in tact. tlic pups arc carried in tin- new site. pelage. merely very convincing acting or an actual coma brought about by an attack of very powerful domestic dogs that had been so closely pressed home as to cause real death. and is without real meaning or value.. The hunting dog in question maintained its apparent demise though dragged over the ground tor some distance. Holz (1965). that Matschie (1915) used the differing proportions of colours and their varving situations on the body to create a large number ot independent species. which embraced skull measurements. as the result ot statistical study.

91 Table 4 Numerical data for Lyiacii : piclus .

Eggs. gave an accoimt of what he regarded as relevant external characters and evolved yet another. less commonly. The mustelids may be terrestrial. by no means straightforward and clear-cut as this might imply.retractile. virtually independent. slnrews and birds in Africa up to the size of a francolin or the young of larger breeds. but as far as it is by themselves but they will and even carrion it they are hard pressed. rivcrme or mustelids to the five uo\\' widck accepted. 13y nature these animals are fierce hiuiters. stoat. 'j-^ or jy. too. arboreal. hi this last he assessed the differing views. in African mustelids. Otters. reptiles and amphibians. skimk. the secretion of special glands. preferably it freshly killed consume that killed by others if is readily available. i(S35 Polecats. otter and others. each of these totals occurring in West Africa. etc. To the great majority of Mustelidac an aural bursa variable. This is due to the any kind of flesh is welcome. marten. in the light of both living and extinct forms. These are carnivores ot from very small to mediinn size. 34 or 36 teeth. in others deliberate as a defensive act. and in the ratcl. The main prey is rodents. The Mustelidac constitute aai important family of very wide distribution throughout the world except in Australasia. and. Progression is. in some cases invohmtary and constant. Madagascar and the polar regions. . and. there is no alisphenoid canal. being most common in the northern temperate belt. there are five digits on each foot. regarding Pocock s treatment as "excessively inflated". 1945). Palaeontological evidence of atlinities and present structural morphology are both complex and in the past the tamily has been grouped and regrouped in a number of diff^erent ways. More exceptional diets are tound in the riverhaimting otters. The rostrum is short and blunt. hares. — different arrangement of the cheekteeth 3 in the subfamilies: 3-j or side. mostly digitigrade. Pocock (1921c) gave a useful summary of the variously held opinions between Gray in 1869 and the time of his own paper. classification in which he recognised no less than fifteen subfamilies in respect of living forms alone. mink. There arc always incisors and is i canine. hi the Mustelid. ferret. and in some cases a certain amoiuit of insects. Skull. being responsible for the destruction of large quantities of small mammals and birds. General. badger. The position. top and bottom on each Taxonomy. which live on tish. Simpson (1945) once more reviewed the position. which often robs wild bees' nests for honey and grubs. and there is an cxtralimital genus tjiat lives in tlie sea. webbed more deeply and armed with claws that are non. reduced the subfamilies of ext. liowever. often with strikingly patterned coats and mostly with a greater or lesser degree of objectionable as a whole development ot or less is family are concerned all the West African representatives ot the always absent. The family contains animals with such \\ell-known English names as polecat. ratcl. Five subfimilies are now as generally recognised (Simpson. In general diey have long relatively slender bodies and markedly short legs for their size.. weasel. Weasels. are welcome.9i THE CAnNIVORES OF WEST AEKICA Family MUSTELIDAE Swainson. There may be 32.

The tail is short to moderate. like this Fur coarse. the two that do not tlircc exist there being the Melinae (true badgers) and the Mcphitiuae (skunks). but in the African species these features are not so pronounced as amongst the European and American forms. subglobular. postorbital constriction marked. the upper side typically whitish or pale grey from the crown ot the head to the root of the tail (but this area often reduced or.. Lutrinae Subfamily {page 128) MUSTELINAE Gill. . 93 Only three of these subfamihes occur in this present West Africa. most notably as a decorative trimming to official robes. insects and some reptiles. fairly . total length of skull luidcr 70 mm.MUSTELINAF. This subfamily contains most of the smaller mustelids. 1S72 Polecats. is so much sought after as the most luxurious of commercial furs that it has become the subject of a flourishing farming industry and of selective breeding experiments directed to the production of distinctive region of northern Africa. The sub- famihes relevant to work may be distinguished by the following key. slender and lithe. in the case of the stoat {Mustcla enninea) the tip of the tail remains black and the fur is much sought after on this accoinit. that is to say at most never quite as long as the body. There is no bursa on the ear piruia. entirely black like the rest or the pelage) claws of the forefeet very long and powerful. The t. Some members of the subfamily inhabiting the colder northern regions undergo a pelage change in the winter. form of the Asiatic polecat. subgenus Liitrcola) . ot course. Mustelinae {pai^c 93) 2 Not 2. cheekteeth 1^ . a domesticated. etc. KEY TO THE SUBFAMILIES OF MUSTELIDAE (Previous key page 28) 1.oc no) Fur soft flat and sheeny. the whole effect being added to by an unusually lengthy neck. bred. ears with no free external shell.. They. Their bodies are often long. and it is sometimes showy. Dorsal pelage very long and with a well-defmed longitudinal pattern of black and white bands. The pelage is often striking and in the case of the mink {Miistcia. and often albino. mostly birds.eiuis MiistcLi penetrates into the Mediterrane. cheekteeth 3-5. the brown coat becoming white.)i Mellivorinae {p(. fulfilling the important function of holding the rodent population in check. Weasels. skull with very little iiuerorbital or postorbital constriction. cheekteeth ^ (but often missing). not infrequently. General. bullae large and . and to some extent trained.. bullae rather and subtriangular. kill other prey too. as a hunting animal to flash rabbits or other subtcrrestrial species from their burrows. Another well-known member of the subfamily is the ferret.

selected in Lllcrmau.^s Atrican Polecats pt. 4th year. thus.. iN^S. The name from the (rreek striped. 1 11111. This name has been suppressed by Opinion SiS of the International C'omimssion on Zoological Nomenclature and placed on the Olticial Index ot Rejected and Invalid Names i: in Zoology with the Number 1912. {Bull. tips ot total length ot skull tlie ears only (/)ii^'c very slightly white.6. Dii'lioiiiiaiif iliusitjHLit'Histoin. 195. There has been very considerable.ciuis ICTONYX Kaup. we are here concerned iiiav be distinguished as tollows: KEY TO THE GENERA OF MUSTELINAE (Previous ke\' page 93) White marking on the tace continuous across the trout. Li:'my< Roberts.nice Si'iin-iit-liiiitiii Zoi'lottici it Index I'liii'irsulis: ssS. adequately tunii. pt. referring to the pelage. 1X40. Li'liiiiuch dcr Natin\^fscliklilf. 1826..1: Type . S. Rhnlidoi^ale stn'iitiii Arcli. which closely resembles htoiiyx in external appearance except tor a tar more slender bodv. i/i. same C~)piuion. 1S16. Ann. A Inpsm calami tor liioiiyx. This ZoriUa name I. 1: 27K.94 II" (AUNUDiti.IS . m.1 commonly (ii)(ti. genus the description ot which is. and there seems no obvious reason why this animal. 3. Ictotiyx (jhit^c g^) C. Noiiiciicl.s" species. 18: 22!>.iwed toreleet. White facial marking broken above the eyes. M- 1. and ijfl/e a weasel.. in accord. I .. 417 ot Spanish zoiilln. Ddi 'fliiincicli . tips ot the ears under so mm Poccilictis 104) conspicuously white.)'. however. liy name has been placed on the OHicial recorded List ot Generic Opimou MS ot the International Comnnssioii this Names with the Name Number 1759. Tlie two genera witji \\hich. Naturt^csili.shed which immediatelv tollows. the GeofFroy.Scott rh..s/. Zi'iillii Okcii. w kovit/ f higliK 111 complex one the various mjCis aspects ot .<. Kaup f— ii. Opinion XiS. Opinion No. 152.. htidofiyx Agassi/. Okeii's work has been ruled Commission on Zoological Nomenclature. in.Kalnirllc. ot which only the the area deah with in this present account. in the The name was compounded from Wicgm. iS^s. rod or w. and heated. used ZorilLi..v Hayman. the Greek iili<. a aT/u'/i. 2. Miif. Type Ictotiyx iiiiJos..imi.v liiiulyjnis snitUiis weasel.x shoulci replace the .species Briulyinn is Perry. tlie latter referring to the stronglv cl. as I'errv).ihlo. . Morrison-. those interested ^et out K/i^ and igOd). tootnote. and claw. An emendation ot Lioiiyx Kaup with tlie (Jrcek trom which was derived. to lie imavailablc by the is International 1956. argument m recent years over the tjuestion ot whether the This is a moiKispecitic by the accoiuu ot the species name laony.1 and n/iCi) now resolved by which can be toujid bv Van Cn Idcr {ti)<>(t) and IcrsliThe matter.s oi is \\i:sr aiuila tliere are but ill so tar as the true Etliiopian region concerned three Atrican nnistehne genera.. Zocil.iiid. should not have spread turther westwards across tlic continent. I9. skull ss mm or more . laoiiyx.ifc/iVi'. . :ool. . Traiisv.S3-154)- hlpiiyx Kaup. iN. a diminutive ot zona a fox. 10: 215. Piwilictis and AuTi/iu'j/e. PoccUcfJiilc is first two are found witluii essentially a soutliern African genus but extends as tar north as Tanzania and parts of the Congo and Uganda. b\' inon<itvp\.

Ahli. Distribution and general. but reduced to their simplest terms the position stems from confrision arising in the early 19th century between the African polecats and the central American spotted skunk {Spilogale). 1865. Barbary. Akad. Zorilla striata var. though very much smaller. striped weasel which may occur in the same locality. Fischer. preiiss. pt. is The generic name 12. meaning slowtin. and body odour. but penetrating also into the Doka zone. with its conspicuously banded black and white coat. 1832. the Latin for a weasel. in the open into which the animal must often enter. sometimes zoril. a Spanish name having no real application to Ichviyx. is part 1 1. given in reference to fronr the Greek hraJys slow. [t in all kinds and even town gardens.7. Shortridge (1934) characterises Ictciiyx as one of the most ubiquitous coast mammals in in Southern Africa. }. When the animal is at rest in grass or other cover this bold pattern doubtless serves to disrupt its form and conceal its true nature. 1810. Couspicuousness in these circumstances is added to by the absence from this entirely black-bellied animal of the usual protective coimterliterature shading. Ictoiiyx striiitiis ranges over the drier zones of Africa from the Cape northwards to Sudan and Ethopia on the cast. The generic name is meaning marked with channels or bands. Disscrtalio Zoolo^ica. The steps by which this came about are involved. 1S26.8. of rather similar appearance and of which zorilla was the local Spanish-American name. The African striped polecat is very ohen. A Dcscripiiir Cataloi^iic of is Ajricaii MiistKiii. Polecat or Zorilla and I'cny. B. Cape of Good Hope. Supplement. note on the validity of the Latin adjective this name The name footed. both in and speech. pi. Maiiinialiuiii Capcusinm (omincns. eiiuiiicrationviii Mustcia zorilla Smuts. iS2y. Type in the British Museum. Not Viverra zorilla Schrebcr ( = Spilogalc). 1S3S. in Schreber's Saufttihierc. (41) text. IViss. Synopsis Aiaiiinialiuiii: 219. Senegal. A Perry has now given by Hollister (1915). Rhabdo^ale iiinsteliiia Wagner. This is one of the most striking ot small Atrican mammals. This is an animal chietlv ot the drier open woodlands. skin gambia. seiiegalaisis Gray.38. Mammalia: refers to the No locality named.Soiiili Mephitis 20. It seems . termed the zorilla or zorille. also occurs up to 2000 metres of vegetation. capviisis A. and the name siriatus been placed on the Official List o( Specific Names in Zoology with the Number 2202. Smith. ScneCape of Good Hope. to act as a warning to rapacious birds and other beasts ot prey. 2: 219. cautioning them to avoid attacking a victim capable of emitting a nauseating fluid. skull good. Senegal. and pons foot. This generic name the Greek word tor a disgusting smell.ICTONYX 95 ICTONYX STRIATUS Bradypiis sirialiis (I'crry) African Striped. 50. i. is 1841. The specific name Latin for weasel-like. siriatus is the dorsal pelage. No. down to the sea on mmuitains. mostly (as tar as West Africa is concerned) the Sudan and Sahel. It would seem to be pretty common in the southern and eastern part of its range.S36: 284. Aruviit or ihe Miisvuiii oj !\'alnral History. Si-ncgalciisis ]. good except for the terminal part of the tail probablv missing. but such coloration is just as likely. for 1. and thence across to Senegal in the west. Cape ot Good Hope. but it must not be confused with the closely similar. Abyssinia. It also occurs in South-west Africa and parts of Angola. Miistcia zorilla p. Mephitis africana Lichtenstein.

that is to say black and white. The males are generally held to be appreciably larger tlian the temales. 13ut there are exceptions.yd Till- CAUMVOHliS tlic (. Tjie weiglit ot an aduh may be about kg en. without intermixing. either all-black These elements are or all-white. sometimes almost bells naked over the and chest. running along the trom the crown ot the head. On the back it may be regarded. beconic. curvinc. and of local races. and the legs short. In West Atnca this polecat attains a ]icad cV tail the narrowly bushv mm j Tlie dorsal pelage sheen. being some 250 to 2N0 mm.sometimes a little more. . the clearly defined areas ot skin I two colours occup\' (dlouri'd . Nigeria {2) and Zaria (Nigeria). var\ seeminglv trom place to place and so commonly constitute the m. as basically white marked with three highly conspicuous longitudinal black bands.ick arcis. Tlie African striped polecat good such dirterences have been used. The lengtli and quaht\' ot the fur also var\. starts this prob. Onl\' Iroiii skins and s skulls exist in the British Miiseuin tins area: from Senegal deal in size. the latter colour dominating in West Atrica (except in the basal 70 mm) though not alw.l^. purely tor convenience ot description ot West Africa specimens. and. body length ot between 320 and 350 mm. li. Tlie pattern of the pelage is broadly the same thr(Highout the animal's wide range but the proptortions of its coniponcnt elements.\ character ot pi^meiit.ands.ilimital) specimens or forms. The long-haired but nevertheless rather narrow tail is an intimate mixture ot black and \s'hite. in some (extr. (tig. diagnostically in tlic erection — .ill. mm mm elsewhere.iys ot this. The body is tairlv. The sides of the neck.ijor basis ot proposed subspcciation. It generally has a The underparts are considerably shorter and often sparser. is tairly long and dense but loose in texture. (Tlie converse of expresses the true position). slender. in general. white in their termin. where they meet or nearly meet. roughly ot diamond shape and 30 at its broadest point. more rareb'.il Sneli aberrations. especialK' . 12) varies a Description. pelage is composed ot long tine undertur . larniso.U WLST AlUICA to W nukli less ccmniuiii in rarit\' in area dealt witli in diis present account ina\' — tliougli this apparent relative S West Atnea be due merelv to lack ot collecting. There the two outer ones broaden somewhat (to roughly 12 to is mm) and diverge. The medial black line continues its path to tlie tail through this \yliitc ellipse but at about wide tJie midpoint broadens into a black blob.ise ami arising 111 the bl. (2).It the b. but this distinction is not evident in tlie scant data available tor West Atrica one male skull compared w ith tour females. bristles and. together with the legs and teet are wholK black.ition.iblv more accurateU- The centre one ot these black b. the shoulders and the entire tmderparts. tlie animal standing abi-nit lis to 130 at the shoulder.uul (. and sometimes there are small islands of white m the black .llnsl the prewiiling . thus enclosing a regular elongated ellipse. meets the two outer bands and continues on to the basal part of the tail. outwards to the top ot the flanks and then in again to the root of the tail. but not markedlv. The bristles. spine.oiisulerabK longer and stouter selt-eoloiired throughout. the two lateral ones originating a little short These three lines are here narrow (roughly s or less broad) and they riui approximately parallel to not quite the middle of the back.neas. at the tore part ot the neck. at least in part.\\](. lere and there one or more isolated pure white bristles occur amongst black patches. then narrows again posteriorly.

African Striped Weasel (Pocciliclis liby<a) Afiic.xlw Fk.m Striped Polecat {hUviyx slriaHn) .. 12.ICTONYX 97 .

the top portion being narrowly but vcr\' conspicuously white. slightly — the cheek patches spread below the ears a tJie of white facial . I}.- 2.ST AliniA vi( this Inst.tih-iisir. skull.7. liloiiyx siritidis snu[. The size and extent markings have been used in racial diagnosis. Basically.X. f.piite clear-cut. These consist ot a broad white patch which runs. 'l'\pi. separated from the inner limits ot these is a between and backwards of the eves. lead. ot colour and ot niargijial definition in tlie pattern. The ears are small aaid semicircularlv rounded. 50. The forefeet are larsjer than the hind and are furnished with yer\ long. lying above the outer corners of the eyes. size of the biul\'.\ li. m this species is small for the gener.<jS rill l. and there local races 111 nnitorm external appearance and can be distinguished trom forms which occur would seem to be possibh' a soinewliat soinider toiindation tor tins species thaji is often tlie case. is generallw (.MlN'UiiHIS (M W I. incidentally. the whole face. to a certain bhirnnp. shallow-skulled and narrow. the bristles 32 to 3s mm.. tlian citliers. but in two West to |ust African specimens there is considerable tendenc\ to tuiite anil thus.M. in cases whore thev arc more marked. The separation. . hi West Africa tlie underfur is iS tii 11 mm long. but some of the solitar\' \\hite bristles run up 10 3K mm. but this is interrupted b\ ver\' prominent white markings. Ni^. the muzzle bluiuK' pointed. broader or narrower in different forms. Fn some specimens little onto the throat. The hve available West African skins are ot elsewhere.VS. on each side of the face trom below the ears inwards The head central white frontal patch. deep.itcr. obscure a distinguishing character bet\\een Ictonyx and Poccilictis. chin and throat are black.

7. palatal & dorsal views . No. ?.38. X 2.ICTONYX 90 Fig. kloiiyx slrlatus seueijalctisis: skull.S. Tvpc.M. B. 14. 50.

and there is a distinct post. narrowlv far beyond the toothrows.hv overgrowths ot the mastoids and paroccipital processes. the carnassial. There are narrow.U'e only three premolars on each side with no space between them or even slightly about iialf the size ot p''. often prominently framing the whole posterior part ot t]ie skull.»i. 2 "" J-1" Habits.built. having also a small anterior hook on the cingulum. sharply pointed postorbital processes. solid and curved. and connected arc small. wjiich it excavates itself with the aid ot the long and strong claws of the forefeet. p. .possible to detect. There are three premolars and two molars. are closeb set in a more or less straight transverse row. Skull (tigs. The mandible matcjies the upper jaw in its shortness and extreme strength ot build. Tliis is \'cry solidiv built and it is rarcK. is very little angular process. though it may sometimes be observed at dusk or dawn. weak Jugal. it is well-known to live in.100 I 111 1 A1IM\ (11(1 S Ol \\ 1 ST A Mil ( A iui\cd (.1. the outer one on each side larger than the middle four. in front to the pterygoids bv slender processes. is very sharply cusped but III-2 is greatly reduced 111 size and is scarceK* as big as the anterior cusp of iiii. The straightly transverse uicisors reflect those ot the upper jaw in the compact solidity of their setting. well into the palatal region. bkuit rostrum. .-rbital constriction.'ct arc naked. farm outhouses. Of the latter. like at forward there is relatively very up to the widelv open iiares. In the upperjavv the six incisors. hi the manner of this subfamiK' it is deeply excavated between the outer and . This is in some measure due to the tact that the striped polecat is mainly nocturnal. considerablv strengthened posteriori}. deep from front to back.'!. In It also digs t(-) get at sheltering rodents. inner edges. the skull tapers from a fairly broad braincase to a remarkablv short. Besides subterranean burrows. Tlie dental formula is thus - the rami being deep. anv trace ot the sutures since tliese become completely ossil-ied trom aji early age. more or less tuiictionless since on occlusion it lies posterior to the upper dentition. is wellcusped. There . The palate is very broad between the caniassials and extends. Albinos arc not imconinioii. There is very little or no sagittal crest but a welldeveloped supra(Kcipital one. . The zvgomatic arch is strong this point but trom the rest ot the skull. but the condylar process appears luiusnally wide and strong. its front edge barel\ touching the rear margin of m'. the carnassial. \erv stroiigK.iws . The soles (if Ivitli tore aiul liiiiLit(. or in holes beneath. at least in parts ot its range. long but relatively shallow. and how often it has been kept as a zoo exlnbit or a domestic pet it is strange that so little is known ot us way ot lite beyond the broad outlines. Icioiiyx takes advantage ot naturally occurring shelters amongst boulders. such as gerbils. There is only one molar ni' this IS ver\' narrow laterally but extends almost parallel-sided. It is. The palatal foramina The dentition is reduced but compact and powerful. 13 and 14). p^. little narrowing ot the skull both its anterior and posterior roots but decreases centrally to an unexpectedKslender. and. The canines are not very tall but .•'.. nit tlnw llnu^ as lug as tliosc ot tlic luiultccc. or at large insects.1. During the day it lies up in holes in the ground. alter a sudden contraction.I -1. There 1. in tact. even in moderately yoimg ones.l.ire strong. The bullae are. ill South Africa. Considering how conmion Iilonyx is.

a very fierce hunter and killer. Ictonyx is correspondingly stout-hearted and tough in its own defence. for half an hour or more. Apart from the sickening stink. this caused a painful burning in the eyes. but normally these animals are entirely without smell.ICTONYX Striped. It may be added that after such an encounter the dogs would be completelv unfit for admission to a house since they would inevitably be unbearably smelly. they appear to be very easily trapped (Thomas & Hinton. There is an interesting manuscript note made by Sir Andrew Smith in his owai interleaved copy of his Catalogue (1826) in the British Museum: "This is also called by the Farmers Duckatongat in consequence of the size of the anus It is extremely tenaceous [sic) of life and will oftai after being bitten and shook by dogs for a long time and left apparently nearly dead recover and run about in a few hours as well as ever". attack. too. The normal gait is a trot with the back slightly hunched. polecats seem to live more or less solitary lives except at mating time when They of pairs arc seen together. Though mostly terrestrial it can also clnnb into trees. log or tree affording a slight eminence whence it may with greater advantage against a larger enemy bring into play its best kno\«i response to fright or all and consuming the rodent specimens that have been caught. These do not seem to be much put off at the time though it is said that once one has experienced the polecat's ejection it becomes chary of going into attack on future occasions. like most of its close relations. When pressed to its limit. Roberts (1951) records having received a discharge full in the face. birds. It utters angn. insects of the larger sorts. and threats or anal glands have failed to deter the attacker. it feigns death. and it is said to be able to swim well if forced to. luatil it judges that the danger is past. It gradually oozed from these throughout the night causing a continual renewal of the stench. 1923).' shrill screams and erects its hairs thereby doubling its apparent size. However. All observers are agreed that as well as being. hares. Roberts (195 1) records that these carnivores sometimes prove a nuisance to the field naturalist his traps by following the line They not infrequently take up residence near villages or farms and then sometimes become persistent fowl thieves. are said to be deadly enemies of even large snakes. This is not only nauseating in its smell but also very persistent and difficult to eradicate from fur or clothes even with washing. They live on rodents. in the eyes to which he was unable to apply the remedy. of coiu-se. when it gets up and trots oft. found that the application of benzine quickly neutralized the offensive fluid except. He — . been most commonly observed as a reaction to chasing by dogs. even if nearly full-growai when captured. This is to present the rear quarters to the source and ejaculate fluid from the anal glands into the face of the of danger. This defensive action has. would from force of circumstances be in a similar condition. Further. lift the tail vertically enemy. ground-squirrels and other small mammals. but observers differ as to whether the tail is held up or out. and it is a remarkable fact that they then. understandably. or only for a short distance to where it may reach a rock. they are easily tamed. When chased by a dog the striped polecat can run fast. The coat of the polecat. But Ictonyx does not always take to flight. Such an effect is the essence of warning coloration. eggs and probably lizards and frogs.

\ years in the London Zoo. the inexactness and the general inadequacy of verbal description. correspond to Robert's external diagnosis o{ striatiis and. is The been question of the validity of subspecies quite another matter. with the tail wholly white. twelve m all for southern Atrica. gestation. Hopson (in a letter) thinks that in the Lake Chad area. and one with a white tipped black tail.on such characters as the relative widths of the black and white stripes. and. in the opening ot the accomit ot the genus. A plate of comparative photographs is about the only really satisfactory answer to this difficulty. concluding that the genus consisted of a single species. one with the tail wholly black. in large measure. in fact. bom naked and blind. siii<itii< than is the case with many other genera. Despite their one-time common appearance in zoos few accurate observations seem to have been recorded of mating. Tliey become not only tame but actively friendly. and though unquestionably a good deal of minor individual variation occurs some overall constancy seems to attach. A. It was stated above. especially above. and general behaviour in relation to bringing up a litter. 1923). Ellerman. J. rarely it ever use tlieir defensive odour. or whether the black stripes reached as tar forward as the neck or the back ot the forehead. of differing but overlapping sizes. A malarial parasite {Plasiiwdhiin) was recorded from one of five specimens caught in traps in Senegal (Leger & Bedier. A practical stumbling-block exists m the difiiculty. It is recorded that one lived for almost . Significant differences of size also seem to occur. — — . where it is occasionally seen. It is doubtful whether the character of tail coloration is of a specific luture. appear to be rather more satisfactory grounds for the recognition ot local races in /. One described race certainly and one possibly concern West Africa. Morrison-Scott & Hayman (1953) rejected it. scucgalciisis half-a-dozen Latin words amounting to "with white marks. cited to show that the sailing in laonyx is not as plain as it might seem and that complete tuianimity of opinion does not necessarily exist. he quotes for this. to the skull sizes . that Ictoiiyx is monospecihc.S OF WIST A 11! I ( A luidcr domestic circumstances. almost confluent with the tlanks" is an extreme said earlier that variety of pattern certainly exists. It has already though it lies within fairly narrow limits. suggesting that it was of no greater significance than the well-known phasal occurrence of black or white tails in the mongoose Ichuctiiiiia alhicanda. It is said that there are generally 2 to 3 yoimg at a birth. Such expressions as "much whiter above" or "black lines less clearly defmed" convey little of positive value to either museum taxonomist or field worker devoid of a range ot study material. There. indeed. therefore. stridtus alone. He arrived at this conclusion largely from a consideration of the coloration ot the tail two. the species may breed during the rains since yoiuig ones are to be observed from September to November. yet Roberts (1951) was convinced that there were four recognisable species in South Africa alone. These were further divided into races.s.THE CAIiNIVOUP. They likewise attached no taxonomic importance to the alleged size diiierence. Taxonomy. Fischer's diagnosis of the first of these. at least broadly. In as far as they concern West Africa it inav be said that the five specimens from this region in the British Museum do. to series from different regions. number of young. These are matters extraliniital to this present work.

is open to question. the pattern. sudanicus./postorb." Nevertheless. Zygom. 1. 1955) that possibly this form may reach Table 5 : Numerical data for Ictonyx striatus Vegetation Number in mean Condylobasal length Basilar length Palatilar length Zygomatic breadth Upper cheekteeth breadtli Nasals. Braincase/zygom. though they possibly do in size. can be taken form conveniently identifiable as senegaleiisis does exist in "West Africa from Senegal to at least Lake Chad. br. the pelage being noticeably longer than in senegalensis. was described by Thomas & Hinton (1923) a male from Jcbcl Marra at 1200 metres. br. 1. is in relation to variations of such a pattern as characterises Gray's (1865b) description of his sciicqaleiisis (in com- parison with the South Africaji form) leaving only very that a not tail much better: "White streaks broader it narrow dark dorsal ones./condylob. It has been suggested (Dekeyscr. Intcrorb. with the three parallel dark lines over the neck yet slimmer and far less distinct. though broadly a good match.ICTONYX illustration 103 of the inadequacy of verbal description striata. but whether some of the more easterly animals validly differ from it in pattern. rather less intensely black. Hll/»l2 . Palatilar l./condylob. Braincase/condylob. whiter. The second possible West African race. length Interorbital breadth Postorbital constriction Hraincase breadth Toothrow p^ length !»' (r — m') length length "U length "12 Head Tail & bodv Hindtoot Ear RATIOS Tail/head (per cent) & body 1.

and hence of the genus. There IS only one male ot satcgalcnsis to compare with other reputed torms or with the four females in the British Museum. but m all probability it dwcs its shaggiiicss of coat to its high altitude habitat and is thorctore absent troni the low-lying country between its type locality and Nigeria. Thomas & Hinton. Poccilictis is thus essentiallv a dry or very dr\' country animal. are.104 Till (. the males arc generally reckoned as appreciably larger than the females. reg. but it might none the less tm^n up. There arc a few small external dirterences of patteni and of such minor matters as hairy or naked soles. Whether Poccilictis merits separate recognition from Ictonyx as a genus IS open t<i doubt. the tvpe in tlie British Museum. Seven species have . as shown iji the table on page 103. reveals t\pe. The general generic diagnosis and the points which distinguish Poccilictis froin Ictonyx can be sufficiently gathered from the description of Uhyca which follows. the some respects larger than. The range of this. Verv little support tor the fu'st two of these is affordetl for the weasels a separate genus. Ann. Mtii<. Striped Weasels 1920 AvYi7ii7ii- Thcnuas & Hmtoii. tun.alcnsis. and from Nigeria (Faniiso ami Zaria). from about 12"'' Nortli. characterised the Poccilictis skull as truncated. The size ot the only known specimen. being almost as large Tliis is or in no significant sexual difference. Genus POECILICTIS Thomas & Hmton. Hisi. Taxonomy. indeed. A slight ditticulty exists over the comparison ot sizes in this genus. but there are to erect certain small external and cranial differences which at led Thomas & Hmton one time or another been named but these are all now regarded as either synonyms or merely forms of a single species lihyui. ver\- closely similar in external appearance to the striped polecats though much smaller For a long time the two were. shown in Table Senegal Striped Polecat Ictonyx striatus senegalensis (FiscIut) The description ot this torm may be taken as that given on pages 96 to 100. greatly expanded across the mastoids. is restricted purely to the northern portion ot Africa. to a little short of the north coast from Morocco to Libya and lower Egypt. Tvpc species IWciliciii is liliyni (Heinprich the (Ireek & Elireiiberg) [-- jh^ihi!o< Mmlchi Ubyca HcmpricK & Ehreiibcrg) from Libya. is not markedly different from sciic(. Distribution and generaL The striped weascK size. in reterence to the black and white trom pelage. and thus cannot be looked upon as being a contiguous torm to sciici^iilciisis. that is within the Sudan woodland zone. (y) 5: 3'>7-j6S. a female.arded as congeneric. at least in West ot Africa. last as. It is omitted from the checklist ot know]i West A&ican forms given on page i. This having livpertrophied bullae. discontinuousK on some ot the West African highlands. about half-a-dozen local races being recognised.AHM\()llls Ol WISI MIIKA tromjcbcl Marra as tar west as Lake t'liad. Hjio. wlio erected the genus.and unspecified). Specimens exist in London from Senegal (Thics . This name v. .iri-cttloured or pied and Jt7/V weasel. the male.

Valid as a race. which is composed of dense. Six of the eight West Afi-ican specimens came firom Farniso. though this is doubtless the basic pattern throughout the species. to judge from museum collections. Poecilictis rothschildi Thomas & Hinton. skin only. has never come to light. tail of from 100 to 170 mm. in good condition. 105 bullae are indisputably larger its m but this alone caimot justify a genus or even a subgenus. Althotigh. Dekeyser (1955) rejects it probably justifiably. the weasel is much less abundant than the polecat it is apparently locally common. In West Africa it consists clearly of alternating longitudmal dark and white bands. It stands some 60 or 70 the shoulder but the tliift uig out of the fur in excitement makes a good deal of difference of appearance iji size. Description. The skull. fme. much longer. the fuier points of diagnosis of West African animals being reserved for the later account of the race iiiultirittatci. Supplementband 2: 221 f. Although the pelage pattern in Poecilictis is ftuidamcntally the same throughout the species there is a wide difference of detail between forms from difterent localities. 4 specific Senaar. Northern Nigeria. including Simpson (1945) and Ellerman & Morrison-Scott (1951). Libya. The name is Latin for bridled.POECUICTIS by comparative measurement of the two genera. 1833. 1920. in Schreber's Die Saiigethicre. f. decas secunda. by most authors. Novii.n.i. but nowhere further south than about the 12th parallel. Type in the British Distribution and general. more or less bushv. though this course has not. 21. 1841. Farniso. The dorsal pattern is of dark blackish-brown and white. K. zool. The specific name is from the Latin inuhum much. 133B. given in fanciful resemblance of the pelage pattern to a horse's harness. The pelage. 12) is not as wide-spread and is apparently much less common than its bigger relative the striped polecat. svenska VeleiiskAliaJ. — POECILICTIS LIBYCA Mustek lihyca (Hemprich & Ehrenberg) Striped Weasel Hemprich & Elircubcrg. This was named after Lord Rothschild under whose patronage and for whose museum at Tring this and many other specimens were collected by Captain Angus Buchanan. The description which immediately follows is therefore couched in broad terms. Kano.. . stouter bristle-hairs. k verso. The Poecilictis. Since creation in 1920 Poecilictis has been accepted. for 1842: 212. many and . The striped weasel has a head & body length of from 200 to 280 and a longat haired. folio vitla a band. which was originally believed to exist. Supplementband 3. from moderately long to very long. is of very diverse lengths in the various races. in fact been adopted in this present work. five of them caught on the same day or almost the same day. t.2.. fairly straight luiderfur and abiuidant. some of the extralimital forms have it so — mm mm . So far as is known its distribution is restricted to the edges of the Sahara atid the contiguous arid zones from Senegal and Morocco in the west to the Red Sea coast in the east. Museum. Mustela was the Latin name for a weasel. pi. 27: 316. closcK' recalling that o( Ictonyx. The little striped weasel (fig. but.29. No. Iclonyx freiiata Sundevall. with reference to the striped pelage. Upper Nile. However. pi. Both Ictonyx and Poecilictis occur in the same area witness the British Museum specimens of each. 11. Rlwbdogale mukiviuMa Wagner. Synibolae Pliysicae sen Icoiics ct Descriplioiies Mammalinm . HaiiJI. 1S43. caught at Farniso on the same day.

and in a tew Icionyx there is a naiTow connexion between the medial frontal spot and the lateral patches). either down into level surfaces. but there are generally a few rather white spots. a characteristic which places it in quite a different category as a domestic pet. In Poccilictis this white band is continued bclo\\' the ears onto the chiai where it forms a. Handling was therefore difficult except that possible to do so when the animals went to sleep since they took some time Wlien angr\'. There are no field notes iif anv kind on collectors' labels. differ from that genus in being hair\. In most cases the dark element is not so black as in Icionyx. 15). These it digs for itselt in sott sand. though in most cases ot markedly smaller size. CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA patclies. as ill tliat genus. according to Fetter its temper is quite unlike that of the friendly polecat. verv conspicuous forwardly-pointing V. There are well-developed anal glands capable of ejecting a malodorous fluid. markings offer a fairly constant distinction between Poccilictis and Ictoiiyx. broken up into incgular spots and lengthy white Iiairs. who disturbed them. a strong prejudice against doing this because of the virtual certainty of being subjected to the ejaculation ot nauseating fluid trom the anal glands. stning claws of Icionyx. almost as long as those ot the larger The animal. insects. They are ot very simple torin. The claws ot the forefeet arc only slightly longer th. and it shelters throughout daylight hours iji subterranean lives on small rodents. the medial band being dark brown. The imderparts and legs. but the upper rim of tlie ears. are very largely blackish. Skull (fig. for. Even less is known ot this animal than ot Ictonyx. the yoiuig being deposited directly on the soil itselt. bears a very close overall resemblance to that of Ictonyx. This. although Once these refuges have been detected is. The soles of: the teet. being somewhat more domed and. yoimg ground birds. tail is whiti. striped weasels erect their fur and growl or hiss. or straight into the sides ot dimes. m absolute terms. (In one Pi\'cilictis skin tliere is a very narrow interruption. but there in living peaceably with others of its kind. being covered with very long bristles which are broadly white both base and terminal third. In tlie former tlie white patch that nuis across the front is continuous as a broad band from ear to ear uistead of being interrupted above eacli eve as in the latter. especially on the belly. Habits. Petter (1959) seems to be the oiilv author to have observed and recorded these small carnivores in captivitv. has only very little wliire isolated The facial on at it. and lizards. Unlike the polecat the weasel stinks at all times without remission. to was found wake up .m those of the hindfcet. The general habits would appear to be quite similar to those ot the polecat. too. Moreover. usually. luilike the polecat. This chamber is lett uulined. his captive specimens proved aggressive to it anyone again.between the pads. eggs. and for the purposes of breeding consist of a single gallery ending in a chamber which has been dug deep enough to reach compact soil. it is easy enough to dig out the inliabitants.I06 TIIF. the weasel is nocturnal. northern Atrica. The upper lips in tliis genus are always more or less white. The bullae are relatively larger. and thus offer no close resemblance to the long. and tlic dark so niucli overlain by tlic that the resemblance to the striped polecat becomes relatively remote.

25.12. No. Type ot rolhsdiiUi.26. X 2 .5. Poecilictis libyca: skull.POECILICTIS 107 Flu. 15. <J.M. B.

The adults. if not three species arc really involved. to whom this might be as long as about 1 1 weeks. all from practically the same restricted area. vailiauii Loche and oralis Thomas & Hinton. According to Hoogstraal (1964) it seems likely that some races are less widespread than they used to be. It would seem that the period of gestation might be is as little as 37 days. between North African skulls. The frontal white band in Sudanese examples may be a trifle narrower. The table on page no shows that there is very little divergence of size between the West African and Sudanese specimens. in fact. and the 7 British Museum skins. and there would seem to be a strong lihyca. may well prove inconstant that it scarcely seems worth while retaining two races. As so often happens when breeding conditions are not exactly right in captivity. with more material. firom their references to the length ajid colour of the pelage. . whereas in the Sudan animals this. These authors do not make clear with what reputed nniltivittata specimens they made comparison for the purpose of their diagnosis but it would seem fairly clear. it is accepted here that West African specimens without doubt belong to the first of these. For present purposes comparison has been made with tliree Sudanese specimens from Omdurman. with very short (1-5 mm) hair. that is lihyca. except at the shoulders. The dark pattern developed at about 3 weeks. which Setzcr (1956) took as typical of nniltivittata. Some very yoiuig w easels brought to Petter in Morocco were entirely covered with white hair. But these differences are so slight and.x out of the seven specimens there is a small. and as Pctter. now included in Poccilictis were originally described as independent species the genus has long been regarded by taxonomists as There is a vast difference in size Morocco and Tunis. and possibly there is somewhat less white on the upper lips. The yoimg are born blind but their ears are not scaled down. the three firom place to place young boni to Fetter's specimens were unceasingly carried by the mother mitil they died from this treatment. through lack of adaptation to more severe competition. but is this observation due. rothschildi. It seems that the eyes open at about }\ weeks. sometimes very small. though detectable. They are not absolutely naked but are covered. that they must have taken examples from the lower Nile as representing this race rather than from the upper Nile. and are even. Although inonospecitic. there are generally two or three yooiig in a litter. However. or indeed in any significant respect. from Wagner's iiuihivittata is another matter. was created from West African material. But whether rothschildi differs validly. from The same applies in a rather lesser Suakin.loS THE CARNIVORKS OF WEST AFRICA tar as is So known. the forms all however. black mark on the tail tip. — . Of the 7 named subspecies one. whence Wagner had described it. is reduced to the blackening of the extreme tips of a few hairs. end of five years or more. a remarkably short period. This present account therefore rejects rothschildi. by no means certain. all clearly accord with Thomas & Hinton's diagnosis. either extinct or on the way to becoming so. and the normal run of degree to those from the Red Sea coast at probability that two. Tuli Island (Khartoum) and Jebel Hadoza those three specimens. the skin imique in camivores. were still alive at the Taxonomy. points out it being invisible. From these the West African specimens differ most obviously in one minor point: that in si.

But the middle one is quite different Doka woodland in Nigeria . three parallel dark lines. and one (a skull only) from an unspecified locality. joining together again about the level of the There are thus. though obviously overlying a dark bristle-hairs as described earlier. At the eastern end of the range specimens exist in the British Museum from Omdurman. The limbs are totally black. At just before the mid-back they begin to diverge. tail is The dark colour base ot the colour. It has been reported verbally as plentiful at Sokoto (Nigeria) but whether correct distinction was made between Poecilictis and Ictonyx is not certain. The pattern to 25 mm. the white five dark bands alternating with white. This is a small form. The undcrfur is about 10 to 14 or more. Starting from the back of the neck there are. except sometimes m the case of the middle stripe. one from about 150 kilometres further north-west at Dan Kabba. the tail about 100 to 130 mm.near the rhinarium. the outer ones in a very similar fashion. as in that species. continues under the corners ot the chiji. striatus. The mm It long. broadly v. but not nearly so long and loose as in long. the rest of the tail due to the banding of the constituent narrow black mark. These dark lines are not so clearly defmed as in Ictonyx and are. but sometimes broken up. especialK. continued from the median stripe on to the being whitish. cars . How continuous its distribution is throughout this belt is imknown. the lower lips The have only small white tufts at their extreme apices. covering for little the most part the Sudan and Sahel vegetation zones but extending a the south into and a little north into the Subdesert in Sudan. In some specimens the dark pattern is considerably overlaid by long white bristlehairs so that it becomes greyed and relatively obscured. from the dark band extending across the crown. curving in again to the root of the tail. the bristle-hairs some 1 Egyptian specimens. at the small of the back. as in Ictonyx. The pelage is oi moderate length. the spine to the root of the the two outer ones describing an ellipse roughly parallel to the two extreme outside stripes. is not three as in Ictonyx. all these places lying in Nigeria. some 30 to 40 blackish. the head & body some 200 to izo mm. often much smaller. some of the vcr)' longest white ones rumiing to 30 of blackish-brown bands on white is very distinct. often confluent and always somewhat broader than those of J. the tail. along one The top of the head to side is band wliich runs across the tace trom side above the eyes is about 10 jaw forward across the throat to meet fairly mm broad. mm mm from Ictonyx since it divides into three. This tip has a side. median portion continuing in a direct line down thighs. Dekeyser (1955) records the race from Air and the region of Timbuctu.POECILICTIS Poecilictis libyca tnultivittata (Wagner) Soutlierly Striped 109 Weasel Tliis form is found over a zone stretching from Senegal to the Nile. and so is most of the underside except for small irregular spots of white on the belly. Tuli Island (Khartoum) and Jebcl Hadoza. but it must be locally comnion since Buchanan obtained four adult specimens on a single day at Faniiso and another three days later. separated. indeed. while in the west there arc 6 specimens from Farniso (near Kano).'hite. at a sharp angle at the The upper narrowly lips are so.

i .it.iblc fi: S (H WEST AlHUA tur I'ocdiiilis lihym r.110 Tin: ( ARMVOHI Numciic.

J/. Powell-Cotton who secured the specimen. and skull. and oryx a tool for digging. Type in the British 9. Soc. pi. Handl. the characters of the genus. a badger. Proc. British Mellivora concisa Thomas 7. given because the grey colour Mellivora signala Pocock. i 61. 1798. in reference to the striking pelage pattern. : is compounded of the Greek nieli. This was Major P. 1776. A. Soc. both good. Type species Viverra capiiisis Schreber. Lond. Prodroimis mcthodi Mammalium 34 aiid Tab.)f«sij Schreber.: 394. zool. is name otos The range of the rate! is very wide: from Sierra Leone. Asiatic Researclws. good except for one nasal nrissing. after Congo. Though most commonly an open-woodland animal it is known to occur from the high forest to the subdesert. 38: 147. 57. {= ear. H. throughout most ot the Ethiopian region to the extreme south of the continent.: 112. 1. Handl. MELLIVORA CAPENSIS (Schreber) Viverra capensis Schreber. Q.nnd Hilfsbuch dcr Nalnrgeschichte. and voro to devour. svenska VetensAkad. Ip. Ratel was Spamnan. an Indian . 1780 MelUvora Storr. 1827. nrsns. Viverra capensis Schreber). pi. L. Hope. Type species Ursus niellivorns Cuvier oiis. Tlic Gardens and Menagerie of the Zoological Society. 6i. and 1777. pi.Sc later. Mellivora leuconota P. and across the Arabian peninsula and Iran to as far east as central India. Loud. Type ui the skin and skull. Hist. . sex ?. Museum.62. This with reference to formed from the Greek leipo to be wanting. The name is signo to Museum. Proc. Ituri forest. Despite the vast area is vegetation. svenska VetensAkad. Lipotus Sundevall. This name is from the Latin iiic! honey. Type species (as selected by Pocock. pi. Loud. upper Senegal and the southern fringe of the Sahara in the west. Ann. referring to the animal's habits. Type species Ratehis nicllivoriis Bemiett. A variant speUing of Ralellns Gray.7. Soc. Tableau elenienlaire de Aninianx: 112.I. Ratelliis lypicns Ursus is the Latin for a bear. iSjo. 1907. 5: 118. zool. and voro to devour. and nolon the back. The specific name is the Latin adjective of the back does not extend as far as usual.: y8. Cape of niel Good Hope. climate and terraine involved in this. No. Cuvier. The Fanna of British India 454) Viverra f(i. contrasting with the of the pelage. 1906. Viverra ratel Ratel or Honey Badger Good Hope. for cut off or short. The specific is from the Greek leucos white. 125. 1909. 3: 450 and 58S. . Melitoryx Gloger. : : race. and for . 1941.:9. (7) 19: 376. S. Cape ot Good I'histoire natnrelle des the Africaans name. A Latinization of the Africaans name. 1780. not. Ceineinniilziges Hand. Ratelus Bennett. West Africa. A. G. in Griffith's Ciii'ier's Animal Kingdoin. nielitos honey. . from the Latin rest mark out.S. probably with reference to the white head and neck. K.MELLIVORA Genus III MELLIVORA Ratels Srorr. Proc. The name . 1841. 2: 83. therefore. the specific name was derived from the Latin honey. taxiis. name called Mcllivora cotloni Lydekker. zool. 1842. K. Smith. 1833. 7.7. Wroughton. Mamm. Siingelhiere. good. Ursilaxns Hodgson. . skin. Ratelhis Gray. & S'. lS}6.: 211-212. Afr. UrsHS mellivorns G. Mcllivora and variety of generally reckoned as monospecific. South Africa. S. Cape ot 1777. Mag. No. Quadrupeds: 13. The name is from the Latin for a bear. and the almost complete absence of any ear conch. Type species Viverra ratcl Sparrman (= Viverra capciisis Schrcber). Type species I'rsitaxns inanrilns Hodgson. are implicit in the following account of this single species. 1S67.

the animal could be regarded as timdamentalK black. No. animal especially in the more easterly and southerly Jones (personal communication) characterises it as rare or rarely seen in Sierra Leone. As regards the tormer. like so many common body. this b\. indeed. (y) in the liiitisli MuscLim. altogether inappropriate.\l<Hii\'rii lnhlhVhiiii 'I'liom.i-. Description. This. shoulders. The entire luiderside is also clad with black hairs. I town to I. in its commonest tonus it is a striking animal even bv moonlight. of course. T. it exactly reverses the usual niainmalian colouring ot dark on the back and pale beneath and as concerns the second. and was told ot other sight records at Bo and Mano. In 14 vears he never came across a skin. Hitl. its silver-grc\' hack picking up and reflecting the pale moonshine. CAIIM VOIIIA Ann. It is the diminisliing of the white iiiriueiice. short-legged lumbering. 'i'\ |'c . its English names. see a living animal crossing a road in car headlights about so km south of Njola 111 invasive woodland. especially in West Africa. except sometimes tor the throat. M. The distribution from extreme westeni Atrica to India as a single species also exceptional. less. at times. becoming more . Distribution and general. This i : animal has therefore excited a good deal of interest in the past 200 years since accoiuits were first given ot is its habits. the torelcgs. the width of the head. however. Neverthepart of its range. The ratol (tig. J. The extreme looseness and tougluiess of its skin are also out of the ordinary. . is The often- used alternative name honey badger its it not. (.S-5-i---?. does not apply to the all-black . low er flank. pure white. this general picture is liable to a Even at its most "typical" the colour is generally more inteiisek white over the head and neck. Whether these are representatives of a valid race or simpiv melanos is not clear and will be discussed later. is not ot'ten seen in the wild. to the root ot the tail is pale grev or even. It is tiie onlv t^csli-eater that regularly sets out to procure honey as a major part ot its diet. always progressiveK' from deal of variation.. In what is generalK' looked upon as the most typical form the whole upper surface trom the forehead. tor in thick-set. just above the e\ es. but.extending onto the juvenile".nul more adulterated with black |iosteriorl\-. and Ol WIST AIIUCA l6: igo-iyl. named in honour ot the collector.112 Tin..^ngus lUuhanan. the rest of the bodv being an indistinguishable shadow. There is a sharp line of demarcation between this dorsal patch and the black.the intrusion ot white over a greater or smaller area ot the dorsal surface. This pale colour extends as a broad parallel-sided band. across the crown and the top ot the neck as tar as the shoulders. but he did.animals w hich exist in the high forest. iy::5. iliai >'ives rise to ditfereiit "tonus".i is quite closely recalls the true badger of Europe. 111. narrowuig again above the thighs. This is because it is to a large extent nocturnal: and though it is sometimes active during daylight hours it seems to be pretty war\' 111 this respect and generallv to avoid exposing itself near human habitation. S) is unique amongst Atriciui carnivores hoth 111 appearance and liabits. terminating at the rump or actual!}. hindlegs and thighs. Soinetniu's 111 these dorsal variations ."aptain . uiil. skin skull. colour being relieved so sparselv that the skin good is clearly visible. almost rivalling that ot the leopard. a not uncommon S. the latter covering the front and sides of the face. flat- tooted trot and burrowing habit Mcllii'or. it there broadens and curves down deeply over the flanks. hotli good. The ratel. Tliis w. Indeed.

but si^iiata is exceptional in that some of the white bristle-hairs have black tips and some ot the black bristlc-hairs a white subterminal band. as well as the underfur. reach as much as 38 on the lower back. not sharply detmcd to 40 especially mm. but those ot the front remarkably long. rather flat. sijice it is short and well overlain it by the white bristle-hairs has little or no eifect on the overall colour. about 0-13 mm. naked below at the base but clad with long hairs for the rest. and many field observers have maintained that it almost seems as though it were independent of the body and that the latter could turn and twist freely inside it. and much finer. still pretty coarse by comparison with softer-furred carnivores. the animal standing some 23 to 28 cm at the shoulder. The white areas fur. the total effect is grey. Both are most commonly black or all-white. but in some cases it is distinctly more abundant. some tendency for the fur from neck to rump. bristle-hairs. to lengthen mm — but about 5 mm broad. tends to curlincss. in fact. their length varying between 2Z and 30 mm. more undulate and much longer. In the form known as si<^iiata the basal portion of the bristle- when such an area mm hairs. curly. which dominate the cither all- pelage. its nevertheless exhibits some variety in the fuicr details of flat composition. The eyes are not very large. there are two very large scent glands situated within the anus and these according to Pocock . They have no bursa. Two elements are present: abundant long. at 004 diameter.over the shoulders and neck. but their length is generally somewhat greater and may. indeed. The black areas are generally pure black. but sometimes there are scattered white bristlehairs amongst it. strong. but t]uite commonly is of pelage ma^• consist purely of white bristle-hairs and \\'hite imderthe latter is black though. There is. armed with very strong claws. those of the hindfeet short. The feet have 5 toes each. The underfur is normally about 18 to 20 long and is generally relatively sparse and so plavs little part in the overall tcxtiurc or appearance of the iur. In the majority of cases bristle. for this bulky body. is unqcstionably small. The legs are short and sturdy. though narrow in — — form since these are fairly close-lying. The soles are thickly padded and naked to the wrist. and with a short muzzle. The tail is short.hairs and underfur arc of one colour throughout their lengths all-black or all-white.thick-set and broad across the back. The body of the ratel is fairly long some 60 to 70 cm but distincth. in other cases tlie black '"frosted" with white. the black arc a trifle less broad. However. verv lightly over the hindquarters. The circumanal region is hairless. the ist and 5th digits lying posterior to these. though shaped and folded rather in the manner of human ears. invaded bv black bristle-hairs as well. the posture being semi-plantigrade. the central three of much the same length (25 to 30 mm) and forming a unit connected by short webs. reaching 24 to 27 mm. The skin appears to be remarkably loose. straight. have no independence of the head but appear as little more than ridges of skin. and the ears.MELLIVORA tlic divisoii is 113 bct\\ccn black and wkite is more or less clear-cut. more densel\. The underfur is conspicuously fmer though. The pelage. terete underfur. The white bristle-hairs arc approximately 0-15 mm in width. the whole tront of the face being black. The head. though contorninig throughout the species to an overall basic pattern.

and like the rest ot the skull extremely a ([920) "discliargc cnpiousK are surtot.short and broad.S or W'fST M I! 1 ( A Fin. are very solidK' built. a wide range of size and some variety ot detail. The whole posterior aspect ot the skull is one ot firm solidity of build. and in tully adult skulls quite literally leave absolutely jio trace of independent bone structure. . the intervening nasal structure being Imely complex ijidicating a highly developed sense ot smell. in tlie Skunks . CARNIVOUI-. parallel-sided. though shallow. the glenoid fossa deep.11-1 TlIF. No.itmg Huid cxactK.M. I . li. . The zygomatic arch is strong. 26.'" . The mastoids . well back of the toothrows.l/i7/ii'iira uipciisii: skull. The last is ver\. including the foramen magnum and its adjacent condyles. pointed postorbital processes but little iji the way ot interorbiral constriction and usually not much postorbital narrowing. however. the nares ^videly open. 16 and 17). arc well-developed and prominent. the trontal aspect riuming almost parallel-sided from the temporal region to the rostrum.S. The same applies to the posterior narcs. the sutures fuse at an early age. There are slight. being fused posteriorly to large paroccipital processes. Skull (tigs. irrespective ot age. The specimens in the Bntisli Museum sliow. The bullae are large though not highly domed. lateral \'icw There abdominal mammae m tlie temales. The anterior palate is short and broad: posteriorly it continues. i6. In fully mature skulls there is a slight sagittal crest which joins a very marked. two pairs ot strongly built.7. The braincasc is relatively rather broader than m the dogs. supraoccipital crest.

all the teeth seem to wear very badh'. No. 26. strong cutting unit. The incisors are often pretty irregular. for an animal reputed to live to a great extent on relatively soft food. The carnassials sutures. a very compact. Mcllivora capcnsis: skull. even with wcll-ossified sets of teeth exist. B. X.MnLMVt)liA "5 Fig. or lacking. top and bottom. and in several skulls. 7. but. set at an unusual angle. j. one or more being exceptionally small. The cheekteeth are in the young skull very sharply two cuspid. The type o( si(^iinta has a second lower molar on the lett side but not the right. what is presumably a very adult-looking milk dentition being replaced by the fuial set. appear to be slow to erupt. 17. palatal & d orsal views The dental formula is jyyy = 32- The teeth seem often of rather irregular develop- ment. x \ . the . but when properly developed form.M.1.

w^erc brought on or auirmented b\. Caught young. relatively One ot the foremost characteristics of the ratel is appears to be quite without fear. and it took about ten of these and tour . rifle is and it it is trom a tairly powertul the onlv certain commonly way way held that a direct shot ot killing a m Bauchi area of Northern Nigeria was well knowii that ot almost useless and that the best. including the scrufl of the neck. the second enables the ratel. Indeed. which ot coiu'se are an invaluable reaction to aggression in the wild.' tougluicss and looseness ot its skin. these animals take very kindh' to captivitN and become not only docile but activcK. one is said to have killed a buttalo in the Kruger National i'ark. Sikes (1964a) tound that. As opposed to these views the plain tact remains that though a tew are damaged a very high proportion of the skulls the British Museum have perfect craniums. 1963).M(' Till ( AIINUIIIU s Oi WrST A I R 1 rA upper OIK'S being ei>n>Klcralil\' Luger tli. 1964). the .xtraordinan.animals. m pla\'.unusualK' larije releases ot adrenalin into the blood . Others have tound the head In the much the same. In tussles with dogs it is usually the ratel that succeeds in sinking its teeth into its opponent. however. indeed reputedly onK'. blows from a matchet "which would have cut any other animal of that size in half merely bounced ofl". extreme bravery and and when flight seems of no avail will turn savagely to attack man or anv other creature. Though it is not always detectable. short. to kill it". quickly vanish. 1963 and 1964a. warning or reprimand. its It The canines arc stout but. They recognise tnends and voices. 195N) in which he relates t]. They are attectionate and very playtul. even inventing games (Sikes. Sikes (1964a) supposed that these rages. in the lower jaw ii tritid. During such a bout the hair stands on end. ^\hen the dog is completely exhausted. arrows and spears were certainly killing one ot m over the back ot the head. It can take any amoiuit of punishment and is so tireless in combat that it has been known to e>draust and overcome tar larger . command.triendK' (Sikes. and tmally. Rawson-Shaw (in Fleetwood. m tact. a restrained tashion at hands or clothes m But in captivit)'. despite being banged on the ground or against trees or rocks. leaving a shallow gash on his hide. distinguishing various tones in sumntons. Sikes (1963) tound that the only sate grip was by the skin on the back ot the head.mimal toanis at the mouth and becomes almost literally blind to any external calming influence. tor carnivores. with jaws clenched like a vice.22 bullets Habits.m the lower. anvwhere else. The tirst makes it well nigh impossible tor teeth to penetrate. general toughness. these animals honey badger. Hoesch's pet used to nibble in triendship. was highly dangerous. How impenetrable the skin is is illustrated bv an accomit given by T. i-2 ot trifidv. though it occasionally shows faint traces is bitid. the outer pau" iji eacli case beijig somewliat bigger than tlic others. hanging on tirelessly. One ot the things that makes it so ditiicult tor dogs or anything else to deal with is the e. in spite of being held. and 13 generallv unnotched. a captive ratel being swiuig round hanging on to a sack actually appeared to enjov being bumped roughK up and down on the ground. as 111 the wild. makhig ott apparently none the worse to club it was tor the experience. Such moods. ratels can with some abruptness work themselves up into an ecstatic tury. to twist and tuni so readily that it can inflict a fierce bite on any aggressor that has seized it in hand or mouth.

like so many other subterranean dwellers. these animals are by nature essentially carnivores. No one has. which if not of approved size or shape would be industriously altered. The ratel is generally recorded as being purely nocturnal. this being one of the functions of their powerfully clawed forefeet. All agree that it differs from the ordinary musky smell of other mustelids. When not active in the search for food they shelter in holes. but. squatting at intervals to press its anal region on the groimd or ratel against strategic trees or rocks. as it soon must on open groimd where it can itself be seen. whether they have side passages or any kind of lining. either in the ground. and. would seem to postulate pretty regular daylight activity. The some finding it extremely repulsive. Some. birds. not unusually it is active at dusk or at da\vn and in certain conditions it is undoubtedly on the move in full daylight. how far they travel. However. in suitable country. insects. of the rodents it may dig out from Despite the name honey badger . No one appears ever to have attempted to dig out a ratel. As no specific field investigation of the extent of the hunting range is has as yet been carried out the unknowii. at least. Earthen burrows may be dug by themselves. When on the hunt ratels move at a steady jog-trot with the fore toes characteristically turned in. During the course of its hunting or other excursions a ratel defmes or redefines its territory by means of its scent glands. in a cave. Certainly. . it makes for cover in undergrowth in which it is quite impossible to keep track of its direction. captive in zoos. tortoises and frogs. detailed later. without continuous observation. or amongst boulders or. it can be gathered from the previous paragraphs that this might well prove a hazardous undertaking. In areas where they are liable to be much harassed by man they make constant use of the cover afforded by darkness. The droppings were rarely covered. lizards. scent emitted by ratels affects different people in different ways. and the pursuit of food therefore concerns itself a good deal with flesh of various kinds. warthog dens or termite mounds. in tree trunks or logs. in fact. No accoiuit has beeai given of the extent or nature of these underground homes. they fmd no difficulty in adopting a tully diurnal habit. Probably these animals suit their habits to prevailing circumstances. they make full use of aardvark holes. and it has been often said that they can keep tliis pace up tirelessly. a reputation doubtless deduced from many a midnight raid on fowl houses and the fact that it seems to be relatively rarely encountered by day. ever followed a ratel very far. Ratels are mostly solitary animals but may at mating time hunt in couples. Almost certainly a hungry ratel would take any sort that came conveniently to hand.MELLIVORA II7 Stream. Sikcs (1964a) observed hers to urinate or defaccatc into a suitable hole. but in remote districts of low human population they probably become bolder. Tliis at best is not so fast as a young man can rmi. and their known behaviour in coimexion with honey seeking. as soon as it becomes aware of being chased. or a mother may be seen with her two young ones. mdced. including carrion. but its normal range of food embraces small rodents. eggs. others (Sikes) after a time not unpleasant. Nor have any experiments been carried out with marked animals to determine. Hoesch (1964) found liis captive animal to be clean in its habits. but this is notliing more than a guess hazarded on the leisurely nature of the gait and of the known general stamina of the animal.

IlS THE CAUNIV01U. backwardly-pointing papillae on their tongues which enable them to deal etlectively with tough foods. The ratel's partiality for birds very often leads it into or private compounds where domestic fowls it is are kept. at the Asiatic end of : its range. but the battle must have continued tor some half an hour. quail. and in another 36 halt-grown pullets. Pocock (1941 465) proved beyond doubt. bustards. ripping this obstruction aside to gain entr)'. writing ot the race ot Mclliuora from Air named after him refers to "a regular warren ot holes scooped out in the night by a ratel 111 search ot dormant trogs buried in the sand a toot or two beneath the surface"". The begiiuiing of this exceedingly noisy and energetic combat was not seen. human Though doubt has often been cast : says that the truth ot the belief has been trees. trapping or other means. roots and bulbs as a regular part of its diet. killing and feeding on a python some lo or 11 feet long. tiumelled under the wall and up through the floor. the birds arc sucli as (. A ratel is known to have climbed the mud wall of a hen-house to a small window covered with wire netting fastened down with staples. at the end of which the snake "was so mutilated that it looked as it it had been run over by a train". Like other small carnivores ratels welcome vegetable food such as berries and other fruits. and the same sort sistence that difficult to thick planks from a strongly built ot thing has happened to many others. Frogs. 1964. groinid-squirruls aiul otlicrs. too. The sturdy. doves and so forth. Ratels have sharp. It has been recorded (Fleetwood. reached the conclusion that an ancillary following of other carnivores. They inquisitively lift stones or tear flaking bark from buried corpses. by shooting. but that a ratel may have . strong claws of the forefeet enable tiuuielling to be effected speedily even in hard groimd. For just as the lion's kill may soon be made use ot by a waiting band of scavengers.iwell and nest upon the ground or pay it trequent visits: trancolins. Sikes (1963) found that in captivity a young ratel would eat a whole dove. or burrowing beneath stone foiuidations. 18 37 which tells ot a ratcl tighting. 1958) as ripping hen-house. The ratel has. becoming a pest in farmyards Such is its strength and per- keep out. It should perhaps be made clear that in many such cases it has been quite defniitely proved. and that they are not always of small size is shown by an extraordinary record in Aliican IViU Life. arc sometimes dug up: Angus Buchanan (1926: 251). unable to get in in any other way. Snakes also arc taken. It must be added that visits may be repeated on successive nights either until there is no further attraction or the raider has been killed. to whom these figures are due. Tortoises present no difficulty to this animal which can readily crush the shells with its very powerful jaws. which was paved with large stones set in mud mortar. Another. so other less adventurous and able carnivores may well be at hand to take advantage of the courage. muscular legs and long. In one episode recorded by Fleetwood (1958) 17 Muscovy ducks were lost. nothing beyond a few scattered feathers remaining. strength and determination ot this pioneer burglar. earned a reputation tor excavating yet another kind of food: inadcquatelv upon this. including highly poisonous ones. Once entrance has been effected to a fowlhouse it often happens that everything inside is slaughtered and eaten. such as civets and jackals. that it was indeed a ratel responsible for the entry and at least initial damage. Rawson-Shaw. plovers.S Of WhST AflUCA burrows their — gcrbils.


a sort ot weasel or badger. are ratel. Since about the middle ot the century.'ise quite different ways ot lite. ojie of the travellers' talcs that must have circulated in Europe was ot a bird that for its own ultimate benefit deliberguided men. It was not luitil some 200 years later.\i kka and bones ot a vietini arc all an adult requires a hill-growii towl. which flics on by degrees with the alluring note o( clu'ir. Sparrman (17S6. and these bites arc sure marks for the Hottentots. in order to modify the ra\-s ot the sun. the sagacitv to follow a little bird. in order to tnid them. as a man placed at the masthead can easiest descry a sail or land at a great distance about sun-set. when he faculty tor discovering and attacking tliem within in digging the claws. from many experienced farmers and Hottentots living in different parts ot the coiuitry". the Caffres. are likewise ot use to him in the occupation he is frequently employed in of undermining whole colonies ot bees. and guides its followers to the bees" nest no danger whatever from the "Those bees' nests which are built up in trees. .i::o rm c ai!Ni\ ours (ir wr. entirely corresponding with each other. as well as the Hottentots. m (Jihlicdtor iiulicdtor Sparrman). he kjiows that at this time they are going strait forward to their own habitation. and wliich set the natural history world wondering tor tuo centuries. clicir. he uses to bite or gnaw the trunk of these trees. liau% tcatlicrs flesh. so probably this time of the dav is the most convenient for the ratel to look out for his supper.x and grubs. when a mission- ary priest wrote an account of Portuguese East Africa. had I not obtained various accoiuits of this curious animal. .si . to stores of wild honey. 2 iHo-i8i) who accompanied Captain Cook on his second voyage to the south seas and explored the interior ot South Africa on the way back. Tlie bird to which Sparrman made reference is known as the greater honey guide . itilcl. besides assisting him will sit and hold one of his paws before his eyes. He has besuk^. His historic. the liidicatoridae. In the fust transports of his rage at having sought after these bees in vain. that this story was extended to include the ratel as possibly the bird's chief medium tor breaking open the nests and laying bare mutually beneticial supplies of honey. I should myself have entertained many doubts eonceniing all these properties attributed to the ratel. likewise endued with a particular their entrenchments. com- . eaten as well as the The food is held down by the forepaws. by song and a clapping of the wings. by nature destined is to be the adversary of the and the unwelcome visitor ot their habitations. between animals ot othcrv. it not symbiosis. however. and the peasants ot the a distinct view of the object of his pursuit: and when. each side ot his ui in this manner cin paw opposite to the sun. His long dark subterraneous passages which serve him for an asylum. was due to the writings ot a Swedish naturalist. Skiu. clwn. a representative ot a family. that a bees nest is to be found up that tree. and at the same time to have consequence of peering fly. though certainly not reliable. so as to render them inoffensive to his organs of sight. Now. is But the tood and the robberv for which Mcllimtra most widciv hinicd concern i6tli lu>ney and wild bees' nests. The story of this strange cooperation. account make both amusing reading and a good starting point tor the examination ot this ately : reputed partnership: "The bees. for he is likewise said to be particularly attentive to his business about sim-set. he sees any bees Cape. and consequently takes care to keep in the same direction as that in which the\' fly. wa.

is never direct but circuitous. especially when they concern the unusual. and having achieved this in so far as be necessary to draw attention to the fact that the apparent co-operation is not to be lightly accepted at its face value. or to attempt to guide. Such a course may cover a few yards or half a mile or more. The uncritical animal lover may all too easily follow others into a trap. Whether the behaviour. to the discovery and breaking open ol a nest. The route taken. was not so clear. Friedmaiui (1955). both verbally and in written accounts. The story. utters a great deal to attract attention. what takes place. still chattering. might have been on a par with the pelican pecking its breast or the porcupine to work shooting National its quills. the reputed association of the ratel with the honey guide was true. in fact. He arrived at this opinion only as the result of a great deal of Museum. This is continued imtil within soimd of a bees' nest the bird becomes quite silent. has been correctK' interpreted is altogether another matter. Malaya and the East as part of their diet. They make good reading. either in its observed parts or presumed whole. and all. are copied from work. No one has. He came to the conclusion that while Sparrman's account was in many respects inaccurate. perched not sifting very high up on of unceasing chatter. the story of the ratel and the honey guide was incessantly repeated. It so often happens Nearly all of the eleven species are known to eat wax in natiu-al history that early held beliefs or superstitions. in fact. except when extremely short. with a ratel as with humans. no wholly reliable and competent observer ever having openly laid claim to actually witnessing the alleged behaviour. yet critical enquiry showed it to be nothing more than hearsay. The ratel responds to this chatter with occasional grunts or growls. chiirra. spent of old records and circumstantial evidence.MHLLIVOKA prising four genera. arc parasitic. a few yards ahead and settles on another perch. however. is that the bird. laying their eggs cuckoo-fashion in the nests of other birds. end flies. cinirra. ever witnessed a complete sequence of events from the initial attraction by the bird of a ratel's attention. and may between bird and manunal deliberately c. without closer inquiry. Some two or three species without question seem to guide. and. This is no place to discuss in any detail the alleged guiding habits of Iiidicalor except a tree. correspondingl)-. so far as is known. but whether similar behaviour could in truth be related to ratcls as well. Curator ot Birds in the United States many years making an extremely interesting and detailed study of the Indicatoridae and their habits. Briefly. men to bees' nests. Having arrived in tlie vicinity of a bees' nest the honey guide will remain silently perched quite patiently for a very long time luitil the store of honey has been laid bare and pieces of comb are left lying about to feed on. Like others. It is merely that McUii'ora and Iiulicatorhavc been seen together in a number of isolated circumstances that are capable of being joined together into a coherent series of events. year after year. seeking out a better equipped ally. as Sparrman had asserted. At length.xcituig this essential participant to curiosity and leading him or it to the . climiii. meandering or even criss-cross. When this apparent partnership was first reported it seemed to be nothing other than a case of an intelligent and hungry bird discovering a store of honey. through the stages of guiding. a tew seconds to half an hour. largely African but extending their range to Indies.

Guiding does not necessarily take place to a nest well stocked with honey. signs that the habit is. The complex path taken to reach an apparent goal suggests that no specific goal was actually in sight at the commencement but that by criss-crossing the bush over a sufficient distance a nest is eventually hit upon. nothing more than a picturesque embellishment. It is a common fact spoil. and it is knov^ai that a long-deserted nest stores of honey holds no attraction for the honey guide. as might be expected. mm . but the assertion that the bird will. and may make. if necessary to an unintelligent helper slow in detecting the desired honey. little more than a voyage of mutual disthat in ot the African much another and tliat covery. sex and other factors but in general is dark drabby or olive brown above. the expedition being. the wing coverts and some of the tail classic study. it is interesting to speculate on how this parmership between bird and beast evolved. We are. once regarded as deliberate on the part of the bird. The co-operation serves no vitally essential purpose as it does in true symbiosis.THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA of this is very nnich open to question. indeed. on the decline. tlie ratel in its turn keeps the bird in a state of excitement by responding grunt. A tew other points may be glanced at in conclusion. If the bird stimulates the ratel to action with its chatter. it may containing cease. Finally. be no true guiding. for more than one man has foimd himself suddenly face to face with a dangerous animal. apparently wholly unsuccesstul. good is be to an almost new one. indeed. but it may be briefly added that it is possible that the bird occasionally leads baboons to honey. Firstly. It is very possible that there is. African hunters who know this utter from time to time with its deep growling the same sound with a view to keeping the bird interested. in this present work. There are. strictly concerned only with the habits o{ Indicator iudiccitor in relation to the ratel. for those who may tuid themselves in proximity to a noisily excited bird in the grass-woodlands. some 120 to 150 long with an additional tail of about 60 to 80 mm. All is mutually desirable shown that hiuiger woodlands there arc plenty of wild bees of one knid or by quartering the bush it is not excessively difficult even for a human being to discover some sign ot a nest in a tree or a bank. Its coloration is variable with age. and the route by which it came to its present state. troni force ot changing circumstances in modern Africa. the greater honey guide is of moderate size. There may. therefore. A caution should perhaps be given that the course taken by the bird may not always lead the follower profitably to a bees' nest. It has been amply not tlic operative excitant snice birds exercise the guiding ritual even with tull stomachs. These arc some ot the many aspects ot so-called guiding brought out by Friedmann's which make it clear that it is not the simple purposetul act that early naturalists assumed it to be. go further and point to it with its bill is. is most probably a purely accidental outcome ot quartering the bush in its search for a concentration of bees. in fact. the nest. what can have been the original stimulus. no deliberate seeking out ot a helper but merely that the chance sight of certain animals leads to an agitated reaction in the birds. rather than actually at. It is the sight or soiuid ot numerous bees that brings the bird to a halt and causes its chatter to This in the vicinity of. Such an occurrence. attempts to interest other animals. honey badger and honey guide can each flourish without the assistance of the other.

but it used its drinking bowl for keeping cool. only 4 can be regarded as mature. only in three cases (Air. 123 and with a small chrome-yellow bar on the shoulder. the more so as signs of a comparable reduction is to be seen amongst skins from other regions. not very accurately determined. They are moved place to place if necessary in the mother's mouth. In the young the breast is bright yellow. Since ability to months. or very far up a vertical smooth-barked trunk. it is dirticult to believe that Thomas & Wroughton's of the white lacking from the lower back. There are commonly two yoimg at a birth. but whether a variation has any constancy throughout a population and hence constitutes a valid local subspecific distinction can be established only by the existence of adequate material. is said to be about it robbed. though unlikelihood. its degree of whiteness of greyness. is anything but a minor individual variation. 2 have no skins and are therefore racially indeterminable. Taxonomy. and burrow through hard earthen or wooden floors so that a cage to retain a captive animal must be of very solid construction. G. the sutures not fully ossified. This is not strictly true. bite through wire.MELLIVORA feathers white-edged. The gestation period. Differences based on these are often clear enough in single specimens. indeed. Of the 12 West Africaji specimens available in London from which to confu-m the validity of 5 reputed races. and no with merely a small area . A mud wall or a coarse-barked tree can be scaled with some ease and any African bee farmer who fails to set liis hive sufficiently high and along a sufficiently narrow branch is liable to . No less than 5 races are. and Ellerman & Morrison-Scott (195 1) 5 more for Asia. that its smaller size was alone sufficient justification for their proposed race. Of the 8 specimens which have skulls. Details of development are unknown but there are two or three records of ratels having lived in captivity for approximately 24 years. 2 are badly mutilated and incomplete. the hairs. and of these. From such material it is quite impossible to reach any imequivocal conclusion. scratch ajid gnaw to pieces strong posts. said to occur in West Africa. bom blind. They utter a plaintive whme. Tarkwa and Abenasi) is there more than a single specimen from a given locality. Ratels can climb wire-netting or expanded metal without difficulty. it is a pretty competent climber. Sparrman asserted that the ratcl was quite unable to climb and that bees' nests in trees were therefore unattainable. of this occurred to the authors. Since its fu-st alleged variant was described in 1792 M. Hoesch (1964) found his tame animal to drink only rarely.woodland trees have. if such did prove to be the case. The points v^'hich have been taken into consideration in the diagnosis of races are the extent of the pale dorsal colour. M. six from . but given a reasonably rough surface. concisa. but they held. and particularly one at a slight slope. A ratel may not be able to climb up a siurfacc that others no foothold. general size. As the type of omisa is a young male w ith quite unworn teeth. In the matter of pelage pattern. such as so many open. the annulation of or absence of it from. Allen (1939) lists II currently recognised for Africa. and of the 10 remaining. The possibility. Little is known of mating or breeding despite the many specimens which have been kept in zoos. capciisis has been something of a favorite for the naming of subspecies. fuid a fair proportion of wild bees' nests are made in hollow trees this climb is useful if not important.

might turn up in any population. and Pitman.27) having a verv distinctive pure white flank stripe precisely similar to one from Namaqualand in South-west Africa (No.5 knowii Mcllivom skins from Ghana are all of this type miglit suggest that the black coloration has some kind of racial connotation rather than that ot an occasional mutant. It has been suggested. appear from photographs to be excellent matches for the West Afncait signata) occur in the Congo in the same region as the black form.8. quoted in Shortridge (1934).2. The argument. West Africa to districts from which a much wider range of study material there docs often single area is seem to be a strong overall uniformitv in pelage coloration however. if this ^\cre so one \\ oiild old males it is onlv just distinguishable ". too. The situation might he explicable by the postulation of ecological rather than geo- from a — graphical races. Yet the fact that the onK.2. and it would seem that cottoiii might. mav play its part in the question of blackness. It is recorded also (J. 1924) that partly white forms (which. 4. though described as a fully adult female with worn teeth. but the type of this is quite juvenile. looking It is outside exists. dorsal patch have tempting. Yet this. are truly of a smaller size. be an ecological form typical of wet. It is true that onlv one of these four specimens. would appear to be negatived by the fact that of Bates's 4 Cameroim specimens. 3 are all-black and 2 have very white backs presumably typical oi Icnaviota. has skull measurements (as given by Thomas since this skull is no longer available for assessment) that differ only minutely from those of the juvenile type.3. It is true that Thomas cited a paratype which. too. size comparison is scarcely a reasonable basis for argument. feeding largely on frogs and lizards. Allen. and it is also known from Cameroun. The factor which these three regions have in common is high forest. too. and when the reputedly mature female is put with the Somaliland specimens it is seen to differ very little from them except for size. Bitve. the all-black form. It is. and is very possible. But. The hiicliaiiaiii skins vary somewhat amongst themselves. as. in Thomas's huchanani. possible that the ratels of the inhospitable Subdesert. teeth not tully erupted with some of the milk dentition still in place. but argument based on present study material is not altogether convincing. closed-forest conditions. in the dozen skins from Somaliland. in the nature of these things. a white one. This brings us to the consideration of cottoiii. . incidentally. The form was originally described from the Ituri forest. indeed.54). for example. ot course. that this is nothing odier than a melano which. but practically all of Bates's mammalogical collecting was carried out in a restricted area of high forest. 4. with unfused sutiurcs. a striking example of this being a skin from Suakin on the Red Sea (No. The three black Ghana skins accompanied by skulls are all very old animals with extremely worn teeth. is associated with a definite localit\'. over 3000 kilometres away on the other side of the continent. expressed the opinion that "As the Ratel gets older the white patch on the back becomes gradually darker. and not entirely unreasonable. until in some very On the other hand.124 THE CARNIVORES OE WEST AFRICA development ot crests. as shown in the table on page 127. Age. to suppose that differences in the grey little to do with locality and are nothing more than the sort of individual variation that one might expect in a pelage of this kind. weakened by the frequent ability to match patterns from widely separated regions. A. Size plays the major role.

The present writer is of the opniion that many of the variations of pelage are purely individual and may turn up in widely separated places though there is possibly a tendency for some to be commoner in certain ecological conditions than others. coticisa. logical races. Mcllivom capaisis: dorsal coat patterns. a. 19. A will .iialii.irioiis tonns: laiconota. but there seems no reason why all manner ot intermediate patterns should not tinn up. coiioiii in tlie v. therefore. table showing such measurements as are available for West Atrican specimens be foimd on page 127. showing the extent of white sif. Fig.MKLL I V OHA 125 have supposed that attention would have been drawn to the fact in coiuicxion with the several specimens known to have lived in zoos to a ripe age. biicliaimiti. rather "varieties" than regional or truly eco- They are retained herein as such and described below for what they are worth. The diagrams in fig. They are. d. is confused. h. The situation. thus. 19 will aid in the identification of the ditfereiu forms. but since for the reasons given above these figures necessarily embrace a mixture of ages from juvenile to very old they are not reliably comparative. c. c.

But there is one exceptional partial skin from Abenasi in which there is an even scattering of white or white-tipped bristle-hairs throughout the whole of the deep brown. L. Mellivora capensis signata I'ocock Speckled lUtel The t\pe. The coat is thin and harsh. Abenasi and Oda. but the whitish hairs become rather denser over the top of the head. Mellivora capensis cottoni Lydckker This form occurs in the liigh to the north-eastern Black Ratel forest. but it is almost certainly only minor variant of the ratel that occurs eastwards throughout the Sahel and Sudan zones. which is also all black. already scanty. for all practical purposes. via the London Zoo. 1939) to range "West Africa" without closer definition. M. In this torm the entire upper side troni the hice to halt way along the tail is pure creamy white with a minimal and almost undetectable admixture of black hairs. but it is to be ratcls. the pale colour starts to thin out over the neck and shoulders. as tar as Somaliland and there called hrockmani Wroughton & Chccsman. Allen. the white bristle-hairs are entirelv lacking from an area starting on the spine at about the small of the back and broadening a little to the tail. from southern Morocco specimen definitely identified as Iciicoiiotn occurs in assumed that two of Bates's Cameroun specimens. in various parts from at least Congo. from an unspecified locality in Sierra Leone. is the onlv specimen the pelage known race occurs at Catio. and also that the white in this part of the coat is not due to wholly white bristle-hairs. agaiii. Museum.126 THE CARNIVORES OI WEST AFRICA White-backed Ratcl Mellivora capensis leuconota Tliis P. and continues thence to the rump only as scattered white "ticking amongst essentially black fur. arc this form. No the British Museum. Ghana Mellivora capensis concisa Thomas (^' Wroughton Lake Chad llatcl Only one specimen of this is known. G. but according to Monard (1940) tlie Portuguese Guinea.the apparently smaller of the two has external measurements (given on page 127) it appears to rank among the largest of all to the tormer French Congo. Though onh. .g. The feature which is held to distinguish concisa is the fact that. dorsum. as in other forms of ratel. The known West African specimens all come from Ghana: Tarkwa. As its name implies this form is topically entirely black though some skins liave an extremely small number of scattered white bristle-hairs only detectable on close inspection. a The dorsal coat consists of a preponderance of very long pure white bristle-hairs amongst long fine black undcrfur and a minority of black bristle-hairs. The "ticking". The white hairs may have narrow black tips. one from Bityc. are almost invisible. Sclater was originally said to conic troni but it has since been held (e. rather than black. from Lake Cliad. but to subterminal " white anniilation of otherwise black bristle-hairs. The characteristics of the type are that although in the British is the normal dense white over the crown. or at its edge. but these.

tadcs out entirely just torw arc! of the rump, the whole hindquarters and completely black. The skull has an extra lower molar (nio) on the left side.



Mellivora capensis buchanani Thomas

Air Ratel

The question of the small size of this form, known ojily by three specimens from Elmcki River and Tarrarc River in Air (Subdescrt), has been discussed above. Apart from this matter of size it is doubtful whether this form differs essentially from the Sahcl and Sudan zone ratcls referred to above under coiicisd. It is a little whiter over the head but this may be due to the young age of the specimens now to hand. For the rest, it is essentially a grey-backed form, the pelage being an intimate mixture of long pure white bristle-hairs amongst fine long black undcrfur and a fair proportion of black bristle-hairs. The white mixtmc spreads to the basal part of the tail, one of the specimens having a small white tip as well.
Tabic 7: Numerical data for Mcllirora








ot the


tor deeply buried frogs, the

tew specimens with any field notes: accorduig to Buchanan it stomach being found to contain remanis of

these and ot



Baud. iSsy

Distribution and general. The third and last West African subfannly of the a wide distribution not only throughout much ot Atrica but also in North and South America, and in Asia to southern China, japan and some of the larger East hidia islands. Five or six genera, covering a score ol species, are recognised, all ot them at least semi-aquatic, mostly riverine or lacustrine, but one, liiiliyilia Fleming, marine in the northern Pacific Ocean. Two of these genera occur in Afric.i. including the region dealt with in this work. Vegetation is of little moment to the otters. They occur m all kinds, their mam criterion for existence being the availability of ample stretches ot water harbouring adequate supplies offish and other food materials, and preferably fringed with enough plant growth to atford secure cover. This last, however, is not absolutely essential, tor they are sometimes tound along relativelv open stream-banks. Otters, thus, mainly trequeiit rivers, lakes, swamps and. since they do not object to brackish water, estuaries and tidal creeks. This does not mean that they are to be foiuid everywhere in such situations; for they are for the most part shy, generally confining themselves to quiet localities little frequented bv humans. For this reason there are large stretches ot potentially suitable water quite devoid of these animals, hi West Africa otters are known to range trom Senegal to Cameroiui and from Lake Chad to the mangrove swamps. They appear to be commonest in the rain-torest, but there arc not a great many study .specimens trom which to draw more than very general conclusions regarding either abundance or distribution. More than one species may exist in a single locality. Yet though they are largely associated with and mainly dependent upon water it must not be thought that they are in any sense wholly aquatic. Otters, indeed, spend a good deal ot their lives on dry land, coming ashore to eat, to sleep, to detaecate or urinate, to breed or merely t(i indulge in play. More surprisingly, they occasionally, and tor no very obvious reason, travel long distances overland and may be unexpectedly come across many miles from water, sometimes at night picked up by the headlamps
Mustelidae has
ot a car.

Description. Otters vary a good deal in size, hi West Atrica they may range trom weight of about 30 kg to one of five or six times as much. Similarly the head & body length may range trom some 60 cm to nearly 100 cm with, in addition, a tail of roughly halt these lengths. But even the largest ot these is small in comparison with some extraliinital species, one trom the Amazon basin being said to attain a weight ot nearh' 3> kg. The very short-legged body is long and beautitulK' streamlined in shape, increasing gradually in diameter trom head to hips. It is intensely muscular and solidk built but extremely lithe, hideed, the extent to which an otter can, and regularly does, lU'x its bod\' 111 all directions must be seen to he belie\ed.



The head


broad, sliort-inuzzlcd and markedly

equivalent diameter.


facial vibrissac are

flat; the neck ot approximately an extremely pronoiuiced tcature, long,

below the chin and particularly large tufts on the and shape in the various species, being quite diagnostic (Pocock, 192 rb) the nostrils arc usually widely flared on land but arc capable ot closure on submersion. The roundish eyes are of moderate or even small size; yet, by their wide-open brilliance and large roiuid pupils, tliey contrive to be a very conspicuous feature, even at night when they pick up and reflect ligiit from the lapetiiin liicidiiiii in varying colours, ruby-red, cmcrald-green or amber according to species (Harris, 1968). The oval ears are small, set well down and back on the side of the head, and are devoid of any bursa. They, too, can be sealed by the closure of two lips diu^ing diving. The tail, in hunting circles usually termed the "pole" or "rudder",
strong and abundant. There
a tuft

lower checks. The rhinarium

differs in size



very notable structure.

at its

or sometimes slightly

roughly half the length ot head & body, often rather highK' muscular, thick and compressed dorso-ventrally base but tapering thence continuously to a narrow tip, thus completing the
It is


overall streamlining.


short legs arc powerful, the

paws terminating

in five digits,

both front and rear. These are webbed to a greater or less extent, in some species to the extreme tips ot the digits, in others to only about half-way or less. In the most typical otters the toes are armed with fairly powerful, sharp, non-retractile claws; but in a few, including two of the West African species, the so-called clawlcss otters, there is nothing beyond small vestigial nails, and even these arc absent from the majority of the digits. The palmar and plantar pads arc various in shape, sometimes rather poorly develofied (Pocock, 1921b). The hind teet arc always larger than the toreteet. On the uiaderside of the tail, near the root, there arc paired scent glands which abimdantly exude a quantity of milky fluid with a powerful musky odour but not so repulsive as that of some other mustelids such as the polecat. Their purpose seems to be rather for recognition and the demarcation of territory than tor dctence. Females may have, at most, three pairs ot mammae, abdominal and latero-pectoral, but some
ot these are often lacking or obscure.

Otters arc noted for the character of their pelage.

handsome has given
differs, ot course, in

The tact that this is dense and some commercial value, both locally and in the world fur with consequent adverse effects upon the survival of various species. The colour

the difterent species but in general


dorsally, lighter or darker

and pure white areas occur in others. Albinos are dorsal fur is sometimes slightly "trosted"; and it always, even when quite dry, has a sparkling sheen. This is due to the composition ot the pelage, which is remarkably constant throughout the genus. It is short, of miusually uniform length over the entire body, as much below as above; very soft to the touch and exceedingly dense. The hairs are of two kinds. The short, crinkled underfur, about 8 in length, is extremely closely packed and is of outstanding slenderness, being, at o-oi diameter, amongst the finest ot all hair. Despite this, its surface, seen luider high magnification, is rough with long and relatively coarse scales. In the majority of cases it is white for most ot its length but becomes lighter or darker brown near the tips, so that if an otter's coat is rubbed up the wrong way it is seen to be
scpia-browii, though
it is

some known. The

cases distinctly pallid,






AliNlV01)l:S Ol

ot the tur iiornialK'

wliitc-bascd- latlKT surprisingly smcc
pletely obscures


extreme densit\


what lies below the closelv-packcd tips. Mixed amongst this crowded underfur stand much longer hairs, by comparison widely spaced yet in sum forming a continuous coat that entirely overlays and conceals what lies beneath. These bristle-hairs, which arc i6 to iS mm long, are very slender and whitish in the basal halt so that they are there indistinguishable by eye from the underhir; but beyond the reach ot this latter they expand into a thick, usually densely pigmented blade. This is not concavelv guttered as in some mammals but has a slightly convcxiy oblong section: and though by comparison with the rest ot the tur relatively broad, it is. in fact, only about o- mm wide with a length ot some 6 or 7 mm, tapering terminally to a sharp tip. It is these blades that glisten and give the coat its characteristic

sheen. Because of their long slender stalks the hairs have nothing harshly bristly about

them, hi the newly-born otter, at least in so tar as the West Atrican Liitia maculicolli^ is concerned, the pelage is quite ditterent. There is no sign at all ot dense undertur, the coat being almost entirely composed ot long, straight, rather wiry hairs. A somewhat older specimen ot Aoiiyx aipciisis shows the development of the dense coat well under way but the ultimate outer cover of glossv bristles onh' beginning to be visible amongst the. as yet longer, wiry baby hair. It is possible that the reluctance ot young otters to take to the water may be due to the inadequacy ot their protection against cold. The composition of the belly tur is precisely similar to that ot the back; and, what is more unusual, so is that ot the tail too. It has been said that this pelage is waterproof; but though this is not absolutely true, it is a fact that the rightly packed underfur renders Its penetration by water extremely difficult, and the hard, glossy bristle-hairs, though they bimch together when wet, arc very rapidly dried out. An otter gets rid ot the water in its coat not so much bv vigorous shaking, as a dog does, but more by rolling or nibbijig against a dry surface. This is possibly because its legs are too short to give itselt a really effective shake. It may be added that the skin ot an otter is tough, rather like that ot a ratel; and similarly it is also prettv loose so that the animal can twist and turn dangerously if held by it. Skull (tigs. 20, 21, 23 and 24). There is some ditierence ot style as well as ot size between the three otters ^ylth which this book is primarily concerned. There are also variations due to age and sex, chietly to do \\ ith development of the crests. Detailed description is reserved tor the accounts ot the different animals given later, the tollowing being some ot the more general features of the lutrine skull. The typical otter skull has a broad, flat bramcase which contrasts strongly with the narrow, often parallel-sided mterorbital-intcrtcmporal region. The muzzle region, ^ltuated anterior to the orbits, is extremely short, being even more abruptly truncated than 111 Xkllivofii, the anterior nares \yidely open. In the most typical otter skulls there

prominent sharp postorbital
helping to outline

processes, the posterior ridges ot

whichjoin the



in this interorbital area a tairly

well defined pentagonal plate.

In tully developed males of most species there is a well-developed, sharp sagittal crest extending from the postorbital region to the equally pronounced, upcurved supraoccipital crest, which continues as sharp ridges round the sides of the braincase forward to the very large mastoids. In females, though the supraoccipital crests may be present.

the sagittal line generally carries nothing


old skulls


rise to a brief crest posteriorly.

strong; the maxillary zygomatic process

more than a very low ridge which in really The zygomatic arches arc broad and divides clearly into two branches which enclose
as well

an exceptionally open intraorbital canal, obviously transmitting muscle
nerve, nothing at

similar occurring in other

West African Canoidea. The


continued, parallel-sided, well beyond the back of the toothrows; the bullae are


and elongated, relatively insignificant. The bone structure of old animals

dense and

solid, fusion

of the sutures leaving


or no trace of original independence.



often very irregular through the loss, or

whole or

partial failure to

develop, of
total for the

nimiber of cheekteeth. These,



arc present, are

giving a

whole mouth of 36

teeth; but this not



from normal

should be kept 111 mind since it may give rise to some doubt or difficulty in the recognition of lutrinc skulls. The most frequent tooth to be lacking is the very small anterior upper premolar (pi), which, when not missing is generally sited in close proximity

may also be in contact with the canine, as though, through the great shortening of the muzzle, there is becoming less and less room to accommodate these teeth and they are in the course of being eliminated. The exterior upper incisor [P) is much larger than the two interior ones (i^ and /'-) in the lower jaw the distinction is not so marked and the incisors as a whole are often irregular and not
to the inside face of the canine, p;

in line.

Habits. Otters
they have


Europe, since they are the subjects of regular organized hunting

for sport, have been under close observation for




and, the world over,

commonly been

kept as domestic, and often very intimate, pets.


books and articles have been written on this latter aspect, especially in recent years, and a good deal, therefore, is known of the behaviour in captivity of several different kinds of otter. Yet there are often unwelcome gaps in field knowledge of the more hidden aspects of daily or yearly life; and this is particularly true of the three African species dealt with in this work, one of which, indeed, is scarcely knowni except for skulls. But even in the less secret matters of everyday biology the views of specialists arc sometimes strangely at odds about such things as senses of sight, hearing and smell, body odour, the use of glands, or readiness of the yoiuig to swim. Nevertheless, there remains wide agreement regarding broad general behaviour; and doubtless individual otters differ from one another in their physical and mental attributes, as other animals do, and care must be taken m assuming the general from the particular. So much, indeed, has been written of specific individuals in relation to sometimes rather unreal circumstances that one difficulty is to know what, in a brief account, can be taken as representative of the class as a whole in its purely natural environment. The most comprehensive account of otters in general, with descriptions of all the species, together with their habits in so far as they are known, is to be found in Harris (1968). It must be emphasized here that though in all likelihood most of the account of habits that follows is applicable to African species these last have, in fact, been relatively little studied in detail in the field and therefore it may be discovered that behaviour in the three species with which this book is primarily concerned differs in certain aspects


tin- i^





pitturc givcji. This


be especially sd

regards breeding. Doubtless

the three species dirtcr

amongst tliemsclves

in this as in (ither respects;


it is,


vaguely recognised that

only two of the three that have been observed in lite do somewhat difterently, though this is more a matter ot general impression rather

than ot tirniK' established

Otters are active by day or by night depending to
stances as well as prctcrcncc.

some extent upon





much danger



interterence they


view and are more inclined to torage nocturnally, particularly on moonlit nights. In any case their hunting tends to be more especialK.\n early morning or late atternoon occupation. However, both species and individuals ot them ditfer somewhat in their degree ot sh\-ucss, and otters have been known to come into towns at night or to raise families in drains near or under houses; and once, even, beneath the floor-boards ot a living room. For the most part otters dwell near water, most commoiiK' tresh, that is to say rivers, lakes or inland marshes; but they are by no means averse to brackish or even salt water and so not infrequently are to be found in creeks or estuaries or along the coast. They sometimes travel overland to a considerable distance trom water, but there IS no evidence that they spend long m such situations. Though they like to live near it thev do not pass all, or even the major part, ot their lives in water; they mostly take
rather carctui of exposing themselves to

primarily tor the business ot seeking tood, but this vital business, as will be seen

tempered with a good deal ot sportive activity. Sleeping, breeding, detaecation, and nearly always tceding are essentially dry-land occupations, as well as exteirsive periods ot out-ot-water play, and it will thus be seen that, though some species are more acjuatic than others, otters m general spend at least as much time ashore as they do in the water. It is customary to reter to the males as "dogs" and the females as "bitches"; but in spite ot this analogy with dogs the young are generally spoken ot though the term "whelps is sometimes used. as "cubs", not "pups On shore, an otter centres itselt on a set shelter tor the purpose ot sleep or breeding. This is nearly always subterranean but may occasionally be in dense vegetation. These




dens, or "holts" as they are technically termed,


be self-constructed or taken over

from other animals or adapted trom naturally-occurring holes suclr as those amongst riverine tree roots, amongst boulders, or even in a cave. Generally they have an underwater entrance but extremely little is known of the exact nature ot these homes in Africa. It at least seems highly likely that the African clawless otters would find some difficulty in digging except in the softest of swampy mud. The shelters are situated well above flood or seepage level and are frequently lined to some extent with vegetable matter, grass, leaves, reeds or moss; tor, although they spend a good deal ot time in water, otters like very much to be warm and dry. 13rying ofl ot the outer coat, by rolling or rubbing, is in tact one ot an otters tirst urges on leaving water. Custom in nest-lining, however, varies; pcssibly when the soil itselt is of a warm and dry natm-e no nest lining is called for. Such conditions would seem to exist over much of tropical

Africa, except possibly in the forest belt at the height

of the


Holts are occupied sometimes by a lone otter, sometimes by a tamily party. Such
parties usually consist ot a bitch

and her offspring up to the subadult stage; the dog otter



is, as tar as the holt is concerned, generally kept at a distance, and occupies a separate, though neighbouring, shelter. Some observers have maintained that otters combine and co-operate in fishing parties; but it is doubtful whether such collaboration, if it exists at all, ever extends beyond the immediate family. Most otters are by no means gregarious creatures and holts are generally fairly widely separated; and it would seem probable that each unit has its own recognised stretch of water, especially when one remembers the powerful scent-glands which otters possess and their probable use for demarcating territory. Yet a fixed territory implies some degree of permanence, and otters have a considerable reputation as wanderers, never dwelling long, perhaps only a night or two, in one place except at actual breeding time. Such nomadism or semi-nomadism may be for safety; or it may be that after a while a given stretch of water begins to become exhausted of food, or the fish, by constant hunting, accentuatedly wary. Whatever its motive, this continual moving renders the field study of otters a matter of some difficulty except at breeding times since the observer often does not know where to fuid his animals from one day to the next. It is commonly thought that otters feed solely upon fish but this is far from true. Fish may form a large or even the major part of the diet but a good many other things living in or around the water are eaten, such as crabs, crayfish, prawns, mussels, snails, large water-beetles, and, on land, groimd-birds, water-fowl, eggs, rodents and possibly

other small



including geckos, snakes, frogs, toads, grasshoppers,

and other large insects. These are generalities, for each species has its preferences and each locality a differing availability of food materials. For example, it would seem that the two commonest West African otters differ in their feeding demands, Liitra maailicollis being predominantly a fish eater, Aonyx capensis consuming more crabs. But no set work has been done on this or on the kinds offish preferred by each species in West Africa, though it is known that the latter species, at least, consumes, in Lake Victoria, a fair number of Lungfish {Pivtoptcms) and probably clariid catfish as well. Eels, which form a considerable part of the food of otters in Europe, do not occur in the rivers of West Africa except possibly in cstuarinc waters. These considerations arc of some importance since it has been held in Europe and elsewhere that otters cause a great deal of economic harm both in fisli-liatcheries and amongst the more valuable "game" fish. Farmers join with tishermen in their condemnation, saddling otters with poultry thefts of which, often, they are not guilty. Such charges have, on the other hand been strongly denied; and there is a growing appreciation that otters may, in sum, effect far more good than harm in many ways, not least by getting rid of much fish that is diseased or otherwise tmdesirable. Small articles of food taken in the water, such as snails, mussels and other mollusca, are then and there swallowed with a bite; small fish may be eaten in an upright position while the otter is treading water with head and neck above the surface, or while the otter is floating on its back; but anything large is brought ashore to be consumed. It may, if really large, be held down by the paws and eaten thus on the ground; but moderate-sized fish are held up to the mouth between the hands and eaten gradually from end to end. It has often been asserted that a start is always made at the tail end.
crickets, mole-crickets



<'AHN1\()UES or



licad tuially bcuig discarded; but

tlirs is

by no means always




eaten fresh at once or discarded, never stored, and, in tact, otters are usually believed

not to eat ;uiytliing but the tood they have just caught; but Stephens (1957) records an opinion that, at any rate in Europe, the\' will, and regularly do, consume a large amount

of carrion.
Ability to catch tish implies a superior ability to swim.
past master in this art.


adult otter


certainly a


the surface, with the head partly above water, an otter

of dog-paddle; and the animal becomes a lively and remarkably dexterous hunter. Propulsion is mainly by powerful thrusts of the hindlegs, used as a pair, aided sometimes by a sinuous and rhythmic up-and-down movement ot the body. The forelegs arc occasionally but not always held back against the belly. Tlie tail acts as a rudder, hi this way a moderate speed is achieved over a short distance; but it is rather the otter's facility, with its supple bodv, to equal or outdo its prey in swiftness oi turn that makes escape for the fish a matter of some hazard. None the less, it seems that otters as a rule prefer to go after the slower moving kinds ot fish; and certainly the two categories mentioned earlier as being commonly eaten in Africa are bcuh sluggish. The eyes are kept open dm^ing submergence and probably tunction more etticiently luider water than on land. The ears and nostrils are scaled; but no one seems to have determined how, when an otter opens its mouth to seize a tish, it avoids its liuigs being swamped with water. Otters swim on their backs as well as on their bellies, and they sometimes float thus idly as though half asleep. How faultlessly streamlined tlie body is is well demonstrated not only by the easy progress ot the submerged animal
progresses in a rather leisurely fishion, using

teet alone in a sort

but once

has dived in earnest the

whole demeanour immediately


rapid pursuit but, as well, by the manner in which an otter habitually slides into the water with scarcely any disturbance ot the surface and consequent alarm tor the lish. To all intents and purposes the only sign ot an otter's diving lies in the trail ot rising bubbles, probably from air trapped in the fur. Otters, being mammals, must, of coiurse, come up from time to tune to breathe otherwise they would drown. Normally they remain submerged tor a matter ot a few seconds; Mortimer (i9''i3), observing the speckle-throated otter in Zambia, found the commonest time to be from 10 to s seconds, and he never wimciscd a dive lasting for more than 45 seconds, and that only on one occasion, but when they so wish or it is necessary they can remain imder water tor some four or five minutes; and Ma.xwell (1961) timed ari Asian otter for just on six. This, in human estimation, is a very long

time though an hour for

it is

brief in comparison with
a seal,

some other

aquatic animals


quarter ot

and an hour or even two for some of the whales. Though no investigation appears to have been carried out on submersion actually m the otters it would seem likely that the mechanism by which prolonged abstention from breathing can be achieved is much that found amongst other groups. This, in brief, is a marked reduction of oxygen consumption brought about firstly by a very

manatee or

down of the heart-beat, and secondly b\ a constriction ot the important areas ot the body while maintaining a full flow to the brain. There are contributory mechanisms such as, during preliminar\' breathing.
considerable slowing


vessels in less

a nearly


complete change of air in the luiigs, a greater ability in the blood to hold oxygen of the respiratory nerve centre to increased concentration of carbon dioxide. Ability to stay under water has nothing whatsoever to do with extra lung capacit)' which, indeed, by increasing buoyancy would be more of a hindrance to diving than a help. Harris (1968) suggests that because of this adaptation to prolonged submersion otters are diiiicult to anaesthetize; but Stephens (1957) refers to two cases within her experience without hint of trouble. In one, morphia and chloroform were used; in the other, nembutal. Whatever the precise mechanism an otter can, in five minutes, swim a long distance luidcr water; and though fishing and other underwater foraging is most commonly carried out at shallow depths it has been shown, by the capture of otters in traps, that at times dives of at least 18 metres are luidertaken. Ability to remain below water is to some extent dependent upon age, young otters being incapable of as long periods of submersion as adults. Despite outstanding mastery of water it is, indeed, generally held that yomig otters arc most luiwilhng to enter it and, if they do, prove themselves to be nervous and highly inept swimmers. There seems little doubt, from numerous cye-\s itness accounts, that in most cases the mother has to teach her yoiuig both how to swim and how to catch fish. To judge from Maxwell (1961) it would seem as if this might well apply also to the clawless otter which occurs in West Africa; but doubtless idiosyncrasy plays its part in this as in other matters, for Mockford (1967) fomid two young captive otters of this species to take to water quite naturally and easily at an age estimated to be no more than six or seven weeks. This is the more remarkable in that Aony.x is incieasingly regarded as markedly less aquatic than other species. It seems likely that the exceptional development of the facial vibrissae may assist in the avoidance of rocks and other obstacles in cloudy water; and, by their sensitivity to the currents produced by even slight disturbances, aid in the detection of moving tish. Though both ears and nostrils are closed under water, hearing and smell nevertheless probably play their part too; certainly on dry land both these senses are tairly acute, smell, to judge from the complex internal nasal structure in comparison with the poorly developed auditory bullae, much more so than hearing. Cdours, indeed, must play a constant role in the otter's life, as m those of most mustelids. Signals are constantly being left on rocks or on deliberately gathered bunches of vegetation; and the odour lett by otters in normal passage over the ground is strong and very persistent, it being well known to those who hiuit these animals in Europe that hounds may often be deceived into picking up a trail already a day or two old. The faeces, doubtless, have their own particular odour and convey their message to others. Otter droppings, which are most commonl)- black, rather liquid and slim)-, are technically termed "spraints"; and it is well known in Europe that set spraintmg places arc used, sometimes over a period of very many^ years. Whether this applies to the same extent in Africa is not recorded; but Mockford (1967) fomid young Aoiiyx in captivity always to use dcfmite spots and, therefore, to be scrupulously clean. E)Te (1963), on the other hand, foiuid an otter of this species awkward to keep about the house since it persisted in registering o\\ nership in this way. E.xpericnce of those who have kept otters as pets, as well as the abundance of spraints in the wild, indicates that dcfaecation, always


less sensitivity


by urination, is frequent; and tlierc is good evidence, and troni examination oi the nitestines, that digestion and passage

sinuiltancously accompanied
troni observation
ot food

through the gut are rapid. lowever, tlie spraints always contain some indicafood taken, in the form ot undigested iish bones and scales, or chitiuous fragments from Crustacea. Excretion is performed witii straddled hindlegs and tail erect, and is accompanied by a constant dancing movement. Though otters so obviously, in nature, thus constantly leave traces of their presence or passage it is a remarkable fact that no one ot the very many who have kept them as pets has ever expressed objection to their smell, despite the animals' sometimes habitual use ot carpets, chairs and otten beds. In fact, otters have been recorded as having no smell at all imlcss kept out of water tor several days and some have described the faint odour ot the dense fur as very pleasant. Besides the evidence of their spraints otters trequently leave indications ot thenexistence in an area in the torm ot rejected or discarded portions ot food. Feeding, except of small, readily consumed objects, always takes place on shore and very often at detmitc sites such as a secluded strip of river bank or a conveniently flat rock. Such favorite feeding spots arc often littered with the heads or tails of fish, or even whole bodies with a single bite out of them, for otters are sometimes wanton killers of more than they need. One ot the most frequent signs in Africa is the remains ot crab shells or claws, since ^4();))'.v appears to have a preference for these arthropods above fish. Another sign of the recent presence of an otter is the footprints in soft sand or mud. These, amongst those who specialize in himting otters, are knowni as "seals", a technical term that has been in use for at least three centuries. These tracks differ amongst the West African otters, since some feet are clawed, others are without them some are webbed between the digits, others not. Although they are fiuidamcntally land animals otters are not there so completely adept as they are in water. Their walk, though brisk enough, is a kind of slight waddle from one side to the other with head low and back humped. Yet some are known to cover considerable distances, up to 20 or 25 kilometres, at this pace, and apparently without tiring. When put to it they can gallop moderately fast, "humping" along foreteet and hmdteet alternately. However, apart from their not very expert gait they still remain highly flexible, swift and versatile in movement, rolling, twisting, turning, scrambling over rocks, logs and other obstacles. They can climb to a certain extent, and, in fact, have been recorded (Stephens, 1957) as sometimes sleeping up in low
tion ot the
; ;



often stand upright


their hindfeet, using their tails as a third support.

Otters have several different sorts of call or other vocal soimds according to circumstances.


noises are always difficult to express in writing;

moreover, they


quite a lot in the various kinds of otter and are not very well recorded for the species

occurrhig in


Africa, if at


Not much,

therefore, can be said


this subject.



nocturnal whistle of the European otter

apparently, never uttered


African species. Harris (1968) describes the soiuid made by .4('/))'.v when suddenly alarmed as "a strongly aspirated and explosive 'HaliV ". The same author says that

"a querulous moaning wail" to express anguish, apprehension or, sometimes, greeting. Shortridgc (1934) says he has frequently heard African otters
this species uses



"barking"; and, quoting Stevenson Hamilton, gives the sound made by Aoiiy.x at bay as a tliroaty "Kwa-a-a, kwa-a-a". Yoiuig otters, as those of so many other kinds of mammals, continually utter bird-like twitterings and plaintive squeaks. Though otters may occasionally idle in water they do not often do so, wakingly, on land. Unless they arc actually asleep in their shelters they are generally busily active and rarely, like so many other animals, lie merely basking in the sim. When they are not engaged in eating or excreting they inquisitively examine all the details of their




eager inspection palls they indulge in play, either alone or

with others of their family. Otters have earned a remarkably wide reputation for play; and they arc, without doubt, amongst the most dcdicatedly playful of all animals, their activities in this field having every mark of real play and utter enjoyment without hint of anything more piu-poseful behind it. The stories of those who have had the nature or who have kept them as pets are good fortune to watch young otters endless and are pervaded by a bewitching charm that is, at best, no more than palely reflected in even the most persuasive accounts of other animals of any kind. This is no place to record these, and only brief generalities of behaviour can be given. Play takes place equally in water and on dry land, and as much by a lone otter as between two or three. It not infrequently involves the deliberate selection and use of a toy, and the otter's capacity for deriving continuing amusement from the simplest of sources is a matter for some amazement. In water, play may consist of delighted and quite aimless gambolling in the form of dives, twists and turns, or of endless rapid revolution about the longitudinal axis. It may consist of dropping a stone and diving to catch it in its descent; or it ma)- be a walk on the bottom, shuffling a shellfish along with its nose. One otter is recorded (Maxwell, 1961) as taking a ping-pong ball down


water to enjoy, and expertly appreciate, for lengthy periods its lively antics A ball has its fascination also on land, being struck along with the nose or dribbled football fashion with the feet or flung from the mouth over the shoulder. In nature stones are used for this exercise in place of a ball; and an otter may occupy itself with a smooth pebble for a long time. The young may sometimes play
to the


released at a depth.

of "tig" with one another. One of the pastimes for which otters arc most widely famous, either alone or in company, is sliding. This is easily done in winter in cold climates on snow or ice, set slides being deliberately made and repeatedly used; but when or where these elements do not exist mud slides down steep river banks are made. These are by no means uncommon in Europe, but whether such slides exist anywhere in Africa seems never to have been definitely recorded. Water-chutes are similarly used for play where rivers fall over flat rocks in rapids. The amusing and interesting things that otters can do in the artificial surroiuidings of a human habitation caruiot be gone into very deeply here, the more so as circmnstances must differ in every case. But it may be recorded that the otter's forcpaws,
a species

which are so fashioned that they are expert at holding things, arc rarely idle, exploring the possibilities and uses of anything within reach. This is particularly so with the West African Aoiiyx in which the fingers are imhampcrcd by claws and the structure is not
unlike, in appearance and manageability, a

monkey's paw. So dexterous

are these

hands that

Aoiiy.x can



or bottles (Eyre, 1963) or peel hard boiled eggs, and

which would appear to do the nostrils and ears close reilexly but'. furniture and beds calls for an even temperament and a forbearance not possessed by all. Probably it is normally in the nature of 9 weeks or a day or two less. lasts an hour or more and is repeated several times over the course of a day or two. short fur but the eyes arc closed and appear to remain so for a matter of 5 weeks. There is no doubt that otters. Their insatiable inquisitiveness. and it will be seen that the care of a babv otter is not a task to be entered upon lightly. They are long-lived. pets. though remarkably little that is detuiite is know-ii of this even as regards the long-observed European otters. TJiereafter they have still to be taught swimming and diving and to acquire proper proficiency in hiuiting. one being recorded as existing tor 23 years in captivity. or on the rare occasions when they may attempt slyly to rob a amongst other companion of some tit-bit. but two juvenile of West African Lulra and . if necessary for safety. Probably all the figures here given for these matters will be toiuid to be only approximately correct for species in West Africa. their sense of play resulting in mischiet or destruction.v in the British Museum are both well supplied with teeth. also. The young are.138 Tiir. At this stage the father may return and take part in the training. 193S). cspeciallv if it is accompanied bv admission to the house. Something must now be said of breeding. enchanting. The cubs probably remain with the mother untij skulls . Nevertheless. their determination to get their own way. They are even said. the oxygenconserving submersion mechanism described on page 134 conies automaticallv into operation at a very early age. Copulation takes place in the water. but both these extreme figures arc unusual and the normal expectancy is 2 or 3. Thcv are ccrtainlv not for everyone or for those who like to preserve a well-equipped and tidy house. recognising tnends after prolonged absence (Pitt. these otters have the engaging habit of distracting attention from their act by turning their heads away and gazing abstractedly into the opposite direction. They alone bring up the family. but this period may be very much lengthened by delayed implantation of the fertilized ova in the womb. to be transported thus actually under water indicate that not only from one river bank to another. It has been said (Stephens. being not only extremely entertaining but affectionate and loyal as well. at least in the initial stages. and indeed lovable. and their constant liability to soak clothes. The period of gestation is very much in dispute. There may be anything between i and 5 cubs at a birth. the dog otter not being allowed to come near the nest though lie remains in the vicinity. a warning must be given. Otter bitches make very good mothers. It may be added here that otters have proved themselves to have most excellent memories both for persons and situations. carried from place to place still by the bitch using the loose skin at the back of the neck. caring for their litters assiduously and protecting them fiercely. Add to this. though opinions differ largely as to this. as blind juveniles. T9S7) that the yoiuig are born toothless. make highly intelligent. occupying a holt of his own. The newly-born cubs are covered with fme. cARNivonns of west atrica tilings has shown itself to be an expert pickpocket. When indulging in such an operation. caught yoimg. Tlie cubs seem to develop fairly slowly and do not leave the nest for several weeks. occasional lapses into bad temper resulting in painful and sometimes serious bites.

Nevertheless. It is possible. of all the usual groups of wonns. Otters have often been observed in places infested with these reptiles and though they show no visible awareness or signs of fear it is obvious that they must continually be on the alert. which ranges over much of Europe. and it has long been believed that otters visit the to time in order that the salt water should rid their coats of these and other ectoparasites. Apart from disease otters have two main enemies. or their cubs. rolling. both in the gut and the bloodstream. partly by direct persecution and partly because their once quiet haunts arc more and more being uivadcd and diverted into economic use. They have after at most one litter a year. denote an undeniably close affinity with Acnyx. There seems to be generally in the diversely seasonal climate of Europe litters may occur in any month of the year. rubbing. also. Otters have been found to harboiu: a number of different kinds of internal parasites. Taxonomy. in the tropics that pythons fmd their \\ ay into otters' holts. for water-haunting animals. indeed. because the extreme densit). There is. They may also be aware that a crocodile's periods of entry to the water have something of a set daily rhythm dictated by the demands of their cold-bloodedness and virtual lack of bodily heat control except by alternate smming and immersion. ready to make a swift avoiding tiurn or to flee to the bank. This course is adopted here. been recorded as carr)'ing ticks. but as otter fur is at times a constituent of the droppings (Stephens. is crocodiles. Asia. In the normal course of events otters spend some time cleaning their fiu: by scratching. sea-cleansing apart. winter as well as summer in the tropics it would seem that season. in tropical waters. is Within the subfamily itself the often regarded as no more than a . The position of the Lutrinae as a distinct and valid subfamily of the Mustelidac has never been brought into question since Gray (1865) fu'st suggested this genera are fairly clear except that Paraonyx subgenus o( Aoiiyx since it was so treated by Ellerman. a remarkable difference in the teeth it is one of size rather than of anything phylogenetically more fundamental.v are seen not to be valid in other and better skins. which is 139 about two years. In consequence there have almost inevitably classification.of the underfur makes life amongst it and passage through it difficult. possibly. too. Africa and America. The second West African genus is the almost world-wide Lutra. of being surprised and sprung upon by a leopard or other of the also sea from time — — larger felines. possibly less. And there is always the danger. Even . indeed. reason to believe that the otter population of the world. The hazard of drowning. Some of the characters picked on by Hinton in the type as diagnostic of Pi!M()/!]'. The other enemy. and though an adult dog or bitch would give a good accoimt of itself in a fight with such a snake though it might well be hampered in a restricted space juveniles would easily be taken. in this way. flukes and protozoa. The last does not seem to be a common habit. and while there is. on land. is markedly decreasing. and the rest of the characters. must matter even less. but nothing is known of this in connexion with African species. external parasites seem to be less common than on some animals. man being the chief.LUTRINAE they are sexually mature. biting and possibly licking. 1957) they must at least occasionally clean themselves. Morrison-Scott &: Hayman (1953). and especially of newly expanding areas such as Africa. must always exist. both cranial and external.

though no action has been taken on this and the matter has been dropped. the typical otters are widely spread over a good Many of the chief characters and habits of the genus have been . without long claws and with only slight webs. supported Gray's interpretation ot the position. Type species Lutra macuUcollis Lichtenstein. species and races. in each case tor a shrew. Tlie from the found to be preoccupied and the proposed genus was eventually restyled Hyihiais by Pocock who. skull less than 115 nnn. by Pomel. Tlie two West Atrican genera may be told apart thus: KEY TO THE GENERA OF LUTRINAE (previous key page 93) Cheeks. Hydrictis derived from the Greek liydor.140 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA it been attempts to subdivide sole African species eitlier into independent genera or at least subgenera. This name was later aspects ot external characters.uure.iuiiii Atiiiiiale is properly available under the hitemational Code. but certain ot his names. the Greek words in hydor. Ri'^tuiin Aniiiialc lutra Limiaeiis. 1762 Lutra Brisson. mastoid projecting very prominently behind the aural oritice lips. Lulra was the Latin name for an otter. Proc. Pocock (1921b) described some of this genus. Once again. Loud. 1951 3.: Type species Lutra utaculUollis Lichtenstein. Even in the case of rejection the name still stands as of Briinnich. 1829. Lutra Briinnich.. . Valid as a sub- There is further synonymy ot little concern African litcr. Soc. macuUcollis. a wcisel. 1865. by Kaup. 1921. This Grumie 131. throat. by reason of a number ot small dirterences.. water and ictis. 1762. see Ellcrman & Morrison-Scott. deal of four continents. hydr-. water.. The fullest study of the taxonomy of the Lutrinae is a long monograph by Pohlc (1920) dealing with all the genera. both cranial and external. Type species Mustila lutra Luni. Proc. including Lutra. toreteet with welldeveloped claws and webs. on the after part of the belly. i Dyrctocrai.. As already stated above.: 543. mastoid not remarkably a similar spotted patch often prominent . South name was preoccupied having It is already been used twice..: Sweden. and ijfi/c. Loiid. a weasel. . zool. Soc. in classes IX distrihnlnm ij|.. It is so dealt with herein. was first gcncrically separated others by Gray as HytJrogalc. 1771. and then to a degree irregularly blotched with the normal dark pelage colour. Type species Miistcla . General. Tlie name was compounded from genus. . liydr-... forefeet of the neck and the entire chest wholly white or cream. Genus Lutra [\h^gc 140) LUTRA Brisson.aeus. skull length more than 115 mm. but see page 141 for further comments on this. 2nd edit.) : . zool. the distinctions drawn appear too minor to warrant full generic separation and Hydrictis has commonly been reduced to the status ot a subgenus. Zoologiae Jundamcnta Africa. were proposed to the Commission tor validation. Typical Otters . (It is doubtful whether Brisson's Ri\. sides Aonyx greater or less {pai^c 148) Wliite or cream area contuicd to the mid-throat and upper chest. Hydrof^alc Gray. 1X48. and Pocock..

i. quite a strong case for regarding Hydrictis as valid at full generic level. Arch. maculicollis. Naturgescli. the more important distinctions between it and Aonyx are set forth in the key just given and will become more apparent ni the detailed descriptions which follow. Sudan. and the generally immatiu'e aspect of the skull owing to the feeble development of constrictions. This was named after British Museum: loi. which. but it is a little misleading in that the picture conjured this most generally up by "speckling" it of a much fmer order than that occurring in animal For that reason has sometimes been termed the spotted-necked otter. The skull was distinguished by "many cranial characters. Lulra grayii Gerrard.. This. length of the orbital floor. igii. The most correct name would be spotted-throated. Hydrictis was. It remains only to consider briefly in what characters the typical. crests and prominences". Ann. Lutra malschiei Cabrera.LUTRA 141 given in the general introduction to the subfamily and there is no need to elaborate further what has been said there. E. members of the taxonomic concern to this work. but this has . The specific name was derived from the Latin words macula. The name speckle-throated otter accepted for this is is that animal. the neck. I: 89-92. Named after Professor German West zoologist. Hist. following Gray. Boln R. Mag. more fully webbed and hairy-solcd feet. Catalogue of the Bones of Mammalia in the (= Durban). and even the oldest Hydrictis skulls are in no way so robustly built as those oi Lutra Intra. Malek. Gray of the British Museum. 1835. the mandible and its condylar structiure weaker. 1903. The sagittal and occipital crests are relatively insignificant. from the most genus. is called for species beyond the which follows. though in one respect more accurately descriptive is in another less so since the back and sides of the neck have no markings. 1921 African Long-clawed Otters Since Hydrictis consists of a single species. 3: 182. a spot. Lutra maculicollis nilolica applicable in Thomas. differential characters just no description ot the subgenus given above and the account of the LUTRA MACULICOLLIS reference to the markings Lichtenstein Speckle-throated Otter Lutra maculicollis Lichtenstein. csp. beyond are of no other indeed. Hist. Distribution and general. Palaearctic. The most noticeable feature is the narrowness of the interorbital region and complete absence of postorbital processes. observable in figure 24 o£ Aonyx. Soc. There is. Rio Muni. . South Africa. f. . South Africa (Bamboos Mountains). Port Natal Dr. A Matschie. (8) 8: 726. as shown in figure 21. nat. in on the throat. especially the shortness of the muzzle. Possibly subspecifically applicable in West Africa. and collum. pi. and the consequent lack of the usual lutrine interorbital pentagonal plateau. upper Nile. the palmar and plantar pads being less well developed. proposed by Pocock as generically sepiarablc from Lutra on the groimds of a reduction in the size of the rhinarium and a simplification of the external ear. nonten imdum. 1863. African section Hydrictis differs this. larger. Subgenus HYDRICTIS Pocock. This last is a very apt description. . Possibly Africa. J. nat. 2.

and probably ecologically. age mav affect size.14- Tin. Kpeaple. vN'hile iiiloiica Thomas may cover specimens trom the Sahel zone. geographicallv. Skins are not commonly seen on sale speckle-throated otter to The northwards Ethopia in the east and Liberia in local markets. most distantly separated from the type locality. and Camcrouji (?Ndop): six skins only.J. one time or another been named. Gbanga. being secretive and wary. spotted or blotched with the normal dark ground colour. but this is not very noticeable It is the extent of these white markings which best serves as a means of field recognition. Specimens have been recorded from most West African territories but in the British Museum exist only from Sierra Leone (Waterloo. as in all otters. is by no means clear. body length of about 65 cm and a tail which is rather more than halt this. \\ itli a head &. rate as far as Sierra Leone Jones (personal communication) thinks tliat. being sometimes verv much reduced or. Tappita. the fore part ot the chest and the after part of the belly which are white.ipplicd. Nigeria (Oban. The only exception to tins deep brown lies on the throat and sometimes the chin. it is not often come across by collectors. one alone of which is adult. The position. The size of these mottled areas varies a great deal from individual to individual. The pelage of the speckle-throated ottt r is almost entirely a deep rich red brown intense sepia both above and below. Kahuple. is S. particularly as regards the belK' patch. These figures arc the outcome of actual weighings of living animals. The full-grown weight is about 4-5 kg for a dog otter or 3-5 kg for a bitch (Mortimer. lacking Tlie upper lips arc also narrowly white. whereas in both Aoiiyx and P<ir<uviy. 6 of them recognised in G. two of them juvenile. Nevertheless. T. In the species now under discussion the white is verv strictly confined to the lower surface ot the bodv. Maiduguri). 1963). Allen's Checklist (1939). Harris. but it is possible that matschici Cabrera described from lower Cameroun applies to otters of this species from the forest belt of Nigeria. maculicoUis is thought to be not luicommon in suitable localities tliough. indeed. Hopsoii observed it to be frequent on tlie shores of Lake Cliad. A. (AKN'IVOIMA OI WEST MIUC. at any concerned. of coiu-se. tliis is a much scarcer species than Aouyx. the often quoted "not more than 20 lb (9. Liiiii'i inaciilicollis (Plate 2) is the smallest of our three otters. and two skulls. and it is possible that the species is more at home in lakes and similar wide expanses of water than in rivers. The base of the fur is. Kuhn (1965) 10 different races gives this species as occurring the following places in Liberia: Farmington River. Amongst about 30 was Lntid in otter skins lie examined during his years in that coimtry only one — that cited above from Kenema. None of these is actually from the area dealt with in this book. Towaitown and Zwcdru. rising to the le\i'l of the eves and the sides of the neck and is thus Deaple. Harbcl. 1963).1 kg)" sems to be nothing more than a visual estimate. for although the other two West African otters are bulkier and have a rather paler pelage. It is also plentiful aroinid Lake Victoria (Proctor. widely spread throughout Africa trom near the Cape in the west. Biadatou. Nigeria and Cameroun as comitries of occurrence of the nominate race though these areas are.\ it uninterruptedly covers a iiuuh larger area. About have at — . and wetness the apparent colour of the tur. Siron. however. Description. \\'hite.A it is never Ihx'h used — possibly Ixwuiso is less euplionious than the term most eonimonly . cites Liberia. and near Kenema). Indeed. M.

Spccklothrontcd Otter (Liiira mnailicollis): Cape Cla\vlc« Otter [Amyx dipeiisis) .


The dentition is initially sharply cuspidate and. consisting virtually of two narrow wings enclosing the nostrils without any broad central. 1921b). dog-like.4(i. the plantar pad is poorly defmed and consists of three narrow lobes (Pocock. so unusual amongst a wide range of specimens as to raise doubts about the accuracy of the sexing in these few cases. The undersides of the digits have long hairs. often more m the nature of a ridge than a crest. or in fully adult males a low one. the former of these very small and sometimes deciduous. unlike those of Aonyx. have short but very distinct. sharply trtuicate rostrum. One of these is the rhinarium. There is a sharp clearly-defuied spur on the upper margin of the jugal marking the lower posterior limit of the orbit. As only one adult skull. Skull. The incisors. the webs.v are only detectable in the dead animal. in fact. the mastoids are not very pronounced as they are in Aonyx and Pcinioiiyx. Habits. form two straightly transverse rows. Albinos or partial albinos are known to occur. Ver\' noticeably absent are any signs of postorbital processes. The anterior nares are very wide. which is much narrower than in the clawlcss otter. tightly packed and strong. The bullae are of moderate size and rather less flattened than in other otters. The second lies in the feet. exists from witliin the boiuidaries set tor this work. retains some of this character even in old skulls. dorsal area. its The zygomatic arch is fairly form a large oval intraorbital foramen. both p^ and p^ being closely approximated to this tooth. There is not a great deal of particular application to this species to add to the general review ot otter habits already given. In mature skulls the sutures fuse leaving no trace. For the description of an imusual skin see the taxonomy section below. 20 and 21) is not only much smaller than those of the other West African otters but also ot an altogether less robust build. both top and bottom. . sharp claws on each of the five digits of both fore and hindfeet. The eye is orange-red in adults (Proctor. The mandible is moderately strongly built./)'. Detailed studies have been made of . which. anterior root widely divided to — species are shown in figure 22. Other external features by which uhicitlicollis difiers from . the following description is compiled largely from extralimital material. and that broken and of a not fully mature animal. The compact toothrow is crowded towards the canine. The Lutm (Hydrictis) skull (figs. and the toes fully webbed practically to the tip. Much the same applies to the supraoccipital crest. The size and form of the posterior cheekteeth in relation to those of the other African less none the strong. or at least at very close quarters. The braincase is ovoid. from Lutrn slender but sciisu stricto. The palmar pad is a small four-Iobed structure confined to the proximal part of the foot. Only the oldest females have anything of this kind at all and it is. which even in the oldest males is not very prominent and only rarely markedly upcurved. The palate is continued well beyond the toothrows. and forward of this the intertcmpoialintcrorbital reigon becomes very conspicuously narrow and roughly parallel-sided to the deeply depressed. though much more rarely so than in other species. including the typical European Liitra. 1963).LUTRA 143 readily observable in various postures and at a distance. The braincase narrows sharply anteriorly. either without any trace of a sagittal crest. and it is this peculiarity which most clearly separates Hydrictis sparse hairs. in fact.

xes arc mostlv difficult to distinguish apart in the water. From Procter's account it would seem that maculkollis is markedly more social than most. commonest soon after sunrise. 20. in the bitches towards the rear. otter type. and by MortiiiKr (I'X)}) in /ambia. Passage of food through the gut may be extremely rapid. larger numbers than this getting progressively 1 Fig. Lutra maaiUiollis: skull. but drier faeces of artliropod shells and fish scales are also dropped.\ I . macuhcollis indulges m play both in and out of water. almost touching the ground. Hoase-cleanluicss is evident in captive specimens. flinging fish back and forth a schoiil totalling rarer. as in other otters. a bitch holds the tail out stiff horizontally. in other parts of the world. but he once observed bitches..144 ( AUMVOKl. often . mostly im a ilonicsticatcd female. Amongst other things it is not infirequently given to teasing its prey. the dog vertically. although on the relativelv undisturbcxl sliores of it is Lake Victoria the species a]ipears to be chiefly diurnal. On shore. the larger ones dog-otters. 23. and. but the otters may actually alrc-ady have been swimming about for some time before this in the scmi-darkness.1. No. identification is easier.M. lateral view about a score. Defaecation is invariably accompanied bv urination. though full-grown males are appreciably more heavily built than females.22. particularly at times of excretion since in the dogs the urine is projected forwards. there are recognised sprainting places. blackish slimy. but not I'l'a' versa. Small parties are mostly voung. rishing may take |ilace at any hour of the day. Like other otters. In excretion the body crouches low.44.S Ol WIS 1 I AlKKA iihuiiluollis by I'miti-r (1963) ni tlic ticld 111 anzjiiia. or sometimes night. se. Moth accounts tend U> show tliat tlic specklctliroated otter corresponds in liabits and beliaviour tairly closely to other Liiira species /. B. He records that parties of from to 6 are fairlv common. The spraints are mostly of the common. The two se.

sex ?. observation oftiie speikle-tliroated otter arouiul tiie shores oil ake VieliMi.irli. skull. tluniii. sonu'lniu's giviiii.I. . 1.22. No. I. i'roeier.iiul 10 w. ol these. it.ilatal t\ ili»rs. U a sliglu nip In ilisaMc it p. ij. on very soft reaching to tlie two otlier West Atricaii species by tjie mud or sand. 44. M. the taint imprint of webs ends ot the digits. (!r.uiil |nirMiini:. p.ur Inittcil alioiit with the nose. the more so as there were otter tracks around Incidentallv. X I .seals") lett hy this otter can be readily distingiiislied troin those ot the clear prescjice otclaw marks and.iilrii iiiiUiiliiollir.nul smh like . loni. the tracks (". 21.illy .UTIIA 145 liom l.iirr .u N'lcws species.ukI slow down us iiiovciiK-nts.ibs .i never saw nukl-slKles like tiiose reeorileil as made elsewliere hy other Fig. 11. Init Mortimer notieeii what might well have been one it.

On emergence from the water the head is shaken but not the body. in West Africa. being earned out trom tJie water. heights of up to 6 feet. Procter tound Hiiplochivniis oi from 10 to 20 cm to be a favourite on Lake Victoria. f-or ordinary used in which the feet are moved alternately or the gait sometimes used by domestic dogs as an alternative normal trot. is not above an ungainlv scramble into the water with a large splash wlien suddenly alarmed. tor Procter When not in the water these otters spend a good deal ot time grooming their tur. exhibits astonisjiing grace and especially 111 agilit\-. This otter. invariably started at the tish tlie end. One ot these otters. to tisli. Clambering up and over rocks is effected without diiiicultv.uit quanof water in flower vases or other small vessels. On land the gait is rather awkward is purposes a rather clumsy walk hindlegs to the as a pair — this latter a but progress somewhat taster. probably a challenge. leaving scarcely a however. are used in swimming. . A pungent musky smell is emitted as a reaction to fright. potatoes and peas. at least. as otten popularly held tor other species. Another tities . observed one of these otters to eat a small quantity ot sedge. and Procter observed tliat a jump ot at least one metre could be made across a gap. Mortnicr ot" gives measured figures tor short distances which indicate a rate progress through the water ot only about 4 thrust also graceful km an hour. This was found by Mortimer to be at the rate of about -j-z km an hour. a genus that occurs. Mortimer's experience with a young tame otter made him doubttul whether this species could travel long distances overland as this one. A taster speed can be achieved by a run. as other species. diving is coming from and ripple on vigorous use ot the latter. Mortimer's measured speed tor this is about 5. beans. said that over a short distance one ot these otters can keep up with a running man. used when playing or scolding.ilinost clear ot rlic \\ate\ and tlic subscqiioiit dive is luarlv vertical. and tmally there is a sort of gallop. and Mortimer's tame one deliberateK robbed the garden ot carrots. Smaller or molluscs are eaten in the water. the legs moving alternately. the main Apart trom swimming. in yoimg animals at least. which would be at least twice as tast as this. TiLipia is that a numiier offish this IS certainly but often proves too tast to catch. His tully-grown bitch ate trom 4-1 to 4-7 kg a week. CAUNIV ORES or WKST AlUICA is Wlu'ii diviiii. Vegetable tood seems not only acceptable but desirable. though it is. the animal "humping" along. Although various toods.2 km an hour. Procter describes four. either upright while treading water or while otter is floating on its back. the drying ot wliich IS aided bv the usual otter practice ot rolling or rubbing. moving fore and hindteet in pairs alternately.nv taken tish seem to constitute the chief diet in this species. The second is "a prolonged mewing ya-a-ii-ii'. The commonest call is "a shrill chikkering". Both tore and hindlcgs a skilled. including crabs and moilu cs. The soiuids uttered are various. Vision on land is obvious!)' only good over very short distances.146 rill-. but not always so. hearing and smell are better developed. but much more rarely. readil v acceptable tail and. Mortimer observed the latter to make immediate response to seemingly quite insignitic. the liod\' arLlu'd . the rapidity ot its turns: but there is not much actual speed m swimming. appeared to become very soon overheated. Mortimer observed would be landed betore the meal was actually commenced.

No. The anterior halt of a very interesting skin exists in the British Museum. the side ot the neck and shoulder much as in Aonyx. In this case it is merely a lighter golden colour without the least indication of any spotting and. this paler area reaches higher than is usual in maculicollis. 34. and mostly from single specimens or otherwise quite inadequate material. Very little has been found out about breeding in the speckle-tlnroated otter. call an "ic-yaiig" might be a little over 2 months. front and sides of the fore-limbs and part of the hind-limbs being almost completely white". This is dorsally of a golden-brown colour rather lighter in tone than the usual run of rich chocolate inaailicollis pelage but the chief interest lies in the throat and chest area. which is a flat one. Teeth were still being cut at 6 months. who observed and recorded growth over a period of nearly two years. Colour is notoriously uiu-eliable and in iiiMulicclIu is known to change with age (Procter. These have been diagnosed. The same author indicates that the spotted white underside markings are even more luidependable since even among the limited population on Lake Victoria "there is a very great individual variation in the amount of white on the throat. Mortimer. The measurements in the table on page 159 are derived from extralimital specimens of Bates's together with the yoimg adult skull from Oban. for the weight thereafter remained stationary at this figure. remained luialtercd. Allen's Checklist (1939). from Spanish Guinea with very dark pelage and relatively large teeth. the left foreleg. But it is not smoked. Indeed. Every gradation is seen firom no white spotting at all to the whole throat. and iiilotica Thomas trom Sudan. Mortimer described the commonest sound uttered by his iiuiadicollis as a high-pitched squeak which. often as independent species rather than races. reputedly of yet larger size with larger teeth. 3-3 kg at 6i months. Procter thouglit the period of "a squealing whistle". Taxonomy. Nine forms have been named from different parts ot Africa. it is impossible one broken subadult skull and no skin to tell from existing West African material furnished with measurements whether this is so. and 3-5 kg at 7A months. trom Maiduguri in the Sudan woodland of Nigeria. in tact to about the level of the eye and ear. proving it incontrovcrtiblv to be Lutra. changed to a high-pitched trill. in their respective habitats. and it is in this and other respects not far removed from the type ot Waterhouse's Aonyx pocnsis. But it will be obvious that. on the characteis ot size or colour or markings. 414. No. belly. 2-5 kg at 5 months. too.LUTRA is 147 made when excited. . 1963). in West Africa. at least up to 20 months when the weigliing ceased. found the weight of his female to be 1-36 kg at li months. bears three distinct claws. even it these races should pirove to be valid. 55. as in play-figliting. chest. the specimen. may occur.12. south-east gestation — — i . Nieeria. and he once heard but never anytliing resembling a bark. at first glance gives the impression of being an Aonyx skin that has been smoked and so discoloiurcd. moreover. The body length. and the only foot now remaining on this partial skin. It would seem that a litter of 3 is a common number.9. six ot them currently recognised in G. 24. M. 16. in certain circumstances. at which time it was apparently full grown. normally pure white spotted with groimd-colour. It has been suggested that both mat<chki Cabrera.

Mag.22. Murray. right upper Hii . 23.w cither as a Fig. 1921. Lutrinae: posterior cheekteeth.9.44. leit lower and iih. Hist. capci:si<. B. hisloirc nalurcUc dcs iiiatiiiiiijcrcs: !$" Type is species Aoiiyx dilalaiiM Lesson -= Ultra capinsis Schinz). No. This name given by Murray himselt as meaning belonging to an estuary. c. 2: a. 10. bottom row.''' and 111^. Soc.M. ( Mmnul lic maminaloiiic. the former arc assigned to the genus Aouyx. Edinb. Piiriiiiii/.M. Litlra iiiaciilicolhs. No. 2: 157. 193S. iS:!7. Type species Paraoiiyx philippsi Hinton. the latter to Ainhlouy. Aoiiyx B. b. to tlie tect.\) coii(. . Aoiiyx {Paraoiiy. There arc two groups of clawless otters. with rctercnce Proc. phys. The name the two Greek Murray words Aiiahysli-r a without.M. 22. No. since Calabar lies in the estuary of the Cross and Calabar liivcrs.148 THE CARNIVOUFS OF WEST AFIUCA Genus AONYX Lesson. Uganda. 2.8 . top row. 25. (g) 7: 194-196. from the Cape ot Good Hope. Type is species Aiialiyslcr culaharkm (= Liimi capcnsis Schinz) from Calabar. but whence such a meaning was derived is not clear.v Losoii. nat. The name is a compound o(Aoiiyx with the Greek prefix para meaning near. the other wholly Asian. one wholly African.29. B.-loiiy. oil 1827 African Clawless Otters .ica.4iiii. Valid as a subgenus.v Hinton.1. II. 1R60. Nigeria. R. and onyx claw.

.12.x lalandii in Proc. and 1112 Museum. i860.. 1897. Proc. No. 141. the crown width o( iii^ about 13 to 15 andof/di 10 or over Aonyx mm . however. cd. delalandi Lesson. . The African clawlcss otters arc themselves divided into two groups. in Cuvier's Lutra immgiiis F. B. in moderate condition. 1823. catalogue the reference appears as "Lutra Gambianus Gray Ost. Lulra poeiisis Waterhouse. AONYX CAPENSIS Cape of Good Hope. . in the No. Afr. Soc. the crown width of . species This was called after Mons. 285). The important diagnostic character lies in the dentition but the two subgenera may be told apart thus: son-Scott.M. Cat. in fact. o. Tlic Asian animals are much smaller than the African and have their feet webbed to the ends of the digits.M. 195 KEY TO THE SUBGENERA OF AONYX (previous key page 140) Dorsal pelage only slightly "frosted". Delalande. though split into two pretty clear subgenera. 1939) cither. capensis Schinz. The undescribed intended type. ever to have been published. Type B. Mamm. the right m^. 1838. 1945) or as a subgenus ofAonyx (Ellerman & Morri1). 1941 Simpson. 1847". Manuel de mammalo^ie oil histoire iianirelle des Good Hope. Cape of provided the information on which the was founded.11. These two sections have many points in common. as having been published m "Gray. Lutra ganibiaiiiis Gray. zool. from both sides missing. Lulra capensis Schinz. zool.5. in poorish condition. 836a). about 9-5 to 10-5 mm. number was 836b. This was listed as a s)'nonyin by Gray himself under Aony.27: 247-249..AONYX full . 55. whereas the African ones fall short of this. . who mammifercs: 157. by G. . Cat. Fernando Poo.. Proc.!i 6-5 to mm . 1827 Typical African Clawless Otters Aonyx comprises a single species. Paraonyx (page 154) Subgenus AONYX Lesson. Diclionnaire des Sciences iiaturelle . 63. ser. Ediiib. and no diagnosis seems. 7-5 mm. Aiiahyster calabariciis British Murray. p. Mamm.. 1821. is in the British Museum. Land. Foss. in fair condition but 3 upper incisors. in (skull. Cuvier. pt. (^page »|i 149) Head and shoulders often with a well "frosted" mantle. skin only. I'l'i'. 12. p. 149 genus (Pocock. seemmgly. 46. 3. No. The skull only. Type m the British Museum.M. . skull only. i. Nouv. 5. partly broken and with a number of teeth missing. Occid.. 1888. In Gray's own handwriting in a MS. 2. Calabar. but this reference has not been traced 9 (according to Trouessart. for 1865: 130. The Aonyx specihc najnc is the Latin for without a claw. R.24. 2. Both references appear to be quite untraceable. once considered to be distinct genera but now usually dealt with as one. Vert.414. 1S27. 12. but in spite of this it seems best to proceed at once to their separate consideration.)".. 17. (original No.: 60. was it — Allen (Chcckhst. and is sufficiently differentiated from its companion subgenus in the above key.. Soc. original Lutra lenoiri Rochcbrune. Cape of Good Hope. and of ). Loud. B. I: 214. Cat. nor. Soc. and no further subgencric details are here necessary. p. 2: 157-158. Nigeria. Schinz Das Thiarckh . M. sex?. Cape Clawless Otter aus dcm Framosiihcn frey iihcrsctzt . phys..

the same localities as Liitra. Hopson in the sand some 350 metres from the shores of Lake Chad. seem to conccrr. plentiful in all areas. on which ituiculici^llu is kno\\ii to be tairly common. Jones (personal commun:. and. of the remainder onlv two have skulk. and there are no external measurements whatsoever. Sierra Leone. These last are to be found only on the hindfoot. but precise measurements for West 750 to 925 Africa do not exist. . being frequent in the mangrove swamps. apart from size. however. G S.but almost certainly forest.. J. Indeed. At 16 to 20 kg it is tar larger than L.small ears are white. otter in Africa. sometimes. S. Description. to a distinctly paler mid-brown. The coat is variable in colour from a deep red-brown. of all the Aonyx skins in the British Museum only three have measurements. Skins are. skins of . sharp claws though in some cases furnished v\. indLiilicollis. Porruguese Guinea (mangrove?) and Gambia. They are quite devoid of the usual carnivore long. Ashanti and Asikum near Oda (both forest) in Ghana. In some cases the hairs have pale tips.^^. the whole paw is very similar to a small hand. Calabar (forest belt). locahtv. Described originallv irom the Cape of Good Hope. The Cape clawless otter (Plate 2) is a bulky animal. both ot wild and domesticated animals. quite unspotted. Bonthe and an unspecified localirv. visually distinguishes this otter from maadkollis is the wholly white or cream. and its unmbtakeable tracks have certainly been observed by A.5 species rather than Ltara. The structure is. It is as much a forest animal as one of the more open and arid woodlands and it is knov^Ti to occur on mountains at over 2000 metres. and even bigger specimens than this have been recorded in South Africa. This is possibly the most widespread.-een Aonyx and LutTd. In Sierra Leone Aonyx is. The head & body length is from about and the tail about 110 to 5S0 mm.v are frequentlv exposed for sale in Malamiatori market. Zaria (Doka woodland) and Maiduguri (Sudan w-oodland). almost as dark as L. up to nearly 30 kg. upper chest. but these are not so white as in Puraoiiyx and the overall effect not nearly so "frosLcd".I>0 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA Distribution and general. indeed. It is said to inhabit. the more so as the interdigital webs are much reduced on the forefoot.:^:. Moreover.-. Paruonyx. throat. Two are complete juveniles. :? somewhat misleadingly todav referred to as the Cape clawless otter."ctreme western Nigeria. according to T.-iLi/iy. not far ir -ke. inacuUcoUis. that constitute the most important ditFerence berw. commonly offered for public sale. It is the feet. side of the neck and of the face to the level of eye and ear. mm . the spinal zone being a little darker than the sides. it not the commonest.-ith rudiments. one from Kenya and two from Ethopia. Nine 'West African specimens exist in the British Museum from: an unspecified Fernando Poo. locality unkno\\ni. panicularly over the shoulders and neck. It seems possible that Aonyx sensu stricto is entirelv replaced in certain areas bv the subgenus m . The digits themselves are fingerlike in appearance. all Nigeria. it has .^c j^cn collected or reported from a large number of places in most countries ixom South Africa northwards to Ethiopia in the east and Senegal the west. Most otter accounts. there also. Child (private communication) records it from Kainji Lake and the Borgu Game Reserve in the Doka bush of . The margins ot the ver\. chin. Bolama Island. th. The feature which. usually as tiny flattish nails on the 3rd and 4tli digits.

deep sagittal crest and pronoiuiced. parallelsided. of a good deal of trasted mm . Aoiiyx has often been kept in capti\'ity. The canines are exceptionally long and sharp. when not lacking. upturned supraoccipital crest which continues round the sides of the braincase to exaggeratedly large maculicollis. though there is not strictly what is technically known as a postcanine gap (see page 18). not so higlily developed roiuided and quite smooth. in fact. The rhinariimi is broad in the skull is and rather dog-like.AONYX in fact. The bullae are small and flat. slender paroccipital crests. 151 used for grasping much usual mammalian structure apart are better developed into a maimer of a hand and is far more deft than the from the primates. 22). thus marking out the pentagonal plate usual in this subfamily. with a tall coronoid excavated at its base in the ramus to accommodate a large muscle. The rostrum is extremely short and falls away almost vertically. there is enough space between the two toothrows anteriorly to accommodate a fair amoimt of flesh and thus increase the firmness of the canines' hold on a fish. and often p. set in equilateral fashion. above and below. In the females this cresting cranium is The long intertemporal and short less parallel-sided . The mature Aoiiy. being practically in contact with the inner face of the canine. is There are also large. But its way of life in nature is a different matter. The palmar and plantar pads miited central pad than in Liitra. suited to penetrating deeply and holding is process. the upper caniassial has one long pointed cusp. The condylar hinge deep and strong. The result of the smalhiess of these teeth is that. serried transverse row. stronger and more rugged The rather flat braincase is not only broader but has also. well suited to dealing with the soft flesh of fish and molluscs. The arches are strong with well-developed jugal hooks reaching up towards the postorbital processes. p'^. as conThe maximum crowii width o( m^ in the former is of the order 13 to 15 mm with 95 to 10-5 in the latter. the mandible ver\' powerfully built. well to the rear of the toothrows. It is the great breadth of the posterior cheekteeth wliich chiefly serves to diflerentiate Aoiiyx seiisti stricto from the subgenus Paraonyx (fig. Its behaviour in domestication has therefore been well observed and corresponds closely to that of other otteis in similar radier anificial circumstances. In spite of the general impression of strength the teeth as a whole seem ver\. Skull. Habits. and if procured at a sufficiently early age makes an agreeable. in the well.x structure than that o( Ltitra an incomparably larger. while in the young of both interorbital legions are abruptly narrow and more or there are sharp postorbital processes and slight ridges joining them to the sagittal crest. The dentition is powerful. but soon wearing do\\ii and together with the very broad posterior molars forming more of a crushing than sectorial imit. . The cheekteeth as a whole form a short compact series. The incisors of the upper jaw form a nearly straight. Although the species has often been wxitten about most of these accounts consist. much securely a peculiarly slippery and active prey. and prominent niastoid sexes the processes. are relatively small. The palate is rather narrow and continues. a sharp.liable to both wear and damage. the fust tliree premolars. the anterior nares very large. those of the mandible being often a little more irregular. the lower three. friendK" to both human beings and other animals. interesting and amusing pet.

In captivity these animals. as anything but easy.Y in the vations. surmise aiid generalities and remarkably indeed. small rodents. make good pets if taken young and brought up on the in bottle. They display quite unexpected intelligence. This author describes a variety of sounds made. to a bitcli may be true. iiuuulicollis. whine of frustration. but where it has reason to tear man it confines its activities to the early and late parts of the day. having ot itselt discovered two dozen eggs in a cupboard. the latter applying. the usual list ot other foods molluscs. lakes or swamps. The normal litter seems to be 2 or 3. solving problems which they would not come up against 111 nature such as opening afiuca actually positive. while Moseley asserts that it hunts in small companies. The explosive wild has already been referred to in the general obser- "Hah I" uttered bv . 1934) Lancaster says that Aoityx capcnsis solitary as a rule. not Tiko and Douala (Cameroun). when he is in a temper". e. not only holding things but also to throw small articles (Eyre. 1963). The species is said to take. con- appreciated freshly-killed moles. as the result of first-hand experience in the field. Possibly crabs are easier. a purring growl with a warble in it though demanding when pleased. between comparable situation of mangrove and Clawless otters sea at Bonthe (Sierra Leone). T. to be seen in the large lagoons. far or was some years ago. Zammarano (1930). in remote streams. bottles and cupboards with amazingly dexterous fuigers. hurled them. of course. that is Statements. other otter species. Jones obtained a specimen from the in a sea. sequently. Aony. it is./j'. time and patience. tor Eyre (1963) records an occasion when a domesticated otter. and possibly becomes largely nocturnal. demanding attention. a high-pitchcd squeak. decided that the clawless otters were endowed with very acute senses. The African clawless otter may. S. most trightening. T. instead of treating them as a desirable meal. The species has otten been observed on the sea coast. The paws are used almost as hands. Both. sometimes be come across fishing or sporting in the water at high noon. S. A great drawback ot having to adopt a nocturnal existence must lie in the increased difficulty of detecting and capturing tish in the dark. are littered with claws and other remains of these crustaceans. also. presumably one by one for amusement in the usual otter fashion of dealing with a pebble. Certainly any interest in eggs does not appear to lie in their attraction as food. birds and so forth. all over the floor. constantly revisited. The . but no clear evidence of this seems to be forthcoming and any such robbery might as well prove to be the work of a ratel. as is when {fide Shoitridge. as in any and her yoiuig.152 THE c:aknivoiu-s or little \vi.x is always held to be much less ot a fish eater and more of a crab eater than Liitra crab shell. Eyre's tame ^4ci.xert considerable charm. but as many as 5 has been estimated trom a tield observation of a bitch and cubs. Jones (personal communication) had numbers of young brought to him in Sierra Leone and from these the litter size appeared to be invariably 2.4i'/i)'.v greatly — It has in southern Atrica a great reputation as a fowl and egg thief. Nothing defuiite appears to have been recorded of breeding. a and a "most luiearthly scream. seem sometimes to be diametrically opposed. and he characterized them as cautious and cunning in the highest degree and the hunting ot them. a hiss and a growl when trightened. It is a fact that the spraints contain a good deal ot and the feeding sites. lizards.

in fact. very thin and of the permanent dentition. as Waterhouse described them. in fact. sense. but instead of being white or creamy they arc. and not very dissimilar from the specimen now under discussion. In fact both Thomas (1889) and Lonnberg (1910) considered it to belong to Lutra maculiaillis. The skin has the correct adult coloration though the fur. appears to dirter in no material respect.9. was foimdcd on a skull very poorly diagnosed by Murray. accepted this unusual colouring as having full specific validity. Jones reckons that it is normally between September and October. On the other hand. now in the British Museum. Pohle (1919). 16. a Lutra. not only as a species but as the type of a distinct new genus as well because it had one fewer premolar in the upper jaw than Lutra vulgaris of Europe. Allen (1939) six. never referred to in literature except by Gray himself. the throat. none of them from West Africa. are without much value the skin has no feet and it is therefore not absolutely certain that it is Aoiiyx at all. Pohle (1919) recognised four. B. 34. from other typical capetisis. neck and sides of the face follow the pale. i. Eyre (1963) says that in a young animal the round eyes are a deep navy blue. however. two newly-born specimens exist. the young have to be taught to swim by their parents a fact that must be borne in mind with captive whelps. poensis Waterhouse in addition as a separate species. The skull of this reputed species also is in the British Museum he thought was there is still no sign — — . with indisputable claws on a forefoot but without spots. unspotted. Next. However. With. No. A.AONYX period of gestation 153 is unkiiowji but has been guessed at as about 2 months. as noted earlier. There have. a character that never occurred in the niaculicollis group. In 1838 Waterhouse named pocnsis from a skin which. both wholly white. three of the proposed types resting in the British Museum. G. The skull of this specimen is. He further entirely rejected Thomas's and Lonnbcrg's opinions regarding the genus of this specimen on the grounds that the throat was luispotted. disagreeing in respect of synonymy with Gray. That Pohle himself seems to have been wrong in this is demonstrated by the iiiaciilicollis skin. S. There is probably no set breeding season in West Africa but T. and J. and nothing further can be decided regarding its generic. Taxonomy. comes his gamhianns. the whelps being born in a hole in the bank. The possibility therefore yet remains that the poeiisis type is. appears to be that of a young animal. of no date but prior to 1865. Thomas and Lonnberg. Allen (1924) regarded the species as "practically indeterminable" from Murray's diagnosis. M. from its size and the nature of the pelage. except possibly its slighter size. On the 5th October he obtained a very young animal which had its eyes open but which being suckled. As with other otters. pattern of Aonyx. been four attempts to relate special forms to this region. The question of races is more obscure. specific or subspecific standing until more and better material emerges from Fernando Poo. This absence oi p^ is now known to be a not unusual dental variant. above and below. The skull. They are often somewhat reluctant. largely colour. The next proposed form. Trouessart.M. calaharicm Murray from Calabar in south-eastern Nigeria. "of a rich deep golden yellow with a faint brownish hue" though in the past 130 years this has become obscured by London grime. subgeneric. has not its fmal composition. The diagnostic characters given. hi spite of the very v/ide range of this otter there is little doubt of there being but a single species of ^4o»)'.v in its restricted.

the contrast in size of the posterior cheekteeth being so marked. However. merely in the list of synonyms ot Aoiiyx laliwdii Lesson given in Gray 1865: 130 and Gray 1869: 109. docs not differ from typical capcnsis. Three species have been described: couq^ica Lonnberg from lower Congo. This. with commendable understanding and restraint. has changed very little in the halfcentury since J. The no description of the species seems ever to have been attempted and it appears. shown in figure 22. Allen (1924). with untraceable reterences. this is reputed to have been described is said (Thomas. Subgenus PARAONYX Hinton. philippsi Hinton from Uganda.i)'. Under such circumstances. The situation. it seems . The differences in coloration indicated by the descriptions of these forms are more than covered by the range of variation in the present LangChapin series of some twenty specimens from a single locality (Faradje). A. . apart from is a iwincn uihlimi. no biown existing specimen of the reputed species whatsoever (Lonnberg. These have been pretty generally accepted as independent species. in a footnote. that the so-called "diagnosis" of all diagnostic characters. that in spite of the otherwise strong overall general resemblance in the shown of the skulls it is easy to tell the two subgenera apart at a glance. and micradon Pohle originally from lower Cameroim but subsequently reported also within the limits set for this account. The status of these various forms should be held more or less in abeyance until a good scries from each type locality has been studied and compared.1_S4 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA its name somewhat larger size. The work in which and. without flesh measurements and in some instances from poorly prepared material. wrote of the then reputed forms of ^4('. none of them can be said to rest on a very satisfactory basis. surtered the usual lack . There are no external — ." better not to add another name to the list Such skull measurements as are derivable from the present very poor West African material in the British Museum are given in the table on page 159. moreover. 1910: 3). but it appears to the present writer . Finally there is Rochebrune's supposed kiioiri from Senegal. is also a ncmcn nudum and in this case there is. . while the individual difference in size is more than covered by the twelve adults. In the erection of such races considerable caution would be called for in view of the knowii idiosyncratic variation that occurs in otters illustrated earlier in this account by Procter's observations oiLntra macnlicolUs. therefore.v capcnsis: "As these five forms appear to have been described in each case from a single specimen. The main point of difference certainly lies the dentition. in fact. Whether or not there arc forms that might constitute valid West African races is quite indeterniinable from the study material at present available. data. 1889: 196) to printed and hence never validly published. he apparently have been privately actually examined Rochebrune's description and remarked. 1921 Small-toothed Clawless Otters The in as chief characters which distinguish this subgenus from Aoiiyx scnsti stricto are sufficiently key on page 149.

but . Lower Congo. is in some ways the best. and odon tooth. None of the differences he cites seems to have much importance. Aoiiyx iniaoioii Pohle. The three "species" can at most be reckoned as races. Type in the Biitish Museum. No specimens assigned to microdon from elsewhere in the area herein treated as West Africa seem ever to have been recorded. M. i. though in the past it was very probably closed forest. skin in good condition. or Noun. Cameroun. Bomsc.1. Zool. in later erecting micmdon. (9) 7: 196-200. Ark. 7. a much better representation than there is of the other forms and of the more widely distributed Aonyx capensis. It is thus just extralimital to the area covered by this present work. for 1919. Jeffreys obtained several skulls from the Nun marshes. Small-toothed Clawless Otter No.. was able to make only three cranial comparisons. The Nana River is originally described. Philhpps. Paraoiiyx philippsi Hmton. lyio. so that there arc now 9 skiills and a skin in the British Museum collection. Called after Capuin J. and the value of even such a reduced status is. Lonnberg's description ot congica. M. Hinton in diagnosing philippsi as the type species of his new genus Paraonyx appears to have been quite unaware of PohJe's earlier creation. A.AONYX 155 that the evidence in support of this. Nana River. is probably still of the order 1300 metres. but Pohle cites a number of localities of occurrence in lower Cameroun. E. from the Greek micros small. W. Nalurgcscli. D. though lower than that of the siurroundmg mountains. Ann. a tributary of the Sangha and flows eventually into the Congo. on the few data now available. io°25E. District Commissioner sect. Because of tliis. all from Uganda. however. Distribution and general. are for skins imsupported by It seems impossible today to fix Bomse whence micivdon was I5°I5E. the earliest form now assigned to Paraoiiyx. with precision the whereabouts ot the village of it was probably at about 5°55N. pt. but there arc four skulls and five skins of philippsi. 22. is very slender indeed. was based largely on a broken skull from which very limited measurements could be taken. 9. Arch. rehcts of this vet remaining. The three forms are here treated as a single species. microdou. 1921. congica. 1920. AONYX CONGICA Lonnberg Aonyx capensis congica Loiinbcrg. Lake Bunyonyi.. though in respect of teeth he made ten. The surrounding area is today open country with scattered trees of a rather Guinea woodland type. skull with the arches broken and partly missing. Hist. No specimen actually assigned to congica or emanating from the Congo exists in the British Museum. British Ruanda (= Uganda). The position as regards the form most closely associated with western Africa. River flows into the Sanaga and thus lies well outside the Congo basin to the north. The existence o£ Paraoiiyx in West Africa itself was not suspected until in 1938 Dr. 9: 1-8. nat. These. 21. based as it is on insinifigcant differences of size argued for the most part from single skulls. Mag. The specific name is at Kigezi. No. The Nun.. the centre of this swampy area being at about 5°55N.. 85: 145-147. of doubtful worth or validity. Its upper reaches pass through the Ndop plain and are there extensively marshy. Two others were procured later by the present writer from the same area. PolJe. that is to say some 40 km directly east of Bamenda.C. The altitude of the Ndop plain.

i .\ ?. B.M. since it is neither in the Shari and Niger Fig. 23. The locality Brce's specimen ditfers in certain respects area. taken in this work is as constituting the nor in the Congo basin but in the westwardly sloping area via the Ogowe River. and the coronoid process more slender. as it is not in the British Museum material. Aonyx (Paraotiyx) amgica: skull. Dr. . P. 1938. These facts may account in some measure for the differences which arc apparent: there is no sagittal crest. No. This lies in a geographical situation distinct from those of the other specimens imder consideration. somewhat uncertain. Literal view drainage systems. Through the courtesy of Dr. but it is less some 700 km from the major part ot West Africa. emptying into the Atlantic south of the Nun marshes. the mastoid processes are far less bulky. North-cast Gaboon.4.9.J. no sharp supraorbital processes.156 skulls. whereas none of the London examples is sexed. THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA and their identification as what we now call Paraonyx rather thaii as typical Aonyx is. as Pohle himsclt pointed out. it is a female.29. van iiiicwdoii material from this last toothworn. 5e. and the basisphenoid suture is still detectable. H. van Brce of the Zoologisch Museum Amsterdam it has been possible to examine a skull procured by him from Loa-Loa near Makokou. Moreover. the rostrum at the level of the canines is appreciably narrower. But even it these distinctions held for further specimens from this area they are racial rather than spiecitic.

) co„sica: skull.9. B. paUal & dorsal . iParaony. Z938.G.y.39.M. Ao..AONYX 157 F.4. x . a4. No. sex ?.

Absolutely nothing is known ot the habits ot l\iraouyx. Lonnberg (1910) and Hinton (1921). therefore. The canines arc rather shorter and slighter. misquoted in Hinton. The evidence. Taxonomy. best omitted. throat. is The a little larger than pliilippsi. coti^ica. instead of being more or less straight-sided. 1921). on the other hand. The most obvious external dirtcrcncc lies ni the "trosting" of the head.I. the average crown width ot iii^ is only about <)h as contrasted with at least 50 per cent more in capensis. but the 3 skulls of the latter are all females. Something has already been said ot this. at an\' rate tor the time being. supposing from the one that this species would probably prove to be yet more terrestrial than capensis. capcnsis but it is usually either lacking or not very marked. A little of this may be present in A. and it would thus ccrtainlv seem possible that this otter consumes a high proportion ot frogs and relatively little tish. there is not much to distinguish the mature Paiaonyx skull from mature Aotsyx except tor a rather broader interorbital and intertemporal breadth. The question boils down to whether the named forms do in truth constitute valid races. The data are slender and a little confused. There seems to be no good reason to suppose that three independent species exist. too. are more conspicuously white. Hinton said that the facial vibrissac were weakly developed in comparison with capensis. . both made some interesting surmises from the nature ot the tect and the reduced size of the posterior cheekteeth. and from the other that it was not well adapted to dealing with hard-shelled Crustacea but rather with small terrestrial vertebrates and eggs. and in 8 out of 13 skulls/)^ was never developed. The forefeet arc un webbed. the pelage colour mm On this table very fhmsy evidence it does. but there is not much evidence that this is so except possibly in so far as those situated above the eyes are concerned. The rami. the microdon skulls are unscxed but from the appearance of the sagittal crest nearly all seem to be males. In some cases it is pretty concentrated. Attention has already been abundantly drawn to the relatively small size of the posterior cheekteeth. Apart trom the dentition.SS THE CARNIVOKIiS OF WEST AFRICA Pciraoiiyx is extremely similar to Aciiyx. In general overall appearance bnild is The body much the same. which microdon inJiabits. Skull (hgs. Habits. and pattern basically the same. IS quite inconclusive and a third name is. the hindfeet only to the second joint. curve in towards one another. it forms a conspicuous feature extendnig from just back of the eyes to a little past the shoulders. has numerous small streams and other water-courses but no largish rivers such as otters normallv like to frequent and swim in and which would be much better stocked with fish. The swampy nature of the terrain makes it ideal for amphibian lite. In this connexion it is of interest to note that the Ndop plain. however. that is to say deep sepia-brown on back and belly but the chin. the most important diagnostic feature of the subgenus. in others well diffuse but none the less obvious. in A. 23 and 24). neck and shoulders due to the bristle-hairs being white-tipped. There is no specimen ot coiigica in the British Museum from which to make direct measurements and comparisons. seem on page 159 gives the impression that microdon to be slightly the largest. which is comparatively shown in figure 22. cheeks and chest wholly creamy-white without spots. then. in respect ot tins. there exist only Lonnberg's figures from a broken skull (incidentally. Description. possibly a little larger. however. The margins ot the small ears.

LUTRINAE Table 8: — MEASUREMENTS 159 Numerical data for subfamily Lulrinac .

and that. A 1945)- As already made later clear m connexion with the Canoidea there as is no single character that indubitably defmes this superfamily other than the septate bulla. rostrum j-| long. arc of unitorm and unmistakable major section of the second family. all well represented in West heterogeneous assemblage. may be taken as most of the group and. the jaws very powerful. ears (except m F. merging gradually into a sharp sagittal crest but with a poorly developed supraoccipital crest. in fact.l60 IHE CARNIVOHES OF WEST AFRICA Superfainily FELOIDEA Simpson. stands fairly clearly apart. provides for the layman something of a mystery in that these animals which bear considerable external resemblance to dogs should. or cats. bears in many respects a sufficient overall external resemblance to the Felidac to have earned the widely used general designation "bush cats". braincase long and oval. coat often spotted or speckled. the H)-aenidae. typical appearance. 193 The morphological distinctions between this group and the corresponding superfamily Canoidea have already been set out and discussed on page 29. as they occur in West Africa. premolars 5-57-4. braincase mostly rather roiuidcd but sometimes with a low. head roundish with a short muzzle. skull with the rostrum abruptly deflected and short. though another section. of which they are a late offshoot (Simpson. be grouped systematically with the cats. large or small. rostrinn long. cheekteeth or ^ size. There arc only three Africa. braincase long and remarkably narrow. legs short. as will clear. is deceptive in the case of the hyaenas. The Felidac. lihyca) wholly or partly black on their backs. Superficially the Feloidea arc a somewhat less families. the Viverridae. the fossil record shows them to be closely connected with the Viverridae. the Hcrpcstinae or mongooses. be seen. The third family. may be separated by the following KEY TO THE FAMILIES OF THE FELOIDEA (previous key page 27) Cat-like in form. with a pronounced supraoccipital crest but at most a low sagittal ridge. molars ^-^ Viverridae {page lOi) . //yaenu/ac (/i. though with certain very obvious differences./i^v 341) Usually of small or smallish muzzle pointed. However. abrupt sagittal crest and well developed supraoccipital crests. cheekteeth only §-j or |-| Felidae [pa^ic m) Somewhat dog-like in form with long legs but the back sloping downwards from shoulder to rump. Pocock (1916c) made The key: three families. muzzle long but blunt.

to the extent of one mongoose and one genet. embracing one-fifth of the viverrid genera. get out of hand without the constant controlling influence of these small carnivores. Most of the Viverridae are of smallish size. In some it is conspicuously ringed. Genets. if not large at least very prominent. in Europe. Skull.VIVERRIDAE Family l6l VIVERRIDAE Gray. the muzzle long and sharp. sharp supraoccipital crest. the Viverridae have long. and the ears sometimes. The females have 2 to 3 pairs of abdominally situated mammae. scent glands are well developed especially the so-called anal ones. in rare cases. somewhat cylindrical and often cat-like sinewy bodies. except in one extralimital genus. Some are wholly terrestrial. The Viverridae are a large family divided into 6 suband about 35 genera covering roughly 75 species. none is wholly aquatic but some live near streams or swamps and swim well. with a braincase that for a is much longer than broad. in shape. but there may be others in the perineal region. Mongooses Distribution and general. as 14 or 15 kg. but there are a few of rather heavier build. 2 of them. the eyes large or small. or between the vulva and anus in the female. In West Africa there are with one exception always five digits on each foot (though this is not so elsewhere) and the claws in the genets and palm civets are partly retractile. and in these there are 13 genera containing 23 families species. between the base of the penis and the scrotum in the male. but some of the smaller mongooses hunt in parties. speckled or. sometimes highly mobile. the civet. a prominent There are marked. They live in all kinds of terrain from rain-forest to near-desert and up to an altitude of about 1 800 metres. amphibians and other creatures that man regards as pests and which would. the feet. slender. low sagittal and always with . ovoid smooth except sometimes upcurvcd. The skull is elongate. Civets. The pelage is of varying length. in all. They are to be found in Asia. of a solitary nature. Africa and in a limited fashion. prehensile. Some are in a small and mosth' local way valued for their skins. in fact. sometimes. the sole pads being highly characteristic. being endemic to the island and. spotted. In general. 1821 etc. some largely arboreal. always well-haired and often bushy. indeed. The legs are short. in African species. pointed postorbital processes crest. Description. A bursa may or may not be present on the outer rim of the pinna according to subfamily. They are in a way specially associated with the island of Madagascar in that 4 of the 6 subfamilies occur there. black. The head is small. striped. sometimes inconspicuous. except at mating time. reptiles. but in West Africa the civet is a relatively bulky creature running to as much. but all in an indirect way exert an influence upon civilization and the balance of nature in general by reason of their impact upon rodents. Most of them are. the only wild carnivores there. The tails are mostly long or very long. generally rather on the short side but always dense. but never. has over the centuries played a more important and widespread commercial role in providing a basic ingredient ot many perfumes. Three subfamilies appear in West Africa. one. mostly digitigrade.

The dental formula is very variable even within a single subfamily. j. Since these are vastly different little in the different subfamilies. that is ot general application to the family can be said here. analysed and sometimes figured bv Taylor (1970) in relation to these species occurring . Many people have kept. but. Locomotion in certain African viverrids has been photographically investigated. genets and several different kinds of mongoose. but some of these. if also holes or crevices. Viverridae are Habits. the upper caniassial has an anterior lobe despite Flower & Lydekker 's assertion to the contrary. but not large. intraorbital canal.. many. indistuict. The Viverridae are nearly all essentially nocturnal or crepuscular but some of the mongooses can be come crabs and insects. the civet. the maxillary process being yery short and penetrated by a tair. by nature fierce. and in XiVidiiiiii is reduced to a peg. but m some of the mongooses j/A does approach />' in size. and have derived pleasure and even benefit from. but some ot them it captured at an early age prove themselves to be interesting if not charming pets. Since the level incisors and canines are always '^ this is due to diversity 7-^. The rc'>strum is usually long. The paroccipital processes are sometimes virtually absent or indistinct. at least as far as West Africa is concerned. is generally much smaller. The premolars arc ot the usual form. but arc mostly well developed and closely adherent to the posterior aspect of the bullae. They not all. but. birds. a form Flower & Lydekker (1891) wrote that the second lower incisor was raised above the of the first and third. arc all basically carnivorous. with wear. the anterior nares wide. extremely little consume fruits. amphibians. the total number of teeth being 36. In old skulls the fusion of all sutures is very complete. but less so in the Hcrpcstinae. in fact. The bullae arc large and bulbous. though mostly small and sometimes. The six incisors of both jaws form a compact more or less straight transverse row. reptiles. consuming various kinds of smaller creatures.i-.parallel-sided extension considerably to the rear of the toothiows. these cheekteeth numbering r^. showing anteriorly a more or less clear constriction indicating the internal septum dividing the structure into tw-o chambers. 38 or 40. exhibit far more independence of their homes and keepers than members of the Canoidea or even of the Felidae or true cats. or even genera. in some cases the lower incisors arc bilobed. or ^. this is wholly untrue. rodents. myriapods. The zygomatic arch is moderately stoutly built. j-. The upper molars are mostly narrowly transverse and are usually markedly smaller than this tooth. but across by day.i''i2 THE CARNivonts or wnsT atrica ni which some genera are short but vvhicli in otliers nearly approach or in some cases join thejugal process to complete circumorbital ring. the outer ones being somewhat or pronouncedly larger than the others. The palate is mostly rather narrow but broadens somewhat posteriorly and is continued in a narrow. but Nandiiiia is extremely unusual in having the posterior one of these merely cartilaginous and thus disappearing from all but very carefully prepared skulls. The both in the pursuit ot their pre\' and in self-defence. if not all. in the premolars and molars of both jaws. The postorbital constriction IS generally marked. when present. They mostly live in small beyond broad generalities is known of the way of life of the majority of them.

Gciictta spp. rejects this and retains the wider conception grouping is adopted herein. Ichnewnia albicaiuhi. independent of the Asiatic palm-civets with which it had previously been Herpestes ichneumon. however. tail sometimes with a transverse pattern of bushy but never ringed. at the same time. a century and a half to Gray. The motions studied arc walking.. probably in association with the larger territories there customary. this of the Viverridae. dating back. galloping. Taxonomy. associated. Galerclla sanguinca. to all intents and purposes. auditors meatus with posterior and anterior lips which meet below in a horizontal V. the close affinity existing between the animals of which each of these families is composed. It has a long history of acceptance by taxonomists. no matter what their renaming or rearrangement of major cadres may have been. the civets and genets becoming the Viverridae in a restricted sense. He found that the only form of locomotion common to all was walking. however. climbing. running. in fact. related rather to the Canoidea than to the Feloidea. trotting is the gait most usual to the bigger open-country viverrids. Pocock. and most particularly to the primitive Mustelidae. Coat speckled. and Miingos iitungo. but never spotted. As regards the taxonomy of the Viverridae in general it must be added that Diicker (1957) from observations on instinct and behaviour reached the quite divergent conclusion that the Herpestinac are. The three subfamilies KEY TO THE SUBFAMILIES OF VIVERRIDAE (previous key page 160) I. Nainhnia hinotata. comprising nearly 40 genera. thus forming a narrow gap which often extends as a slit into the floor . anterior part blackish. The Viverridae. and cussion. external distinction being easy but cranial differentiation more difficult. gradually veered away from the standard conception of the Viverridae as a close-knit unit and came ultimately to elevate several of its six subfamilies to full family rank. basing his ideas largely on external characters. All three West African groups were concerned in this more disassociated conception of Pocock's. trotting. and the West African palm-civet the Nandiniidae. posterior part of the bulla with one exception (Galerclla) much more inflated than the and subglobular or rather taller than it is long. the mongooses the Herpcstidae (originally Mungotidae).VIVERHIDAE ill 163 West Africa : Civcttictis civcttii. During this period the majority of systematic mammalogists. therein lumped together may seem a somewhat heterogeneous collection to form a single family. jumping. have seen little to disagree with in the close association with one another of all the small carnivores under disSimpson's (1945) classification. may be separated by the following kcv. or unicolorous bands. Of the three major groups into which the Feloidea arc traditionallv divided there is little disagreement regarding the clearly separate identity of the Felidae and the Hyacnidac and. swimming and burrowing. are more open to doubt. Atilax paludinosus. The six apparently natural groups of animals.

Paradoxurinae Viverrinae 1872 3 dish brown. Genets.. being wholly Asiatic. Lmsangs Distribution. 3. coat reddish but not deep. Civet. are subject to dispute according to the breadth ot conception of some of the genera.. postorbital processes short (except Paradoxurinae) and far removed from a very short jugal process. is without some representative ot the subfamily. Simpson (194. coat colour deep red- . General characters. The face is sharp... besides 3 wholly African and one that occurs ni both continents and extends its range into extreme south-western Europe as well. All members of the subfamily dealt with herein have a prominent spotted or blotched pattern to their coats. never being merely speckled like the Herpestinae. the Viverrini and the Prionodontini. form.. which can scarcely weigh more than 2 kg at most. and no part of West Africa. however. With the exception ot the pads. the subfamily from the Herpestinae. ending in 5 digits armed with curved claws that are mostly to some extent retractile but in the civet scarcely at all. bulla normal. The ears differ further in always possessing a marginal bursa on the pinna.. tails arc at least partly ringed. postorbital process well [pngc 229) (/Jiijjt' 164) Subflimilv VIVERRINAE Gill. bulla cartilaginous or missing. leaving a widely incomplete circumorbital ring Two pale spots on the shoulders (sometimes indistinct).l64 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA ot the bulla.xist also in regard to speciation in Genctta: but in this present account the 3 relevant genera of the subfanuly are held to cover a total of 12 species. the latter. with 2 genera. postorbital process short . The West Atrican animals included in the Viverrinae are very diverse in size.. from coast to Subdcsert. . as in many other ways.S) into 2 tribes. G... Extralimitally the group is widespread throughout the whole continent. . tail at least partially ringed. developed No pale shoulder spots.. and their mostly long or very long linsang. the auditory meatus a shallow rmg without projecting bony lips. to the slender tains S genera. These figures.. There are a few apparently very rare and extremely local viverrines but the majority of the genera are common. the ears mostly fairly large... the whole bulla inflated. of which only the former is of West African interest. and with few exceptions more or less cylindrical in rounded and conspicuously up- crown in this. or [Paradoxurinac) partly cartilaginous and usually mostly missing in prepared skulls. scaling perhaps 17 kg.. Very considerable doubt and controversy e. The Viverrini also comprise 2 genera that are wholly Asiatic. ranging from the bulky civet. oval and longer than it is tall. postorbital aiidjugal processes long and nearly or actually joining to form a complete circumorbital ring Herpestinae {pa'^c 239) Coat spotted or blotched. The first of the three subfannlies to be dealt with in this work conThese are divided by G. The limbs are short or shortish... and sometimes the area immediately around standing above the level of the differing clearly — .

the soles of the feet are hairy to the heel. Skulls. thus quite differently sited from those of each of the two other West African subfamilies. General form. pelage. beetle grubs eat fallen fruits. situated between the scrotum and the prepuce in the male. be 38 or 40 teeth. the postorbital processes being short. Simpson's classification puts them. though they often come down to the ground to hunt. The postdental palate is short. as explained later in the introduction to the Herpestinae. but while they tolerate domestication during early life they remain more aloof than the mongooses and soon seek their independence in the wild. of the very large and in some ways broader than that of markedly smaller herpestines. They So far as is known all viverrines are hole-dwellers. the anterior chamber well-inflated. skull characters and teeth are all quite distinctly different. In fact. They are. and in one case. skulls are in the case little The narrow. Within the subfamily the genera are clear. ver)' distinctly longer and narrower than that of any mongoose except Liberiictis. termites. consume reptiles. Taxonomy. The orbital ring is far from complete. besides being of different form. also from time to time and so forth if opportiuiitv offers. below. and there has not been that confusion which arose in the Herpestinae. Both the civet and the genets have been kept as pets. They are basically mainly carnivorous. This is because they are nocturnal. But there is argument regarding the closeness of affinity between African and Asiatic representatives of the subfamily which affects . the waxy secretion collecting therein has been commercially exploited for many centuries. All but the civet are arboreal. Although nearly all the Viverrinae are common animals their lives in the wild have not been much observed. not depressed and reduced in size as in almost all Herpestinae. feet. spending much of their time in trees or dense undergrowth. probably preferring small and possibly genets too. and between the anus and the vulva in the female. which in some genera arc very long and dominate the coat. It is clearly of a sectorial nature. often very dense. eggs. the jugal processes often little more than rudimentar)'. Breeding habits and periods var)' and the little that is known of them will be found under the different genera. The pelage is composed of fme underfiir. Again with the by comparison with the mongooses relatively light. the genets fairly strictly so. The rostrum is long and narrow. in others of subordinate hnportancc. Civittictis. it is open to considerable doubt whether the two groups are really as close to each other as G. the cheekteeth is There may ^ exception of Cii'cttictis the dentition Habits. either on the ground or in trees. The scent glands in the Vivcrrinae are perineal. but the civet at least. nowhere near so long as it is broad. G. almost linear. though the relationship with the former is much closer than with the latter. solitarv and secretive. not of an insectivorous type found in many members of the other subfamily.VIVERRINAE 165 them. The large bullae are long and ovoid. even exceptional Civctlktis the braincase is numbering or ^. claws. the anterior premolars being narrow. scent glands. There is little doubt of the distinctness of the Viverrinae from the Paradoxurinac and Herpestinae. mammals and birds to other things. The glands open externally into a medial pocket or pockets. and of bristle-hairs of roiuid or very slightly flat section.

w Schreber. ^ body about 800 mm. 3 without any clear dark spinal taint intermediate rings. tail without (pd{. tail . 5-^. or longer than... otten with a distinct dark spinal stripe. and a black skull . Adult skull rarely as much as 100 mm. spots postorbital constriction well 2. of its tor reasons given later in the account ot this genus. about 70 cheekteeth mm. sometimes obscure. head marked. :oo\.r. a white or pale patch... mostly mucli less.c 177) intermediate rings. dentition light body about 380 mm. neck. ^ Gcrietta Cenus CIVETTICTIS Pocock. Tlioma'. cheekteeth Poiana [pa^c 21'j) be small spots but are more trequcntly larger blotches. the markings ...illy bctorc I'/Vcnii ci7)c(//ii l. Syni-iiui i\\iliii\h\ lotli cJ. Civets arc sometimes referred to more fully. tail at least three-quarters as long as.inn. Adult about 140 mm.irious 1915..Ivpe is a compoiiiul of the specific name civelin. head 1. Tiie at tormcr "ivcna. dentition Civettictis {pdi^c id?) powerful Size much smaller. tur very short and velvety. head & body./. ot v.icus..uitliors. mostly always small.i. bordered with black on the side ot the mask across die face trom cheek to cheek. leadingly. The (Ircek iV. postorbital constriction not marked. but nusof the superficial resemblance ot their colour and markings to certain domestic cats. head & body not more than 550 mm.. name for a ferret. merit generic standing The present audior follows Pocock considering Cii'ctliais to and he further believes superficial resemblances between Atrican and Asiatic linsaiigs to be misleading and probably more the outcome ot convergence than of particularly close relationship. lyii) Bengal.ieus. I'ivcria was the Latin Civettictis . c/.. (luinea. Very slender. 191 Atrican Civets I'lrom Liim.. cspcci. Type species ("both by elimination and selection". as civet cats because Distribution and general.. LoniL: H4. \'iviiiii <irtltii ith tlie name Pocock. 175X. head & body 400 to 550 mm. I: 43.. otten widi the Adult skull posterior lower molar being minute Of heavier may build and mostly larger size. Prioiiodon subgenus ot the Indian and Panhcils. no conspicuous black and white pattern on the side ot the neck or mask across the face. PiOi. (jrciiiciis and I'oiaua. tail only about halt as long. their much larger size and pointed muzzles might be thought to justifv rather more the description often bestowed on them by . Skull 75 to 90 mm. pelage longer and coarser. specie-. otten much less.. own KEY TO THE GENERA OF VIVEKRINAE (previous kcv page 163) Size large. m pait. 1915. \\idelv held to be latter to synonymous with or in most a and the be closely allied to tjie Asiatic Imsangs. & stripe..I66 Till (AHNlVdlUS tliis 1)1 WIS! AIUHA two I ot tlic is throe genera covered by present aeeouiit. Sec. Actually. a weasel...

members of the supcrfamily Feloidea. 1953). in Africa. They arc equally at home in forest or open country. at least as far inland as the Cameroun. secondly. A. at most.g. but a brief glance the so-called water civet or aquatic civet eastern is recorded only as a very rare animal from its is Congo and It is differs from all other known viverrines in plain. being entirely hairy in the Asiatic forms but naked anterior open to question and. Understood in this broadest sense. The range is. Neither. of course. They occur only in the Old World between western Africa relationship. the civets proper all belong to the two above ni the synonymy. Taxonomy. S. apart from the actual pads. African civets arc known to occur Two — . and the two Asiatic genera Vivcrra and I 'ivcrricula. following this. from the east coast of southern China to the Indian peninsula and. and. . 1919. Sierra Leone. pelage.CIVETTICTIS comitry-brcd Africans as 167 though the to the cats bush dogs. clear differences in the feet. the matters the specific head. This last. Allen. Poiana and Oskmiiais. OsboriiictisJ. is somewhat closer than to the dogs. Jones has noted them at an altitude of about 1000 metres on Bintamane Mountain. genera apart. the separation of Civcttictis from the Asian Viverra that most commonly of chief interest to West Africa. Pocock. but possibly do not exist in the Sahcl. civets occur. thus. Morrison-Scott & Hayman. Distinctions between it and the first two are indisputable and are made clear in this present work. African civets arc pretty abundant on the gromid. the soles. as and eastern Asia. the former of these being wholly Asiatic. unspotted. who as Superintendent for many years of the London Zoo had exceptional opportunities for the careful and comparative examination of deceased as well as living animals from different parts of the world. In the area dealt with in this present accoimt. On these he based a number of taxonomic conclusions. except at the extreme inland vcgetational limit of their range. Ellerman. Civcttictis is grouped by Simpson (1945) in the viverrine tribe Viverrini together with the three other African genera Gciictta. discontinuous. cited other. the latter wholly African. MorrisonScott & Hayman (1953) expressed the positive view that Pocock's characters could not. Until 191 5 the two geographical groups were regarded as congeneric. south of the Sahara from Senegal to central Angola and the northern parts of South Africa. and this is not infrequently still the case (e. T. The differential characters cited by Pocock were: firstly a marked distinction between the forms of the perineal scent glands. including the generic disseverance of the African civets from those of the Orient. As from Senegal to there of description and habits will be dealt with under must be taken at the taxonomy of the genus. has any shadow of accuracy. is only one species. the African civets being looked upon as little more than specifically different from the Oriental a question ot which something more is said below in the taxonomic section. in Asia. and certainly not in the Subdcsert. carried out detailed studies of many external features that had hitherto received scant attention or none at all. relatively minor. Sudan woodland. consequently. Ellerman. be rated higher than of subgcncric value. though not wholly rejected by Hollister (1918: 116) was considered by him as better regarded as subgeueric until such time as further confurmatory evidence was available. with a gap of sometliing in the nature of 4000 kilometres separating the civets of Africa from those of Asia.

that is to say over twice the size of a large genet. Itself pi. certainly as tar inland as the Yobe Valley. Cape ol a Latinization of the French Distribution and general." in the discrimination ot genera than the external features here made use he added supporting ditlerences to be observed in the skull and teeth. itfi and in 'it'cini. more significantly. from Senegal Lake Chad little in the Sahel zone (A.\t 3: 419-420. CIVETTICTIS CIVETTA Vii'crra civctta (Schreber) (hiiiic. the same conclusion. other more mnior points concerning the form ot the plantar and palmar pads and also of the rhinarium. tc. is not always clearly so. G. There seems point in recording the names ot the large iimnber of places tliroughout West Africa from which civets are known. Civets are. being far broader and somewhat more complex posteriorly to bear on the enlarged inner section of id' The present author goes along with Pocock in regarding all these points as justifying generic distinction between the African and Oriental civets. and 111 the east from Sudan to central Mozambique. more especially moister parts ot their range. 1776. their long-faced. To in-2. 35) is distributed over to central most of Angola. somewhat dog-like animal with a black tail. African Civet but Schreber. When on the hunt they trot purposefully through the bush. In regard to the former he claimed that the bullae and the partially enfolding paroccipital processes were more prominent in Civctticth than in Vivcna. in the west (tig. 1777. also. These are easily the bulkiest representatives of the Viverridae in West Africa.S" South. nevertheless. Congo. The specific n. Good Hope and linY/r. In tlicsc latter. somewhat canine heads pointed straight before them and their relatively rather short. heavilv spotted. from dental conI . shaggy tails stretched out.I6S rili: CMIN'IVOIIl s (II WIST AIIIKA is to the central pads m tlie Atricau.i. only slightly retractable as compared with short and more hilly retractile m the Oriental civets. though thcv have also been reported as plentiful at Macina on the upper Niger. . they are pretty common .iine is derived troni tile Arabic Ciifcrti/ tor one ot tliese animals. Mopson. weighing 10 to 17 kilogrammes and with a shoulder height of around in the 380 mm. behind. greyish. their bellies not far off the ground. that is to say roughly between about 15" North and about i. Pocock was well aware ot the considerable tendency that exists to depreciate the taxonomic significance of external characters. are always of a very much greater size in the African species than this he might have added that the lower carnassial in Civcitictis is ot a type appreciably further evolved from the basic sectorial form. Fetter (i96ij) reached. Description. value . Sudan zone. The impression is that of a bulky. Aethiopia are also mentioned. and "since most contemporary mammalogists will probably consider cranial and dental characters ot more of. near Yo. This. Stiiigahicrf. Iii. . He cited. J. there a metatarsal pad. absent from the former: and the claws are long and. siderations alone.ininials. On the other hand. as well. however. This area covers a variety of vegetation from rainforest to open grass-woodlands. his dental distinctions arc manifest in that //(i. The African civet the continent south of the Sahara. private communication). for their size short-legged animals. but slightly drooping.


of their much greater diameter throughout most of their length. but the belly may be white. which they dominate not only by reason of this but because. black. in the region of the hindquarters. A bursa is always present. this crest is erected the animal assumes an appearance of even greater size than it really has. but something in the nature of half-a-dozen rows can be made out on either side of the spinal crest. but in some specimens they display a tendency to rmi together laterally. They are not set in more or less regular longitudinal lines. and in some thc\. especially those near the medial line. the stout bristles of which arc everywhere appreciably longer than the main pelage but increase in length posteriorly where. the underfur measuring only some 20 to 30 mm nmi. Along from the shoulders or the hinder part of the neck to the root of the tail runs a long.are relatively illdefined. These bristles are markedly longer than the imdertur.lyO THE CARNIVORKS OF WEST AFRICA is coarse and rather wiry. strong distally but tapering basally. On this is superimposed a pattern of dark spots or blotches. erectile crest. the chest being always black or blackish. verv slightly flat bristle- T]ic dorsal pelage fairly mens hairs. they may attain 100 or more. The upper portions of both fore and hind limbs are obscurely spotted. low but none the less conspicuous with their w hite rims. Over the torequarters the bold spotted pattern fades out and the pelage becomes an intimate mixture ot light and dark hairs. sometimes deep-brown but generally black. by a medial whitish band joining the anterior white to the frontal grey area. When. Occasionally the spots. Most typically the spots are large. or blackish. and be wholly black. of rather irregular roundish or quadrate shape. There are five digits on each foot. its convex posterior flap is continuous above and below w^ith the rim of the pinna. or a mixture of the two. the\' may the mid-dorsal line ot the back mm On the side of the neck is a pronounced longitudinal black band which is separated below by a conspicuous white band from a second black one which broadens and passes below across the throat. and posteriorly by a whitish frontal area between the eyes and the ears. These spinal bristles are dark througliout most of their length but always have longer or shorter glossy jet-black terminal portions. It is bounded anteriorly by a white area around the rhinarium and on the lips. The coloration of the African civet is widely variable. it varies in length. through creamy. The ears are rounded. tend to coalesce into longitudinal bands. It is composed of rather imdulatc and tangled undertur in which are mixed fairlv abundant. any maculation in this area being very obscure apart from a number of spots low on the shoulder. to a slightly reddish-buff. the claws fairly long and only moderately ciurved. The continuity ot the mark across the face is interrupted in some specimens. The dorsal ground-colour ranges between near-white. also. The underparts are somewhat variable. shape and independence of these markings vary. They average about 40 in length but sometimes attain 50 mm. or white with longer or shorter black tips. clear-cut. though rarely. as in some of the genets. in anger or alarm. and nearly all separate from each other. In both feet tlie central plantar pad has the small pollical lobe separate from the main body ot the pad . but the lower parts and feet are wholly black. The face is strikingly marked with a black mask which crosses from check to cheek and just encloses the eyes. its anterior flap is widely but not deeply emarginate. The size. and very slightly retractile. being in some specilong and in others unexpectedly short.

The fur would. is is is do in other melanos. rather. He characterized the organs of the male and female as "tolerably similar". with a tail . Since these two accoiuits differ somewhat in their details the following is founded mainly on that of Pocock. 26 and 27). is more likely to be of defensive significance. 1915a). The tail is coarse-haired with very long bristles. but the basal half has about 5 partial white rings. figured and described by Chatin (1874) and Pocock (1915a). Besides these perineal glands tliere is a pair of anal glands situated on tlie wall of the rectum. extreme eastern Nigeria). Externally they appear as paired swellings separated medially by a slit-like orifice about in length. its One British Museum all skin.CIVETTICTIS (Pocock. in most of naked skin to the anterior naked sole area that lies and the subdigital pads. and in these it impossible to detect any trace of the basic pattern. The inner walls of these two sacs secrete into them a very thick whitish or )-ellowish substance with a powerful musky odour. Complctch^ black specimens are recorded from time to time. Against all this is another fact: that though the long glossy black crest and of the entire pelage. passing from side to side below. also. have been subsequently washed to rid it of oil. The glands are situated between the scrotum and the prepuce in the former. The colour. actually. The tail is little mm small carnivores. as in the case of other between the area naked. and if it is it is. of course. Li this. wliich thus becomes a storage reservoir conununicating with the outside world by the slit-like orifice first mentioned. but the residual red-dyeing effect of the palm-oil in the unpigmented hairs would resist this. a not uncommon practice. and between the anus and the vulva in the latter. be natural. Dorsally it is wholly black. is a some form of erythrism. backwards and upwards within the gland. as contrasted with the usual brittle stiffiiess of African sun-dried pelts. 171 by two narrow central strips is bilobed and is joined. in view of the regular defaecation habit mentioned later. as if there were something fundamentally exceptional about the whole skin. Skull (figs. But the skin is obviously a locally prepared one. The hindfoot. and this leads into a large hairlined sac or pouch which extends forwards. one which could be caused by steeping in palm-oil. the "civet" of the perfiimery trade. the ground-colour normally white areas of the neck and face. referred to by Sanderson quite different in coloration from the rest. indeed. When these two glandular lobes are drawn apart a moderately large 25 oval orifice can be discerned on the inner face of each. and the soft pliability of the skin. The skull is strongly built. the spots are smaller and more obscure than usual. In the forefoot the metacarpal pad cases. is not so much that yellowish tone produced by smoke as. The perineal glands have been dissected. due to are quite typical. at any incidence of light. of course. including the bright ochre-red. This would have been a not improbable proceeding in the area from which the specimen came (Ogoja. These secrete a foetid yellow liquid which imparts to the faeces a characteristic odour which may be of service in the demarcation of territory but. and this then makes its way tlirough the two oval orifices into the intervening space between the two glandular lobes. lends some support to this idea. has this anterior sole more than half the length of head & body. This may. and Sanderson thought its luiique appearance probably due to its having been cured in smoke. long and rather narrow. remarkable. as one often able to (1940).

All adult skulls. m\ is exceptionally broad posteriorly. is The incisors are strong and set in a transverse both jaws the outer ones arc larger than the inner. The supraorbital processes. though clear. is considerably larger and. and. 26. is uncomnionlv well-developed. are strongly built. OF WF. V. The curve: 3 dental torniula 111 14: 40.172 THE CARNIVORF. and not very extensive. and their outer faces lack the fme. The bullae are moderatelv large and oval. from . joining a sharp. begins to resemble a small canine rather than the normal chisel-edged incisor. the juga! process pronomiced but blunt and short. indeed. lateral long ovoid braincase and not very marked intcrorbital and intertemporal constrictions. the whole skull and dentition constitute an instrument fashioned for powerful biting. with a flat. where fl is separated trom the others by a small gap. All the cheekteeth.^41. 59. deflected. The zygomatic arch is strong. B. The canines themselves. flange-like supraoccipital crest posteriorly in a T.>. The mandible has deep. far less acutely cuspidate. The paroccipital processes are closelv applied to the whole posterior aspect ot the bullae and extend ventrally beyond their limit in long.ii. strongly built rami. being pointed and curved.)i to \n~ and pi to »i-.areparticular]\' large tor this subfamily. the posterior section iar exxecding in size the anterior. grinding surface than is usu. m^ and . Cii'cttictis civctta: skull.ST AIIUCA Fig. and the whole tooth has more of a crushing than sectorial function. though strong. are blunt. also. . male and female. The posterior lower molar. arc not particularly large. shallow furrows characteristic of the other West African viverrids. but this is most pronoimccd in the upper jaw.M. have a well-developed sagittal crest. strong points.

but . possibly disturbed by a appears in zoos. B.941. large. though not often observed in nature. j:.19. It may seem strange that this should be One British extra. No. 10.CIVETTICTIS 173 Museum skull.6. becomes easily killed or captured. 59. set between p4 and 0/1. Habits. This fact combined with its more or less strict nocturnal habits is responsible for the almost complete lack of field observations. Everyone is agreed that the African civet is an extremely secretive animal. 27. pah &d orsal views SO in a species that is pretty it is a common in museum collections and which tairly regularly not very intelligent animal and one that is readily trapped. Fig.M. has an premolar on each side of the lower jaw. eastern Nigeria. and so. No. Sometimes a civet may be seen trotting up the road in the headlights ot a car: and occasionally in the very early morning one may dart swittK' across a path.1 from Okigwi. Civctlkus civctia: skull.

but when breeding they use a tlxcd nest. S. cane rat. Jones observed that thc\. and Verhcyeii (1951). seems probable that such nests are not lined in any wav. reaition to . Normally. Jones. When it comes to the question ot tood. carrion being predominant. Me has trapped them widi stock-fish or dead rats. like other viverrids. lizards. rats. Thev are said to be able swimmers. and their piartialit}' to truit. One lu-t civet kept. ledge. At the right seasons they consume an exceptional quantity of berries and other truits. though where there are positive tootliolds thev can scramble up short distances. T. However. Some ot the older writers on natural history stated that the amoiuit of "civet" secreted bv animals maintained in captivit\' tor this purpose depended on the richness and abiuidance of tood given. savs that civets not uncommonly hunt in mangrove swamps. and behaviour in captivit}'. They are certainlv almost completely terrestrial. With so little known about their habits it is impossible to be certain. 1965). and since civets mostly deposit their droppings in one fixed spot until they torm a heap. usually a hole in the It Jog ground made bv some other animal. But civets can also walk stealthily.ittempts at domestication will varv with different indniduals. so fed have been found to become highly excited and subsequently to turn on and kill their litters. but Menzies (1966) foimd those of 6 weeks old already savage and to remain quite intractable. during daylight hours they lie curled up in a temporarv "torm" in any dense vegetation. T. Civets. guiiicatowl. Mallinson (1968) records that to viverrids with it has been found inadvisable to feed freshK' killed chicken or rabbit newly born yoiuig. about . termites. Verheyen (1951) found one such excremcntal pile to measure 60 cm in diameter and N to is cm thick. in a private comnuuiication. within the present writer's know- consuming almost anything put down for them. and others. such places otten abomid in dense seedling growths of these trees. specimens. snakes. or at least encouraged. That some food should jiave excitant properties is of interest. information is rather more certain because ot the data yielded by droppings. Astley Mabcrly ([9S5) records that they commonly cat the truits ot Briddia and Zizyi'liiis. S. But thev are also said to eat other kinds ot insects and their grubs. without question. grass and leaves have been found in stomachs (Bothnia. stomach contents. frogs. crabs and millipedes. and even it one should be about in the halt-light it is not easy to detect Its grev spotted coat aganist checkered vegetation. but civets are generally believed to lead entirely solitarv lives except at breeding time. and Shortridge (1934) recorded that they sometimes killed )-ouiig lambs. presumably to obtain crabs and mud-skippers. including bowls of pawpaw and banana. Antelope meat. The African civet can become verv tame and docile in captivitN' it caught \ouiig enough. African civets seem to be more or less omnivorous. eggshell. or amongst tangled roots. carrion. beetles. female civets. not atraid ot taking to the water.caused a good deal of trouble amongst young low palms just starting to truit at Njala (Sierra Leone) by gnawing otf the oilv mesocarp. particularly betore thev have attained their adult bulk. arc known to raid poultry houses at night.174 T"I- CARNIVORES OY- WEST AIIUIA troni its tcinporar\ resting place in the thick undergrowth. gives them almost the character of complete scavengers. The widely catholic tastes in tood of African civets. their shape and teet being little adapted to climbing in the manner of cats. indeed. has been well demonstrated in captivity.

the house used to follow


its owners like a dog for evening walks; and at dinner time and imder the table giving unsuspecting guests playful nips in their fingers should they by chance hold their hands down. Eventually, as sexual maturity is reached, civets, like so majiy imconfuied pets, disappear into the bush


circulate roiuid

never to return.


African civet has been


to live for almost 14 years in cap-



a variety

growl when they
another there


of sounds. They hiss when alarmed and utter a deep warning they are likely to be attacked. If they do get into a fight with one great deal of excited growling and yapping very like a dog-fight.


years ago residents in the environs of Lagos often heard such quarrels at night,
positive information with regard to breeding; but Mallinson (1968)

being sometimes awakened by the tremendous caterwauling and yapping.


is little

has recently published a few facts gathered from animals in captivity.

From two

observed copulations he deduced that the period of gestation might be either 45 or 60 days. Nine births, covering 20 young, showed the litter size to lie between i and 4, the commonest being 2. The mothers frequently killed, and sometimes ate, their

new-born young; and

\sas foimd less worrying for the female and less likely to lead were removed. Walker (1964) stated that there are generally two litters a year; but Mallinson, on the contrary, found with 5 females that the average interval between litters was approximately 12 months, and never less than 288 days. Immature specimens in the British Museum suggest that there is no favoured season for breeding in West Africa since ver)' juvenile animals have been taken, in the forest belt, in mid-October, December and January, that is to say the beginning and middle of the dry-season and also in mid-June and early July, well into the rains. According to Vcrheyen (195 1) the newly-born young remain only about a week in

to traged)' if the father


the nest.



centuries the civets have been chiefly

used ingredient of perfumes. This
substance with a powerful

famous as the source of a widelvan off-white or yellowish, very thick, greasy
secreted into the perineal

musky odour



well as

explained earlier in


account. Like


other basic materials, vegetable

production of scents "civet" in concentrated form is apt to be nauseating or even highly repulsive; but when used in minute traces becomes not only tolerable but attractive. The trade, which was once extensive in Europe, North Africa, the near and middle East, has now considerabl)' diminished, at least in Europe but formerly African civets were kept imder cruel conditions in very small cages in
in the


which they could not turn round, so

that the animal could be easily controlled
little effort,

constantly available for the product to be scraped, with

and was from the glandular

pocket. This took place about twice a week, the animal being forced back against the back of the cage and its tail and hindlegs seized and held through the bars while the "civet" was collected, using a small spoon. The yield was about 2 or 3 grammes a time. Abyssinia was recently the chief source of supply, the substance being exported packed in hollow antelope horns; but earlier, Amsterdam was the centre of a big trade, both for the import of the substance to Europe and for its production on the spot by captive animals. The Dutch trader William Bosnian, who was resident m




A Ml C A

r.ible y:

dat.i tor Cii'cliiiti< uiif/ii


A tVic.i







Basilar length


Palatilar length

134 73-6

Z\gomatic bieadth Upper cheekteeth breadth
Interorbital breadth

47-4 29-2

Postorbital constriction


Braincase breadth

Toothrow (f— »!-)
p^ length

3 '0

ml breadth
mi length

13 '7


mi length




S26 432


(per cent)










30 56

Palatilar l./condylob.






cribing the various countries,

17th century and wrote a nuniber ot letters descustoms and animals, li.nd, in translation, this to need oiiK' acquaint you sav of the civet "at present so well known in Holland that tliat tliev are brought to be sold to us verv yoiuig. and then we give about eight or nine Shillings sterling for one. A large share of Trouble and caretul Attendance is requisite to breed tliein up: Their Food is Pap boiled or made ot Millet, with a little Flesh or Fish. They produce Civet when even very young; ot which that ot the Males


Africa towards








better than that

of the Females, because the


cannot avoid urining into the

Civet Bag, which spoils it". Besides its obvious wortli to the scent trade, "civet" was also tornierix- imicli valued for a wide varictv of reputed, but now long discredited, medicinal properties. It was


as a diaphoretic;



an emollient


pox, measles and scabies; as a balm against apoplew; ciisiac; or even as an ingredient ot tooth powder.

such eruptive skin conditions as smallas either a soporitic or an aphro-



Taxonomy. Other

races besides the noniiiiate

one have been nained, G. M. Allen

recognising two,

Cabrera, from north-eastern Congo, and schivarzi

Cabrera, troni eastern Africa. If these arc accepted, then the correct citation of the

West African

must be

Civcttictis civetta civctta (Schrcber).

But the



such a degree of nidividual variation that there
to be sceptical ot the existence


tendency today amongst authors

of identifiable




G. Cuvier, 1816

Gciktla Okeii, 18 16, LcUrhnch


Nalnrgcsclikliu; 3, 2: loio.



ruled to be unavailable by Opinion

Zoological Nomenclature. This




Type species Vivcrra genelta Linnaeus. Oken's No. 417 of 1956 ot the International Commission on Latinization of the Old French (jo/rt/c, itself derived from the
I: I>i6.

Arabic name for these animals, janiail. Gaiclia G. Cuvier, iSi6'/jVc Sherboni), Le Rcgne Animale.


species \lverra



is a simple enough name; nevertheless it is one not often used by English-speaking people in West Africa, who usually refer to these animals as bush cats. Not that the average person often, or ever, sees one of these nocturnal creatures in the flesh; but he may sometimes become aware of them through a raid on the fowlhouse, or occasionally through being brought a motherless

Distribution and general. Genet


ring through practically the

none the less, widespread and fairly common, occurwhole of Africa except the Sahara, and, in the region dealt with in this book, ranging from the Subdescrt to the coast. They are known to occur at high altitudes in eastern Africa but were not taken at am- great height on the Cameroun Mountain by Eisentraut (1963). Genets, though all conforming to a general casily-recognisable pattern, occur in a wide number of different forms. How many of these, and indeed how many basic
ior sale as a pet. Genets are,
species, are valid


much-disputed question. In

this present


nine different species

from the taxonomic section which follows later, some of these may not be valid or, as the outcome of a greatly-needed pan-African review of the genus, may eventually be shown to be merely western representatives of other, extralimital, species. General description. The genets (Plates 3 and 4) are all smallish mammals with pointed muzzles and large ovoid ears in which a large bursa seems to be always present ill West African species. The posterior flap of this arises, both above and below, behind
arc described but, as will be gathered

the pinna, the shape of the anterior flap being variable in the different species.
slender, spotted




some 450

to 550

mm long,

the ringed




Genets stand about 120 to 150 at the shoulder. An average weight of an adult is around 2 kg. The pelage, both of the body and the tail, consists of a mixture of terete or slightly flat-sectioned bristle-hairs and fine woolly luiderfur, the absolute and relative lengths of these varying from form to form. There is often, but not always, a media! dorsal stripe from about the shoulders to the root of the tail, dark, mostly







west aiuk



toiisistiiig ut

lojigcr briitlcs



rest ot tlic dorsal

and apparciul\' erectile. On cither side of this spinal stripe run more or less parallel rows ot spots, the number i^t such rows varying from 4 to about 7, though the hues arc apt to become contused on the Hanks and difficult to coiuit precisely. The spots themselves vary in number from comparatively few to many; their spacing from relativTly wide to close. They range considerably in size from tairly large to pretty small; in shape from quadrate to oval or roiuidcd; and from full independence of one

another to longitudinal coalescence into longer or shorter bands, more or less parallel to the mid-dorsal crest. Such concurrence usually concerns only the line or two lines nearest the spine, and commonK' only the region ot the lower back. The spiots may be wholly ot one colour, black or some shade ot reddish-brown or they may be annulate,

having black margins with larger or smaller brown centres. The back of the neck is basically marked with 5 more or less parallel longitudinal lines; a fme central one which posteriorly becomes the mid-dorsal stripe; on either side ot this a slightly broader, but still narrow, line which joins the innermost series ot spots; and, on the outside ot these, two broader, and otten very pronounced lines which posteriorK' curl round and down over the shoulders. But some or all of these nuchal lines may, ui certain specimens, become wholly or partly obscure. The belly is usuallv paler than the dorsal ground-colour and may be almost white, well-spotted
or with very tew spots.


thighs are spotted, the uppier


ot the toreleg often so;

the lower parts ot both legs


carrv small spots or be practically plain.

Thev ma\' be

light or almost black, this, at least as tar as the torelegs are concerned, being otten

and hence taxonomically unreliable, although in the past it has often been assumed to be diagnostic. There are tive toes on each toot, digit being separated from the others; each is armed with arcuate, tine, verv sharp claws, which are retractile but not so completelv as in the cats. Beneath each digit is a naked hemispherical or ovoid pad; a larger, composite one surrounding a central depression is situated 111 the middle of the toot; and another posterior to this, very long and biturcate on the hindfoot. l1ic taec carries certain general markings, sometimes very clear, sometimes obscure though almost aKva\s detectable. The most prominent is a pale, otten white, spot below the eves; this is separated by a dark patch trom a similar pale or whitish region on the upper lips aiouiid the rhinarium. There is a pale area between the eyes, parted mediallv b\' a dark line; and another pale spot above each eve.

though subject to some individual variation, are more constant 111 their markings are, and sufticientU' distinctive to torm the easiest and most dependable diagnostic character. The nature ot the tail derives firstly trom the actual length ot the hair with which it is clothed and secondK from the relative length of the bristle hairs and underfur. In {^ciicttii, tor example, the tormer are not oiiK- ver\' long in themselves but also tar exceed in length the undertur, which plavs a verv seccindar\- role, the whole structure being ot relatively rough appearance. In scrvaliiid. on the other hand, the bn-.tlcs .ire short, and the abundant undertur only a little shorter, plaving a major role in producing a sott, smooth, subcylindrical structure, hi addition to this, the number and nature ot the annulations are usetullv diagnostic, though bv no means so unswervingU' constant as was tormerK- thought.



basic char.Kters than the doi^al



in tiic

arc tuniislK'(.i w itli mciu glands secreting a nmsk\' ddoiir. Tlrcsc arc situated male between the scrotum and prepuce, or in tlic female between the anus and vulva. Pocock (1915a) furnished a full description of these, both external and internal. Briefly, in his own words, they "consist of two elongated eminences covered with hair both extcnially and intcrnall)-. When luidisturbed the two lobes are closely apposed, their line of contact being marked by a longitudinal sulcus whicli is Y-shaped anteriorly, that is to sa\-. just bclnnd the vulva or prepuce". Internally, the glands arc mostly tripartite, being imperfectly divided into three compartments by transverse ridges of

integument. This description applies to the males oi tigriiia, partliiia, nibiginosa, gciietta, (kiiigolana (^ senegalciisis) and fcliiia, and to the females of the first three; but the females of the second three have a simpler, undivided pouch. Pocock regarded this as

two groupings of relationship within the genus. Skull. Unfortunately Gciictta skulls and teeth exhibit very little constant diflercnces of shape and so are not a great deal of help in distinguishing forms. Some of the characindicating

picked upon by Schwarz (1930) are misleading, being not certainly applicable to members of a species-group. The Gciurra skull in general (tig. 29) is long in comparison with its zygomatic
interorbital constrictions.

breadth, with a long, ovoid braincase, and pronoiuiccd postorbital processes separating

long and tapering the actual rostrum

Yet though the whole skull is remarkably short. Posteriorly, in the fashion common to the Feloidea, the braincase contracts and curves broadly out again to meet a very well-developed, flange-like supraoccipital crest. There may or may not be a sagittal crest over the main body of the cranium; but there is always a wclldevclopcd, sharp posterior portion joining the supraoccipital crest in a T. The forward

marked intertemporal and

continuation or absence of this over the braincase has been regarded as a valid specific character (Schwarz, 1930); the evidence from 29 mature West African skulls in the

mav be broadly so but that its development is a absence save from really old specimens thus possibly misleading. There is, for West Africa, no evidence relating to sex, comparison being impossible since there are no old female skulls o( pardiim, in which species the crest is


indicates that this

function of age, and

normally present in old males. A superficial look at some dozens of Gciietta skulls from other regions revealed only three reputed females with developed crest. The bullae are fairly large, long ovoidal in shape. There is some evidence pointing to different relative developments of the anterior and posterior portions in different species, the anterior chamber aroiuid the meatus being largest in gciicna and iliicrryi. less in pardiiui and least in cristata (fig. 28). The ratio of the postorbital constriction to the interorbital breadth is fairly reliably diagnostic but not absolutely constant. In {ifiwtliudcs 19 skulls had the former appreciably

than the latter; but

in 2 skulls the

breadths were subequal.





has the postorbital width

one externally quite typical cristata specimen, No. 10. 6. 1.2 (Oban, Nigeria) alone having it greater. In a few exceptional cases the postorbital constriction is extremely marked. In one gciicltoides specimen. No. 46.397 (Oda, in contrast toa mean of 11-5 mm; the difference between GhaiKi), it is as little as .S-4 it and the interorbital breadth being about 6 nnn as compared with a mean of the











left bullnL-,
















B.M. No. i;.ii.2.34, B.M. No. 39.323, ;

no apparent explanation. in the gciu'tta group and tliienyi. Citing the postorbital processes as diagnostic Schwarz stated that they were absent or sliglit in scrvaliihi; this assertion would appear to be whollv untrue, except of juveniles, in both scii'ijUiuj and cristam.
order ot z niui. For such atypical incaMircmciit^ there


postorbital constriction


wider than the interorbital breadth








The mcisors form


packed transverse

rows, the outer teeth, both above and below, appreciably larger than the others, the
cutting edges ot the lower set benig slightly bitid or trihd.


canines are strong and

arc chiefly notable tor bearing verv narrow, shallow, longitudinal striations



outer faces.

The lower

canines are abruptly curved in the middle ot their posterior

and thus have the appearance of being bent upwards. The premolars are ot the form except that jfi in some cases has an additional cusp at the base of its inner tace. When present it is, most commonly, well developed and quite obvious; but it is sometimes reduced m size. Tliis tcature is in some measure diagnostic but is not completely reliable: in 16 :iduh gciicticiidcs skulls this supplementary cusp was present and large in 9. small in 3, and absent from 4. Other species show something of the same irregularity ot occurrence except tliienyi where the cusp occurred in all 6 available skulls. There is nothing especially remarkable about the remainder of the teeth except that 111- IS always the smallest m the two jaws and may sometimes be very much





(1910), writing ot stuhhnatmi, detected a


sexual ditference
less in


the size of the upper carnassials, the temales being

mm or more


The comparative

trom West Atrica

available in the British





too sparse to furnish reliable data relating to

but such as

it is it


to confirm these authors' fmdings.

Habits. With the confusion that has existed over the different species of Geuetta not practicable to relate the few field observations that exist precisely to named forms, and the general account which follows, a compilation from various sources, must take the place of the individual notes normally appropriate to specific sections. It can fairly safely be assumed that all genets are broadly similar in their habits except for such differences of detail as may arise from dissimilarity of habitat, high-forest species being possibly rather more arboreal in their way of life than those from more arid inland vegetation. It is, in some way, curious that so widespread and not uncommon creatures should have had so little recorded of them in nature. This is partly due to their secretive nocturnal lives; but they have long been kept in zoos and, within the present writer's experience, as domestic pets; yet though there are fairly plcntifid records of their littering nothing beyond the most meagre observations on other aspects of their behaviour and way of life has, apparently, ever appeared in print. Although exceptions, of course, always occur genets are pretty strictly nocrumal and are therefore rarely seen except in the headlights of a car by or those who range the bush at night with lamps. That they are from time to time seen and shot by local
it is


is obvious; and they may occasionally be accidentally flushed from some da)time resting place in a tree or dense undergrowth; but the general run of skins and skulls in the British Museum gives the impression that the animals must for the most part have been taken in traps rather than killed by gun-fure. Experience with animals maintained about the house shows that they do, under these circumstances, put in an appearance about dusk; but even should they happen to be on the move in the forest while there is still daylight their excellently disruptive coloration combined with their stealthy caution would nearly always render theni exceedingly difficult to detect. Since authentic first-hand records of these animals in the \\dld are almost entirely




virtually impossible to


defmite assertions. However, they appear to

mating periods, when they doubtless young do not openK' associate for long, as they do in many other animals; for young genets, once past the earlv helpless state that confmes them to the nest, quickly become capable of leading an
be rather
solitary creatiu'es except possibly at

forage in pairs. Even, at a later stage, the mother and her

independent existence. Genets are to a fairly considerable extent arboreal, their sharp, curved claws being almost as well adapted as those of cats to scrambling up tree trunks. Some of their foraging is regularly carried out in trees, for birds, possibly their eggs and certainly
their fledglings, for arboreal rodents, bats or the helpless



commonly found

in oil

palms. However, a

the major part, of their hunting

on the ground

young of larger tree-living good deal, possibly even groimd rodents and reptiles.

Like any other animals
trees as a

power of swift climbing, genets take to ready and dependable means of escape from threat on the groimd. Yet it

endowed with

would seem

that, the first instinctive urge apart, they appear on reflection to feel safer, and with wider chances of escape, on the ground rather than limited to the trimk and branches of a single tree; for after their first hurried rush up the bole they frequently


the carnivores of west AFRICA
tor the


{crisutta) in

ground again. Sanderson (1940) low tree; alarmed at his presence

records that he onl\- once saw a genet

returned to the ground


an attempt




He formed

the opinion that the species was quite definitely terres-

Stevenson-Hamilton (1947), too, said of a South African species that when pursued a tree but on being approached generally leapt to the ground again to make oH with bounds ot remarkable length. He cited an instance of a genet leaping from a height of 5 metres and landing 7 metres away. In consonance with their at least partial arboreal existence they have been recorded as sheltering or breeding in hollow trees or holes in trees. Loveridgc (in Lawrence & Lovcridgc, 1953) tells ot shooting a genet in Mozambique "as it lay curled up beside a hole high up on the trunk of a great baobab". Nevertheless, the majority of breeding observations and they arc not many refer, rather, to holes in the groiuid. Possibly this may be due to the greater likelihood of accidentally coming across a nesting place in or on the ground than at some distance up a tree. Yet it is strange that those collectors who have spent a considerable time in West Africa "smoking out" or felling hollow tree stems in the search for bats or flying-squirrels seem never to have recorded the incidental discovery of genets. Possibly the sort of restricted holes that might appeal to genets as favourable breeding sites, such as small natural cavities wheie branches have fallen away, or woodpecker borings, or honibill nests, are overlooked. The tccKnique of smoking nevertheless commonly succeeds in South Africa (StevensonHamilton, 1947). However, holes are not always essential and, in the dry-season at least, nests may sometimes be exterior. One such was come across in February by an agricultural labourer near Freetown and described to T. S. Jones as "a bundle of sticks". From this a female genet had made her escape carrying one of her young in her mouth; the second baby was then captured in the nest and subsequently successfully reared. That such a breeding shelter was constructed by the genet itself seems improbable, and it is most likely to have been a fortuitous conglomeration ot rubbish or, very possibly, a deserted squirrel drey. Jones also came across another unusual oft-thc-ground refuge, namely the roof of a house in Samaru (north Nigeria) from which he observed a family of 4 or s genets make its exit down a verandah post v^'hen it was nearly dark. This he was told happened ever)- evening and that an adult pair dwelt permanently in the roof (private comminncation). This home would appear to have been naturally discovered and occupied by genuinely wild genets; but the present writer knew a more domesticated single animal that, having been captured yomig and hand fed, also discovered the roof as a warm shelter and spent its days concealed in a corner of the grass thatch, descending regularly at dusk to the sitting-room to be fed. flenets, then, at least sometimes, occupy holes in trees; and according to StevensonHamilton thev may rest stretched out along a branch. But the majority of records refer to sleeping or breeding quarters on the ground; and in observations made on captive genets in which they were afforded a choice of sleeping quarters Carpenter (1970) certainly found them to prefer a hollowed out ant-heap on the ground to a covered box fixed high up. In suitable terrain terrestrial shelters may be amongst rocks; but thev are more usuallv in the smaller kinds of "earths", either naturallv

almost invariablv took to

occurring holes or those



giant rats, porcupines, termites

constructed, the genet legs
holes, those

or improved by other animals ground squirrels, and so forth. They are almost certainly never selfand paws being ill-adapted to excavation. Besides earthen


tree roots, or actually in rotted bases

logs arc used;

and temporary sleeping

of trunks, or fallen, hollow though probably not breeding quarters,



ni thick grass, reeds or other dense


The only

actual first-hand

description of a nest appears to be that of Loveridge (1922)

who came



in a

hole in the ground consisting of a circular chamber with
perfectly clean.


bolt holes, unlined but

If events in captivity can be used as a guide, breeding takes place pretty regularly

twice a year. This, according to Verheyen (195 1) is probably at the beginning and end of the rains a supposition that is to a certain extent confirmed by juvenile West

African specimens oi genettoidcs in the British
June, July, September and early December.


collected in


usual litter size

2 or


March, April, but i is not

imcommon, and 4 have been noted on
than three successive births
in the

several occasions, having occurred in



Duisburg Zoo



authors have gathered together a

Germany (Remy & Condc, 1962). considerable number of records, cliiefly

animals arc those

European genet; but the longest-continued observations of living made by Volf (1959 and 1964) in the Prague Zoo. He records that a single female genet (geiictta) produced 32 young in 7J years, of which 20 were born in the last 4 years of her life, the litters being almost without exception two a year. This animal attained sexual maturity at the age of about 4 years and died, of old age, at 13 years Such an age for genets in captivity is not uncommon, the record being about two months short of 15 years (Crandall, 1964). The period of gestation has been put at 10 to 11 weeks (Volf, 1959); but Remy & Conde (1962) mention an American figure (Smithsonian) of only a little over 8 weeks. A well-authenticated period observed in Paris was 68 days, that is, just on 10 weeks. The young are born blind and with the auditory meatus covered; Volf (1959) observed the ears to open on the 5th day and the eyes on the 8th. According to the same author the newly-boni kittens are well-haired though this covering is of a deeper, wholly greyish, hue than that of adults, to whose rather paler and warmer colourmg they do not approximate until after the second month. In the British Museum there is a very dark, almost melanistic juvenile oi genettoides. Writing of the European genet Volf said that at birth there are only 3 rings near the base of the tail, the whole dorsal aspect of the tail being dark, the underside paler. With advancing growth the pale colour encroaches on the dark and at the same time forms more rings, which reach 6 in
relating to the


at three

weeks. Weight

at birth in this species

increases vciy rapidly, especially in the first

is from 61 to 82 grams. This few days, doubling itself in 12 days and

years the fully adult weight

is more or less a straight line; and at two of the order of 2 kilograms. This may increase slightly with greater maturit)'. It has been found in captivity that immediately after birth the male must be removed for two or three weeks as he may otlierwise kill the young. But according to Verheyen (195 1) in the wild the male actually provides food for the

quadrupling in a month.

The growth curve


and nursing motlacr. Killings of




their ncvvlv-borji kittens arc, for


reasons, not infrequently carried out

bv the


Volf (1959) provides data
not clear whether reference
44th and

tor the eiuption ot teeth, given





milk or permanent dentition;


be presumed to

be the former, yet the premolars which emerge subsequently to the molars on the
set. Volf observed which date, also, crawling commenced and the ability to raise the head. All the incisors and both upper and lower canines enipted by the 30th day; the molars appeared on the 37th day; the upper premolars on the 44th, and the lower premolars on the STst. The young animals attempted at 5 weeks to detend themselves bv spitting; and after N weeks bv biting. At this age they were fully active and weaning took place, and thev were capable ot taking care of themselves. A certain amoimt ot solid tood is in tact accepted trom about 6 weeks. Loveridge (1922) foimd that a babv he attempted to bring up would not look at meat but only drank milk sweetened with sugar to the consistency of treacle; and it became very fond of jam and would eat egg, after shelling. Mrs. Soniajetfrey (private communication) toiuid that a baby genet could be successtully reared on tinned imsweetened milk with an occasional mixed vitamin tablet. This animal showed an interest in red meat when it weighed 255 grammes and ate its first mouse three weeks later when it weighed 310 grammes. Although the shift to solid food normally takes place at about 2 months. }-oiuig genets, if given the opportunity may continue to suck up to the age ot 6 months. In captivity, Volf records, the yoiuig of one litter were usuallv removed trom the mother before her next pregnancy. Where this, on one occasion, was not done the mother, through over-long continued suckling, reached a state of exiiaustion in which the foetuses failed to develop properly and the yoiuig were either still-born or died soon after birth. It is interesting to note that although Volf estimated that the iiciicna tcmalc which mothered 32 young must have been about 4 years old before she became sexually mature, he found the oifspring to attain this state after about only 2 years. It has sometimes been held that genets, unlike many other flesh-eaters, are very strictly carnivorous in their diet, firmly rejecting all kinds of vegetable toods. This is not so. Dr. Gordon Corbet shot a genet in Kenya that had its whole intestine crammed with a mass of orange-coloured berries, besides the remains of a .spider and insects (private commimication). From the description it would seem that the truits were almost


days would seem to be replacements of an earlier milk



incisors to appear

on the 23rd day,


eertanily those

of the so-called Jujube Tree, Ziziplms


Lam., widely spread

more arid woodlands of tropical Africa. Another very interesting observation concernmg teeding on vegetable material has recently been made by Sonia Jeffrey in Ghana (private communication). She found that something like 70 per cent of the contents of one stomach consisted of rotten wood, some of the pieces being up to 18 mm long. She supposed that this indicated that the animal had really been alter some more tasty delicacy buried in the wood. Such an explanation is very possible since beetle grubs, sometimes ot large size, frequently abound in dead trees, as woodpeckers well know. The fact that genets are often connected with palm trees leads to the speculation

that they


may, at least sometimes, be attracted not only by the fruits but also by the very large grubs of the giant palm-weevil foimd in decaying stems. As concerns the more usual, carnivorous, foods Shortridge (1934) wrote that genets prefer fresh meat; but Lovcridge found tinned corned beef to be quite acceptable; and Stevenson-Hamilton (1947) says they arc partial to carrion and readily enter baited traps. Besides rats, gcrbils, squirrels and hares they take insects, especially locusts and beetles, and will tackle birds of the size of guinea-fowl and domestic breeds. They Loveridge, 1953) found the remains also eat lizards; while Loveridgc (in Lawrence


of a burrowing snake and a large yellow scorpion in the stomach of one. Whether they eat amphibians and molluscs seems to be imrecorded. They reputedly eat shrews; but Sonia Jeffrey kept a young genet that would eat most kinds of meat but would not look at a shrew. Although one of her captive specimens would not touch a freshly killed snake another one readily ate them. Stomach contents of genets examined by her included the legs of skinks and insects, and orthoptera wings and one contained two mice \\hich may, from the red colour of the fur, have been Lophiiwmys sikapiisi. One of her live specimens pounced on and ate a bird that flew into the house. In their attacks on fowl-runs they show, according to Stevenson-Hamilton, con;

siderable cunning, generally taking a single bird at a time, returning for another


has been consumed.


bird of this size


attacked at the throat, the blood sucked,

and then the upper part of the breast taken. Carpenter (1970) found some evidence were more often poultry thieves than females; a:id that once a genet had acquired a taste for domestic fowls it tended to disregard more natural prey. In the absence of such an acquired taste rodents were nearly always preferred as food to birds, being pounced upon and killed forthwith, while birds were only killed and taken later if the rodent supply were insufticient. On two widely separate occasions Carpenter foimd genets to capture bats in roofs, the genera concerned being Eptesiais, Scotophilus and Rhiuolophus. Over a period of five nights one genet took an average of six bats a night. Genets are not normally offensive; but when alarmed spit and bare their teeth, and if hard-pressed can give a severe bite. Like other animals they vary a good deal in temperament and it is difficult to generalize. They can be tamed, especially when captured very yoiuig; and some become fairly trusting and even milldy friendly, though never to the extent of mongooses and other small mammals. They seem to be ver)' much one-man pets and to resent strangers. The majorit)', at least imdcr conditions of semi-freedom in Africa, as a rule soon manifest independence; and though they may appear in the evening to take what food is offered they mostly remain rather coldly self-sutiicient, exhibiting the aloofness of a cat with none of its friendly domesticity. Genets are also doubtful assets; for while it is true that they may keep the house free of rats and possibly snakes they have no loyalty when it comes to a question of robbing their owners of meat from the pantry or effecting a midnight entr)' to the
that males


Genets emit a

musky odour, though not

so strong as that of

some other



(1830), in his description

iiiaaihua as a living

animal in the

Tower of London

menagerie, said that


hindlcgs against the wall of

had an exceedingly strong musky smell and was continualKits cage, and pressing the subanal glands

somewhat ot an understatement. From these it would appear that females are more attached to a given territory than males. its but thev can be briefly categorised as the nature of the pelage. we examination of both skins and skulls cannot fmd any constant character by that which these forms may be separated possible to compile a long list of characters have been used taxonomically. we have a series of over a which are easily separable. and the taxonomic significance of the characters chiefly relied upon for diagnosis has been greatly over- valued since most suffer the disability of considerable idiosyncratic variation. Most of these have now synonymised. working in Natal. and in Africa. Forty years ago Schwarz (1930) in his introductory remarks to what has proved to be the last published general review ot this genus expressed the opinion that its systematics were obscure. but these extremes are linked dozen. or have changed their own minds in these matters. As regards territorial behaviour and the instinct and ability to return to the home range the same author has made some very interesting observations and deductions in relation to the rusty-spotted genet in South Africa. theretore. Allen in his Checklist of African Mammals (1939) recognised only 6 species and 27 subspecies. . often been pitifully of greater knowinadequate. Taxonomy. though. and it may be assumed that something of this sort is regularly carried out under natural conditions. some of them obviously in use for a considerable time. colour in various . M. about 30 kilometres. . Both were obviously attempting to demarcate their territories. said: ". with the definitions of the classic species uncertain and the status of later creations at times recognised as valid species. two of Matschie's creations. As it stands today Gciwtta is a confusion of forms. and G. in the light ledge and more abundant material. and it seemed. streaks.l86 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA it. This is. There is something inherently wrong in a situation wherein authors so frequently disagree over the status or validity of forms and their opinions regarding their essential diagnostic characters. Genets have not usually been reckoned amongst the animals that use fixed latrine sites but Carpenter (1970). This is far from being the last word. Two plain facts emerge: the original descriptions have. . that more secretion was emitted by the genet than by the bigger animal. As long ago as 1910 Thomas & Wroughton. generally in dry river beds or thick bush. writing o( stithlmanni and siiahelica. at others bandied about as mere races betwixt one reputed species and another a tangled skein with no clear guiding threads giving hope of any gcnerallv acceptable unravelment Over the years no less than 44 discrete species have been described in — forms rated from the start as racial. these genets have been shown to return to their original home ground trom distances up to against leaving two chocolate brown musky those of a similarly captive common civet. which are more inclined to wander. to say the least. By repeated trapping and marking. . These were far larger than which performed the same action. the extreme individuals of up by the intervening in- dividuals in such a way that after most careful we have been It is obliged to acknowledge that . apart from several bceji either reduced in status or which nmseum labels so manifestly bear witness to uncertainty in determination. found these to be not uncommon. urination and defaecation arc probably the most usual method iUid adequate to the purpose. in the wild.".

These. are indicated by J. Apart from such idiosyncratic variation as demonstrated by this Congo. The light rings are usually much broader on the sides and under surface of the tail than on the mid- some specimens they are nearly obsolete. This can only be determined from long series of restricted provenance.. Matschie aside. a rufous phase with deep brownish buff instead of a gray ground color and dark brown markings (black strongly mixed with rufous). when wide range of purely individual variation. up into a very large number of combinations. number of rows and the arrangement of the spots on the sides of the body. a "This species. not always abult. and frequently only about half the breadch of the dark ones. The light tail-rings are usually seven. on the other.. One such. each of these is regarded as constituting a valid form there is considerable scope for taxonomic chaos. since the majority of forms have been named purely firom external characters and firequently from single specimens. It is unnecessary to describe in detail the irregularities in the size. and to what degree. it will be appreciated that there has been considerable scope for confusion and misunberstanding. there has been some tendency to assume that because a specimen berives firom the . and how far more limited than was originally supposed are his morphological resources in Gaiclta. Moreover. being white or whitish in the former and strongly suffused above with pale rufous in the latter. an extreme gray phase with blackish markings. but vary in number from six to eight. as the result of enviroimiental change. is the series of 46 specimens. collected by the American Museum expedition to the north-east Congo. Allen's and others.. and if. in which over thirty different species are distinguished. had observed animals in captivity to manifest. and assigned to G. the intrinsic mutability and untrustworthincss of external characters may be further judged from the experience of Schwarz (1930) who. series. The black tail tip varies in extent (measured from the last full ring on the dorsal side) from 70 to 150 mm (in one specimen 220 mm) . in 20 years' study of the genet question." The synopsis referred to. Neither is it necessary to more than note that the relative width of the light and dark tail-rings is exceedingly unstable and hence has no taxonomic value.. and often different on the two sides of the same specimen. especially beyond the The light rings are occasionally as wide as the adjoining dark ones. and other. The difficulty is to decide which characters can. since they are more or less different in each specimen. 24 adults and 22 immature.GBNBTTA situations I87 on the body. noteworthy mainly for its puerility and pernicious results . Yet such inconstant features were once made the basis of an elaborate synopsis of the species of the genus Getietta. and the best for which published information exists... such alteration of appearance as might rank of specific worth. A. like its congeners. in fact. where in fourth firom the base. broken by the black of the upper side of the apical portion of the tail. but usually somewhat narrower. as has been the tendency. The dark tail-rings are black or blackish in both. and the colour. number and shape of the markings. besides the terminal half ring. presents. be relied upon. the light tail-rings are much lighter in the gray extreme than in the rufous extreme. pardina ficldiana. especially in the size and form of m^ . size. dorsal line. was that of Matschie (1902). on the one hand. can build (1924) analysis of this collection: adult. not only in size and coloration but in cranial characters and in the teeth. In coloration the variation from the norm is toward. How careful the taxonoinist must be.

is. to all intents and formed the basis of all subsequent accounts. The former has here been rejected. such as black forclesrs or an inner cusp on p'^. has been examined. The following facts and opinions are here given for what they are worth in casting possible light on relationships in this genus. between gcnetta and sencgaleiisis. have recently been proposed. on which its validity depends. dongolana (= senciialensis) and fclina.l88 THt CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA broadly luuncd locality as that troni which the type was reputed to come it was in and on this basis invest the species with characters not truly pertijient to it. diagnostically valid. with a 9th. not trom any great conviction but as a convenient way of indicating probable relationships at the upper levels whilst leaving the field clear at lower levels for the subsequent indication of colour and other variations which imdoubtedly often exist in the groups here designated species and which may later be thought worthy of nominal distinction. It may be as well to offer a word ot warning. . Sympatry. single. in 1859 between (>cuctta and tiq^riua. ajid between poaisis and johiistciii in eastern Liberia. pardina and thiciryi in the Wukruni Hills (Nigeria). This applies to the The tindings of shaky foiuidations including —shaky because of the some at least literature m general.'t7)(7fi. zoo superintendents or museum taxonomists regarding the identity of different forms. Two subgenera. of the above species should be regarded with a certain amount ot caution. And authors have not infrequently fallen into the trap of assuming that characters present in one or two specimens. besides the nominate one. arc tact that species. In view of the diversity of opinion held over the years amongst authors. recording the known cases of deliberate hybridization in zoos. the naming of some. and hence presumed specific isolation. In the consequent arrangement ot West African forms use is made ot species-groups. Psciido^ciictta Dekeyser and Paragcncita Kulm. it mav be said that it seems almost impossible to build any lasting structure on the existing purposes. resulting in the birth of a single kitten. crosses are known to be possible in the genus. and in 1885 between gcnctta and pardina. These matters are dealt with in the course of the species descriptions which follow. the latter retained. between pardina and cristata in the Mamfc district of Cameroun. in 1858. sometimes misleading. An attempt has been made in the present account to go back to first beginnings and to draw attention to some of the difficulties and misconceptions which have since arisen. sometimes frankly inaccurate. Meanwhile. so far as can be assumed from non-existent or limited habitat data. though no cranial material. However. have. from study of the anatomy of the scent glands. This leaves the provisional organization of the genus in "West Africa as 8 discrete species divided between 4 species-groups in the typical subgenus. Pocock (1915a). pardina and rnhifjiiiosa. 3 young being born. lists a cross. aberrant species in the second subgenus. and second (.. demonstrated by British Museum specimens between senegalensis. Unfortunately his diagnostic characters do not always stand up to examination. though no investigation has been made into the fertility of the offspring. ill-definition of manv of the reputed forms of the early classic species. Finally. being. Zuckerman (1953). came to the conclusion that two groups of related forms could be recognised: furst tigrina. in the light of more abundant material. if not all. Schwarz in his 1930 review ot the genus.

Skull with the postorbital constriction almost invariably less than the interorbital breadth. the abundant underfur dominating and being almost as long as the rather narrow. browner and broken rows of spots.. . mm mm . Mandible not .. p* about 6-6 long. from root to tip. Skull with no sagittal crest on the anterior part of the braincasc. a complete sagittal crest present at least in old males ..' mm 5 Tail ringed to the tip long bristle-hairs which completely dominate and far exceed in length the relatively insignificant underfur. Cond)'lothierryi (page 214) basal length of adult skull under 80 The back of the neck with a small crest ot erect hairs. relatively inconspicuous bristle-hairs. flattish.. The postorbital constriction greater than the interorbital breadth. bouring pelage. the bristle-hairs not much exceeding the underfur in length. background colour ot the dorsal pelage a warm golden-brown bini (page 200) Tail densely woolly and soft. usually. of the distal end entirely black or with only slight indications below of pale rings.. and clad with ven.. frequently longer-haired than the neighcontrasting 2. and is hence rather harsh. the postorbital constriction nearly always less than the uiterorbital breadth.. . 3. Mandible rather flat. A medial dorsal stripe present.... present but never black.. 6 7 . very narrow but nevertheless nearly always more or less clearly split longitudinally into two by a streak of pale hairs the whole.. .. .. usually clear-cut.. (Exceptional skins giving rise to doubt will not conform to 2 the following alternative key characters) Spinal stripe either obscure or. and a whorl. cristata {page 198) Back of the neck without a crest but with the hairs directed forwards. mostly intense black and nearly always (except pociisis) by reason of its continuity and/or colour with the. . a complete sagittal crest mostly absent The soft tail.. 4.GENETTA KEY TO THE SPECIES OF GENETTA (Previous key page i66) 1. in^ about 5-6 broad johnstoni (page 217) If the tail is ringed clearly to the tip it is not sott and woolly. teeth larger .... has at least 75 mm. ringed pretty clearly to the tip. dorsal pattern of spots or lines individually very narrow (mostly under 10 wide).. in which the abiuidant underfur is not completely dominated by the bristle-hairs.. more generally... mm . or the hairs on its anterior part directed forwards and parted posteriorly from the backwardly directed remainder by a whorl.. Condylobasal length of adult skulls over So mm. 5.. an internal cusp mostly present on p^ 3 No nuchal crest or other abnormality of tlie fur of the neck 4 Back of the neck with a short erect crest. and generally ginger-brown on a huffish ground.. and generally far more.. . background colour of the dorsal pelage mostlv pale huffish. with the incisors and canines directed forwards.. both above and below. .. clearly ringed. Tail soft and woolly.

c 212) much as in ijt'. dorsal ground-colour a warmer buft. head & body about 490 nun. The dorsal pelage is very appears to be . and which very readily differentiate its members at sight from the others are these. At any rate. tail much more N. a long. While it is not possible to make the sweeping inclusions that Riippell visualised there and though they are of no immediate IS nevertheless a basic truth in his assertion concern to West Africa it is perhaps worth recording the opinion that both the extralimital ligritia and fcliiia. even those near the base. tail clearly ringed white and black with only a relatively short all-black distal the underside. spots fairly large and separate. sharply demarcated from the intense black of 6. in about 5 or 6 rows.. wholly black or annulate. . Smaller and 7.. . head mm. in about getiettoides (piigc 210) 4 rows.R'»()i'(/«.. much adulterated with darker colour. specimens from southern Africa in the British Museum which have in the past been ascribed to fi'liua seem. top of the hindtoot very pale grey.. are more closely allied with the group now under consideration than with any other. . sometimes very long. The latter is undoubtedly closely related to the former. & body about 500 pardiiia (page 209) obscurely ringed. . those adjacent to the spinal stripe coalescing into longitudinal bands. . Many years ago. black below but without the black spreading consenegalensis {pdgc ig}) spicuously romid the back of the leg small.. on a dull butfy-grey ground-colour Spots small and numerous. gennetta Group General. to he (leiictta. . There are two members of this group occurring in West Africa: what qciictta itself and saicgalcnsis. dorsal ground-colour rather cold whitish-grey. portion Size larger. but if the forefmger . shape and colour of the spots being nothing else but climatic variations of one and the same animal. mostly separate. wholly black. hindtoot almost pure w^hite above. condylobasal length about S5 mm. tail predominantly black the pale annulations being often . butl'ier. pure white below. the skulls all being the same. Riippell (11S36) expressed the firm opinion that a single species ranged from southern Europe to the Cape. differences in the size. in so far as they can be identified from their poor diagnoses. Size genetta {page 191 which spreads round the back of the heel head & body about 440 mm. pale rings of the tail almost entirely sandy-brown above. brownish on a pale whitish-buff ground-colour. though in the tropical forms it is less it is so but nevertheless still appreciably longer than in the other groups. with very little question. ground-colour poensis (pa(. most typically 30 mm or more long.. but it is almost certainly wrong to regard it as nothing more than a race. sharing with it a number of fundamental characters. distal portion 8 wholly black or indistinctly marked below with partial pale rings. Spots large and few. pale rings of the tail with relativelv little sandy-brown adulterating the white.. The characters which define this group. long. head & body estimated at about 450 mm. A. condylobasal length about 93 mm.. Dcscriprion.190 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA Larger and grcvcr.

hn-rry..^i^: Hansa . Senegal Genet {Ccncu.) ..): Crested Genet (Cccm mst.. ^ (Ccucu..


pt. become nomenclaturally G. but below they arc more or less pure white. . upper side and dark below. & Cuvier. is either about equal to or. genetta and G. almost always clearly amiulatcd throughout its length. generally noticeably it a slight sprinkling of black. p* generally has a large inner cusp. 1825. spots are for the most part clearly separate. On the other hand Cabral (1966). has suggested that the G. genetta afra and G. This erectile. should be noted that the characters there given are not necessarily of extralimital application. F. Something of this latter view is adopted here. oblong or roundish. Hisloire NatureUe des Mammijcres . European Genet Genetta afra F. sencgalensis. The dorsal aspect of the tail has the pale rings. i: 45. Cuvier. but sometimes. the margins ot the rings not sharply dcfmed owing to the partial overlap of the long bristle-hairs of the next proximal ring: there arc 8 to lO dark rings. loth ed. . 1758. Africa. In this the group differs abruptly from pardina and servalina. In the skull. Neither the colour nor the spots are diagnostic of the group. though assigned to different groups. From about the mid-back to the root of the a contijiuous. E. Systema Naturae. slightly dusted over with red-brown. the above forms becoming ascribed to G. . more There may or may not be a sagttal crest. or with only either the fifth. thus ajra and senegaletisis. The general appearance is of a rather rough. genetta seiiegalensis. wholly or at least along a medial line. but this is sometimes lacking. almost invariably is black but sometimes dark browai. while admitting that this may be the case. geiwtta group is in fact a superspecies comprising three independent species. and the tip in West African forms is white tail is The is vcr)' long-haired. and usually considerably longer than the depth of this digit.GENETTA GENETTA is IPI run up backwards through the pelage the tail is latter is seen to be at least as long as. Spain. wider at the root than at the tip. row being frequently much less well defmed or incomplete. the intertemporal constriction generally. using the term species-groups rather than superspecies. wir)' structure due to the fact that the very long bristle-hairs far exceed in length the relatively insignificant underfur. tend to run together longitudinally. in West At least Skull. yet-longer-haired. They vary in size from very small (lo x 5 mm) to moderately large (40 x 30 mm). 52. Though most authors concur in thinking that the various forms o( genetta are closely related there is some disagreement regarding the taxonomic level of naming. in GeofFroy. GENETTA GENETTA (Linnaeus) Viverra genetta Linnaeus. or lowest. greater than the interorbital breadth. the spots may be light brown or almost black of uniform colour or. The forelegs are. The groimd-colour varies from a pale creamy white to a colder light grey. Schwarz (1930) dealt with them as conspecific but separable into (imdefmed) subspecific groups. The two West It African species may be separated by the key given on page 189. especially over the The rump and in the line or two adjacent to the spine. in the case of the darker ones. spinal stripe. Two forms are thought to exist in West Africa. set in five rows on each side of the spine. . washed with red-brown. Taxonomy. pale above but sometimes darkened on their inner the foot and sometimes the whole hindleg is pale on the and lower surfaces.

There is a very deep brown. Giitctta barbnra Hamilton Smith. and it is known also that its range extends down the Atlantic coast to the south-west at least as far as further it Mogador (Cabrera. 9.192 nil. ignorant. It is generally agreed that gciictta. 51.1 1. and tend to join. Morrison-Scott & Hayman (1953). Genetta genetta afra F. in all likelihood. both derived. it bears extremely little resemblance to Cuvier & Geoftroy's plate and description trom which Fischer derived his diagnosis of this species. Barbary.2. occurs throughout the Mediterranean fringe of Africa trom Libya to Morocco. in Jurdittc's Naturalist' s Library: 35(13 of Mammalia): 171. Here taken as a valid race. The markings superimposed on this background arc deep blackish-brown with a slight over-wash ot yellowish-brown hairs. This is most probably svnonymoiis with afra. in the form afra.34. ot pattern and size ot this m western Africa cannot. There are other names ot purely extralimital mterest. No. following Schwarz (1930) regarded Iclina and other forms from the south as races of (jtvu'Wii. f" view of the provenance of this specimen it was labelled saicoalcfisis. Those ot the second wide and the biggest some row are the largest. whereas Roberts (1951) excluded this species altogether from his account of South African mammals. a form of which Hamilton Smith was. How much IS ranges down this coast does not seem to be recorded. The base of the fur is darkish grey. 1S27. ^vih'llu Linnaeus. rcspectivelv. The species is of disputed range within the latter continent. according it no mention whatsoever. A renaming of V. on the other hand it does correspond fairly well to their based on a single British plate Museum of afra and to other British Museum specimens of this deriving from northern Africa. CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA The specific pi. of this the spots are set in four clear longitudinal of an incomplete tifth. extends at least as far as The assumption in this present work that it Thies in Senegal specimen. spinal crest of long hairs from just short of the shoulders and a little black. almost black. which the Latin specific name indicates. The spots of the row next to the spinal crest are rather irregular in shape. Mamie! df Manimalc^iv. In fact. all the rest of the spots are to all intents and purposes independent. most typically from the Mediterranean region and originally described trom south-western Europe is. and there is a great abmidance of very 40 long. However. for example.(iri.': name 011 is Latin tor African. 195 and pt. Ellermaii. Its range in northern Africa is. fine underfur (about 13 to 15 mm) amongst which the long (38 to 42 mm) to the root of the tail. ot course. text. on the whole rather narrow. its The pelage is long and superficial ground-colour pale grey adulterated with very light brown trom the subterminal zones and the tips of the bristle-hairs. 1932). an introduction into the latter area trom northern Africa. This genet. 1842. hisloire natmcUc des Mammijires: 173. the existence oi genetta as a species in the southern halt ot the continent is ot no immediate concern to this present study. Gi'iictta Lesson. i'»(i. be told trom the single above mentioned specimen available. apparently. the anterior four being 15 to 20 long. Barbary. On either side rows with a faint indication mm mm . I 'i/Zijiir/s is the Latin for common. Cuvier North Atrican Genet animal The range rather harsh.

The tail is shown as having 10 black rings and a white tip. 2. 170. The chin but is bordered by blackish lower lips. B. The species is shown as a considerably paler almost cream in colour. 270. folio k: 2. Sudan. The exact. the spots of the two outer rows being shorter and more rounded. long and coarse haired. Senegal. 1112 is fairly large. the hindfeet are whitish above in very sharp contrast to the black of the outer aspect of the toot and the back of the ankle The face has the usual genet markings: a white patch under the eyes separated is by a blackish patch white centrally Skull. the undcrfur only 14 to 17 mm. is Since Fischer's diagnosis nothing more than a Latin description ot Gcoifro)' & Cuvier's plate the characters originally ascribed to senegalcnsis can best be gathered this last from accompanying notes. This in the single specimen available.GENETTA SENEGALENSIS 193 bristles tliat form the outer contour of the coat stand fairly widely spaced at the base though they come together closely distally to form a continuous cover to the whole body. The bristles measure about 50 to 60 near the root. . [fide Sherbom). the antcro-extemal cusp o£ p* is bifid. GENETTA SENEGALENSIS Vivcrra don^olana Heniprich criptioncs (J. with 4 clear cusps. 28a. Fischer) Senegal Genet Viveira sciu'galcmis]. B.) published in December was earlier work. with eight dark rings. or even approximate. with sharp points. this genet but to his diagnosis from Cuvier's . as in the parallel case of G. has a low. quadrate. . a moderate-aged male. dec. the black spots being in only 4 rows either side of the spinal stripe. I: 23. 1829. The long hairs of one ring overlie the bases of the hairs of the next more distal ring for some considerable length so that the lines of demarcation between the rings arc not at all mm sharp. Each of the innermost two rows consists of 4 spots only. The tail is rather shorter than the body. . The scientific name and description must therefore officially date from Fischer. The measurements are given in the table on page 219. This has been variously regarded Taxonomy. . . 1829. the diagnosis is not first-hand but extracted from an Histoire Naturelle dcs Alammiferes . description and plate (in Geotiroy It & Cuvier's called by them the Genette du Senegal but not given a binomial Latin designation. the postorbital processes short. long and very narrow and quite separate. the basal two narrow and rather indistinct ajid a very small black tip. sharp. Fischer. have framed Fischer seems fairly obviously never to have seen 1821. scti Icoiies et Des- Viverra kptura Reichenbach. The intertemporal constriction is a trifle wider than the interorbital breadth. forelegs are pale. internal cusp. Synopsis Mammatiuitr. f. Rcgnuin Aiiimalc. the and its animal than ajra. locality in Senegal from which this animal was first described is imknown. The joint. only slightly spotted. Symholac Physkae Dongola. The bulla is shown in fig. genetta. from the white area beside and below the rhinarium. though. & Ehrenberg. tigrina. 1833 Mainmaliiim . 1836. p^ has a large. sharp sagittal crest extending the whole length of the cranium. a as a discrete species or as merely a subspecies of matter that has been discussed above.

as represented by these specimens (Plate 3). bearing the same relationship of pattern to the other skins as the servaline does to the serval. J. mm . 1768. However. as in — — . 1768. about 500 mm) but later. they state that doiigolana is a whitish. It is also probably this species which A. the proportions in the two species being thus very (Livraison XXV) the was given the same length as the different. Although at one time and another a number of specimens in the British Museum have been ascribed to scncgalensis there is none that at all convincingly corresponds to the very pale animal with widely separate. that is to say transcontinentally through the Sahel and Subdesert zones of vegetation. Hopson (private communication) observed to be trequent in creeper-hung trees in the Yobe Valley. The tail is described as differing verv widely from gcnctta and "'singularly short". Distribution. dead black. mentioned above as most closely representing senegalaisis corresponds pretty well to this sketchy description and there seems little doubt that the two torms are really one and the same. with a blackish line from the middle ot the back and black spots overlain with cimiamon. The pelage is not markedly long but there is a long shiny black crest from the mid-back. the coat it not remarkably long. They arc also very variable in shape but could be described in general as irregularly roimd or oval. the number of rings unstated. tail The chin was were. form. and a good deal ot it is irrelevant in being a comparison with the purely Madagascan Fossa. not very clear-cut. Actually. The Senegal genet. — . In Cuvier's original description tail of the Senegal genet body (i. making said to be black. we have a range tor scncgaknsis troni Senegal to the Nile and beyond (Setzer. Lake Chad (Sahel). as will shortly be seen. near Yo. — — . making them appear long and narrow The tail-rings are 10.194 hiiidlcg as THE CARNIVORES Of WEST AFRICA having a sharply cut oft' black mark above ajid on the angle. No. 1939. Description. though mixed with a little blackish. chiefly over the rump. Hemprich & Ehrenberg's description ot dong^clatm is limited in scope. 1939. there being no mention ot their shape. but the hairs of the as look bigger than it really was. Specimens exist in the British Museum from Aoudcras (Air Subdesert) Fort Lamy (Chad Sahel woodland) Zuarangu (Ghana Sudan woodland) Famiso and Kabvvir (Nigeria Sudan woodland) Zaria district and Wukrum Hills (Nigeria Doka woodland). linear markings illustrated by Gcoftroy & Cuvier. and though here and there. size or arrangement. sharply defined. This being so. they are in general sufticiently widely separated for there to be as much or more ground-colour as spots showing. joined together. The specimen.e. The black mark on the hindleg is fairly abruptly defined. the tip white. and spots that arc mostly light or medium brown but more rarely blackish-brown. 1956) to the Red Sea. in which the spots are brown and roundish but slightly confluent. it occurs also further south in tlie Sudan and Doka zones. No. They vary in size but are never large. rarely having a maximum diameter ot more than 20 and usually less. . in the second description of ajra (Livraison LIl) it was mentioned incidentally as being about 175 mm longer. occasionally oblong. The nearest seems to be a doiigolana specimen from Shendy (Sudan). is a distinctly pale animal with a background colour ot whitish. One unusual example from the Wukrum Hills has very small spots. not a grey. cream or buftish. In this last.

There is a long-bristled spinal crest non-moulting over the rump.M.GENETTA SENEOALENSIS 195 Fig. the underfur about 12 to from just posterior of the shoulders to the . Cenetla seiiegatensis: skull. X i Other ways. 29. the bristles. although considerably shorter than in genctta. measuring about 25 to 30 14 species. is nevertheless still long by comparison with other West African specimens. B. 1766. in typical mm mm. (J. No. 1939. they differ from the small-spotted servalina in which the spots dominate the ground-colour. The pelage.

: but in the remainder this tooth is triangular and thieefifth. but dorsally they generally have a good deal of light-brown mixed with them. The chin is always white medially. and in these. B. . very closely connected be dealt with more fully below in the taxonomic section. or are entirely golden-brown. and in the third. As in all this group. One lower jaw has a large quadrangular. the various inconsistencies being distributed over all the specimens. in. is reason the basal The forelegs are pale above and blackish below. four-cusped iiij. the legs arc blackish below and on the outside and back ot the lower leg (tibia) but not usually entirely aroiuid the ankle as mgeiictta ajra. The hindteet are white above. the pale rings are always pure white below. but the distinct to constitute species. two tails measure slightly less than head & body. It is long-haired.196 THE CABNIVOHES OF WEST AFIUC:A tlic t. the uiiderhir 13 to 15 mm. The length of the tail seems to be irregular. of this is completely lacking. and two appreciably more. the coarse. also. and this.cuiitd).is very much reduced in size. and not confined to one or two exceptional examples. The most usual number of dark rings is 10. though in some cases there seem to be only 9. The actual mean measurements ot British Museum specimens will be tound in the table on page 219. Skull (tig. exist 111 London. of sex. the annulation. Seven skulls. around the rhinarium and between a the eyes. though mostly not sharp-margined because of the overlap ot the long bristles. Only 5 skins have field measurements. accounts for differing opinions regarding the number of rings. in some measure. as in the case of (jc/dVAi. oldish. especially medially. root ot rhis IS almost al\va)s black but in some cases merely deep brown. broader or narrower black area running along From the limited figures available and trom the general appearance ot the skins this genet would seem to be smaller than the animals living in northeni Atrica and Europe ((. male such a rudiirrespective mentary crest but from the is partly present. For this two or three rings are difficult to determine. The development ot the postorbital processes varies trom long points to fairly short ones. but very low. In this skull. Though the latter are pretty even in size they show. in one other oldish male there is a clear. all trace cusped. terete bristles measure trom 45 to ss mm near the root. The tip of the tail is white but often has a tew black-tipped hairs mixed with it. The dark rings may be black or deep brown. In tour ot the specimens p'^ has a large internal cusp. two forms occurring in West Atrica seem to be sufficiently This will two discrete though. bordered by the lower lips. servalina Group as a single species The animals included here are usually regarded covering tour described subspecies. The usual genet white tacial markings are present — below the eye. as throughout this genus. one appreciably less. In two temales and one male there is no trace of a sagittal crest other than a posterior portion adjoining the supraoccipital crest. 29). of which only tive are mature. crest across the whole length of the cranium.ul. a medium-aged tcmale. quite clear. their affinity to The distinctive character of the tail unites all these skins and shows i^ctictru. contusingly irregular characters.

across the main body of the braincasc. arc only expanded for the distal one-third of their to 25 length. is incipient in two. but where they can be coimted they form at least seven diameter. . in seri'alina it. In the genetta group examples it is always wider. Taxonomy. The portion is of oval section. redder than in genetta because the pale-greyended underfur that forms its basis is overlain by bristles that have wide subterminal bands of red-brown or even bright orange. being instead rather silky. The tail is the other very characteristic feature of this group. The most constant feature is that the intertemporal breadth is narrower than the interorbital but in one case it is appreciably wider.. which are generally black or very deep brown. though as a rule not so purely white as the remainder ot the light rings. This is because ot the quite different form of the bristle-hairs (20 long) which. a medium-aged male and a very old female. especially in mm mm mm Skull. as a rule. than which it is not a great deal wider. The characters. more commonly. In this .and "12 vary a good deal in size. The dorsal pelage is short compared witli that of typical genetta. The characters are variable. From such variable material it is scarcely possible to derive any useful diagnostic characten. The spots are generally well under 20 and they are mostly separate though occasionally they may coalesce near the spine. small-sized. dense black spots not always very clearly disposed in longitudinal lines. The distal long. The alternate rings are subequal in breadth or. The legs may be black or pale. such on each side of the body. and in the others ranges from vestigial through a mere bulge to a low tubercle. little room for genets. Whereas in genetta the tail broadly matches the body colour. the tip being white. In the six skulls available the sagittal crest is restricted to the extreme posterior segment in four and. The bristle-hairs do not greatly exceed in length the abundant underfur. in this group. in general. not terete. tapering abruptly proximally to a long narrow pedicel not readily distinguishable by eye from the underfur. the edges of the rings being fairly sharply cut. relatively short-haired and soft-furred. but it has none ot the harslmcss of the genetta group. It is subcylindrical. the white narrower than the black. and the latter may be quadrate with four cusps or triangular with three. This reddening always shows but varies in extent. the usual genet pale facial markings below and between the eyes and around the rhinarium are present but mostlv more obscure than in genetta. being sometimes in young skins and at moult considerably reduced.GENETTA SERVALINA Description. Today it is universally held to be monospecific although in the past three discrete species were named. The internal cusp on p^ is large in two examples. The pattern is of very numerous. The dark rings. The postorbital processes may be long fine points or blunt and dctlccted. torms something of a contrast by reason of the fairly pure white of its light rings. The group is usually regarded as a clear-cut one. The tail is shorter than the head & body. There is 197 doubt in tlie determination of the scrvaline comparison with genetta are very distinctive. Both /)). There may or may not be a spinal crest. are usually 10 to 12 in number. There are not enough mature skulls to make comparisons with the genetta group particularly useful. though not markedly shorter than in seiiegalciisis. The luidcrfur is from 15 to 18 ground colour in this group is. and very distinctly annulated from root to tip.

which has proved to be a very common form in eastern Africa. The group first became known when in 1H55 Puchcran described sen'aliiia from Gaboon. 189. so far as we at present know. 24: 6Sf)-6S. but of an erectile nuchal crest as well. Type the British Museum. No record has been traced to account for Schwarz's assertion. In 1902 Thomas described hcttoni trom Kenya as a discrete species on the score ot smaller size and annulate spots. The two. As tliis last is alwa\s variable the two names have for long rightly been regarded as synonymous. Hayman. West key on page African forms can be readily told apart by means ot the GENETTA CRISTATA Gcuctta seri'ttlina criitaia 111 Hayman zool. but there is a very clear. absent from true scrvalina. though no nuchal crest as in cristata The tail has only — . It is here treated as a new species in its own right. Crested Genet Okoiyoiig. Mamfc Division. W. good except for Cimcroun. only to the south of the latter river. the spots so much so that it was originally thought are appreciably larger and less numerous to be a "niaailata" This was later altered to scrvalina by R. but the markedly small size of the skull and the shortness of the rostrum and palate probably justify Thomas's original evaluation as a species. black spinal crest on the lower back. Trans. The distribution. The annulation of the dorsal spots is not constant. the tip (the 9th) being black race is Whether this is a species or merely a open to question. skull . The evidence that scrvalina occurs as far west as the River Niger. whereas scrvalina itselt is tound. These arc the possession not only of a black spinal crest. Ot more immediate concern to West Atnca is the third named race ot this species. At the same time Pucheran named a second specimen from the same area aiihryana. No. that is to say entirely extralimitally. iSia in Rosevear relates to a rather poor skin collected by the present writer near Benin and of doubttul standing. is now regarded as nothing more than a race oi scrvalina. consequent. and the tail long with broad black and narrower white rings the species is readily recognisable and has never been questioned. whollyannulated tail. Though from its general appearance. two ot thcin occurring within the area dealt with in this work. not occurring in that form. This. in West Africa. including the typical short-turred. His brief Latin diagnosis was not in itself very precise. the only apparent difference from scrvalina lying in the ground-colour. lies between the Cross River and the Sanaga.s. the description being vague. Soc.iynun. Paler groundcolour and pale forelegs apart.ipS THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA it is present accoiuit suggested that there arc three vaHd species. the green spot shown on map No. nine black rings. there are certain features of this animal which appear to the present writer to entitle it to consideration as a discrete species. it obviously belongs to this present group it is certainly neither scrvalina nor cristata. cristata Hayman. ^. 1940. Land. much as in scrvalina. H. The forelegs are black. as stated m Schwarz (1930) and Rosevear (1953) is slender. the author himself being doubtful ot its validity as a race of seri'aliiia. 39. the limbs almost completely black.323. The ground-colour is a richer orange-browai than in these forms. skin in good condition. but since it makes it clear that the spots arc extremely numerous. The same cannot be said ot Lonnberg's i\itcusa from the Congo.

They are. has its origin. It is caused by the direction of the hairs. which converge towards the medial line. Though it is most conveniently referred to as the nuchal crest it. collected by Sanderson (1940): Mamfe. and 10 or 15 mm in mm become rather longer than broad. not wholly black like the spinal crest. Olulu and Okoiyong. about 100 miles long by the same wide. little longer than the much shorter than the main . a heavily forested and. in general.GENETTA CRISTATA the loss of four upper teeth. therefore. The whole area of known distribution. In the it is servalina group the ground-colour of the dorsal pelage . The tail may have fewer black rings than servalina. the underfur some 10 to 13 mm. spinal crests. well north of the Sanaga River. and almost always they torm short lines near the spinal crest in the region of the hindquarters. black spinal crest becomes noticeably long from the mid-back to the root of the it is. medium buffy-brown on the belly but the chin The tail. from — Description. washed with golden-brown cristata. especially in the latter. the orange- brown subterminal of the individual hairs adulterate this colour to a greater or all except romid the anterior and shape but most typically diameter. The bristle-hairs of the lower back are about 20 to 22 long. the chin and throat are lighter but nevertheless darkish grey and. 199 reference to both the nuchal The subspecific name was given with and Distribution and general. The latter vary a little in size may to be regarded as roimd. In servalina the belly is dark. Cameroun) and Oban (south-eastern Nigeria). Binjong. secluded region. Bashauo. in fact. it becomes far more obvioas. whence it continues over the crown to the neck where. It is of interest to note that rudimentary traces of the frontal crest arc to be found in typical servalina. really continuous with the nuchal crest. and is thus of mixed colour. indeed. the fur being longer. This latter surroimding tur from which it stands out by reason of its ercctness instead of being adpressed and directed backwards. sometimes scarcely at edges of the black spots. is considerably paler below. It buffish-grey . In addition to these. almost blackish-brown. count up to 10. there being a very obscure narrow darkening spinal crest being. though sometimes they tend lesser extent in different examples. independent but there is in some specimens a greater tendency to unite than in others. This genet (Plate 3) is known in the British Museum Cameroun 5 adult and 9 yoiuig or juvenile specimens. The majority of these come from various places in the Mamfe Division. in a very low form. all from the Cross River forests. but the reckoning of the terminal rings is open to argument. Eisentraut (1963) records 2 specimens from Mount Cameroiui at Buea and Malendc. is and throat cold whitish-grey with little or no warm over-wash. On the neck it involves the central black stripe and the brown-ringed contiguous hairs. is some- what variable from specimen to specimen but in so far as a generalisation is can be made rather paler in aistata than in servalina rings itself. south of which the species is replaced by servalina. on the front of the face from about between the eyes. the type having only 8 clear rings. lies between the Cross River basin and the Cameroun Mountain. Only 3 of the adult specimens arc complete with both skin and skull. thougli others. including all the juveniles. on the other hand. but in a shortened form. imtil recently. but there are others from the Rumpi Hills (Kuniba Division.

but become blackish towards the toes forefeet arc in their The The tail-tip is really white. He considered the species as detmitely terrestrial. Skull. II. All skulls have a posterior sagittal flange. Description. of this indecisive blackening becomes greyed. patch over the metatarsal region above. only one specimen having been seen in a low tree. . There is no particular distinction between aistata and sevvaliiia. in Ohosu Forest Reserve some 65 kilometres north-west Benin City. but tlie only skin is so poorly made black spinal crest from the mid-back to the that the position here is a little obscure. The transverse breadths of /ii. It is. and absent from two. o writer in was collected for the present the December 193S by R.315. and the wide gap of 750 kilometres separating it from its nearest recorded fauiial barriers a. below from some respects. low tangled vegetation and bare ground below trees. sciraliini 111 the piossession of a long and from crinata by the absence of a nuchal crest. poorish skin of the lower Niger and Cross Rivers.»2 are rather greater than m scivaUna. tjic light-coloured and spotted similarly to upper portion back. The type. The pelage length is much the same as m of cristata. Habits. The fur on the back of the neck. across the two in fact. This new proposed form (I'late 4) diHers from tail.and . described skull. Sanderson (1940) characterised the habitat as scrub. GENETTA The bv its BINI spec. The hindlegs are somewhat similar but often carrv a distinct pale.M. The groundcolour of the dorsal pelage is of a much richer red-brown than in the two other more commonly known western species. Hide.200 THE CARNMVORr. devoid of anv supporting (Plate 4). in neighbour. however. The bulla is better developed in the it is large in t\\ illustrated in fig. From the very few examples available for comparison it is just possible the inner cusp of /(^ is former than in the latter.S OV WEST AIKICA that could or could not be regarded as a ring. 28c. from its extreme western provenance. No. or in the more golden-brown of iiitciisa from eastern Congo. Although appreciably different in detail. Where the differently orientated hairs of the neck and back meet there would appear to be something in the nature of a whorl. 50. the overall resemblance of the pelage and tail patterns to scrviiliiia make it quite certain that it belongs to that group. but because and on their outer and lower aspects. This old male is the only specimen in which the postorbital breadtii is greater than the interorbital. and that returned to the groiuid to make its escape. This is because the subterminal bands of the bristles are both broader and more deeply coloured than in the other species. an old male and a fairly old female. not: Benin Genet erection of this species from one very incomplete specimen seems to be justified apparent difference from other known forms. altitude 250 metres. B. as in the three available specimens o and represented by a prominent swelling in the tliird. but a crest across the lengtli of the braiiicase is rudimentary in two. is directed forward and meets the backwardly directed hair of the frontal region in a line across the crown between the ears. western Nigeria. greyisli. a forest officer.

and with the colour of the feet. far and away the most variable in visible characters. those of the middle lines being larger than those or triangular. and though it has in some measure. Although most of the legs are present there is only one foot. the left forefoot. become involved with the first an endeavour must be made initially to sort out the question o( pardina alone. Allen's detailed comments on variation of supposedly diagnostic characters as cxliibitcd by this scries have already been quoted on page 187. and others less often taken into account. and the only specimen known smelt strongly of musk. The of closest concern to West Africa. The pale rings. The name Bini.GENETTA PARDINA between this new and the other species. pronounced bee-nee. J. cast a more certain light on the matter. In all pardina Group the confusion that exists in the genus Genctta the greatest. are subject to considerable variation. yet there seems to be no clear-cut division between them. with the number of tail annulations and the relative widths of the light and dark rings. through the attribution of the same forms to one or the other. The chin and throat are medium grey. However. especially the proximal ones. Hes in shape and number of the spots. the 46 specimens collected by the American Museum Congo Expedition. which are only about half the width of the black ones. There is little doubt that these characters. though from the largely disjoint study Museum scarcely any two from the same locality. is the name of the ethnic group inhabiting Benin and the surroiuiding district. arc dorsally distinctly more coloured than in the other species of this group. but it is probably 6. Wliether the group embraces more than a single species is an open question. Many of them are subquadrate or more across. however. — — . jAina (1811) and paidina (1832). by reason of their restricted provenance. C. tigrina (1778). without question. A few The greatest difference the size. and appreciably larger and fewer in number. in shape. although white below. possibly to material in the British some slight degree local but for the most part individual. With the pardina group we reach a remarkably mixed assortment of forms. concerns the three last is classic species. The animals lying at opposite ends of it are assuredly markedly different in appearance. A. less round. fairly well spotted. being greyish with a fair mixture of reddish and black hairs. apart from questions of age and sex it is hardly possible to do more than conjecture that this must be so. The bristles of the proximal black rings are rather longer than normal and overlap the light rings more than is usual. Owing to the make-up of the skin and the virtual absence of the belly it is not possible to say precisely how many rows there arc. Nothing is recorded of this animal except that it lives in closed high forest. 20 near the spine or lower down. Between the shoulder and the hip there are not more than 7 or 8 in a row as compared with 10 to 12 in the hitherto known forms. The lower parts of the hindlcgs are blackish all roiuid. There are 9 dark rings on the tail including the black tip. They arc much more irregular. The upper arms are deep grey and spotted on top but black beneath like the whole of the remainder of leg and foot. Great play has been made by taxonomists with spot size and colour. mm merge over the rump and one or two are confluent with the spinal crest.

but in exceptional specimens there may be one less or more. having long been regarded as the ultimate authorities. or less. and both Matschie and Schwarz succumbed to it. and the long black end to the tail serve as a distinction between even the small-spotted forms of this species and the scrvahiia group. that is to say from one of the more arid types of woodland. clearly as the result of specific enquiries. Even in the basal portion the rnigs are often fir more obscure above than below. to criticise early notions ot West African geography and to amend reputed provenances to suit what seemed to them to be the tacts. Isidore Geoffroy. visible on the underside but not the top. On page 1135 of liis paper he connected pardiua with the coastal belt of Togo. is almost whollv black. There is a temptation today. Senegal had tor long been intimately connected witli France and in Geoffrey's day was certainly closer. a plethora of specimens trom the rain-forest belt and a paucity trom the drier inland areas. The mix-up owcv paniiua stems partly trom Matschie (1902) and partly from Schwarz (1930). This tail is of the relatively short. surmised or hinted at has. of far less width than the black ones. in translation: "Gciictia uiaaiLua is p. the (as a rule) narro\\ness and relative obscurity ot the pale rings. certainly not from the closed forest. often blindly. both. are subcqual in width. than any more heavily forested part of West Africa. In a footnote on page 277 he said. more convenient to count the pale rings than the dark. but there is no reason whatsoever to suppose that Geotiroy was in this particular case misled. too. sometimes very much more. at least as far as the British Museum is concerned. and continue.itentK' the same av it . there being. In truth the matter boils downi to a similarity of tail structure and markings throughout an otherwise capricious group. who first identit'ied piudiua with tnacidata (a synonymy since necessarik reversed) was not very clear regarding the ecological background proper to the species. Taxonomy. It is. differing manitestly trom the ver)' long-. of the tail. It cannot be denied that this is sometimes justitied. to find dependable characters that might serve to defuic pauUiia. not impossible. in an obscure situation. on the two aspects. Schwarz. Now. Matschie showed himself to be in two nriiids regarding the vegetation and distribution proper to the species. trom scnudina. described pardiua as emanating trom the interior of Senegal. not uncommonly. Further. subcylindrical type charactcric o£ scri'aliiia. the pale rings being not only few er in number but. and a far more likely source of livhig animals. Taking the latter. sometimes only about 75 mm. and implied possible synonymy with pociisis. The count varies. It differs from that oiscrvaliiia in being appreciably more melanistic. particularly above.THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA Description. serving to differentiate the animals included here on the one har. and what they have said. in which the rings have a sharp clarit)'. In ilic Uci: ot tlic \^idc inconstancy thus revealed it sccnis difficult. but on page 1142 he gave as the range first north Cameroun. faint traces of white partialrings on its underside. but often there arc only halt-rings. therefore. a forest form. Added to this is. secondly Togo. there are usually 6 to S pale rings or partial rings.d clearly (i-oni (jaicttci and on the otlier. in this species. been followed. less emphatically. backwardly-directed-haired. above and below. dorsal and ventral. to the distal end. as a rule. Their lesser number. coarse-haired type ot du't^cnctla group in its extremely soft and silky nature. Sudan or Saliel. the terminal portion of the tail.

Because of the wide range of pattern and colouring in the pardina group the present writer is rather sceptical of the usefulness. pardina and tliierryi. D. it shows that no less than three quite distinct. that eight of the skins which arc pardina display a wide rajige of size. ranging from the Niger to the Gambia thus vegetationally. . like the type of G. No. together with some mangroves. in the Pctico-Zo locality ot the Wukrmn Hills. more used. Further. Schwarz none the less still confmed it to the high-forest: "While among the forms of the moist forest G. scncgalcnsis. near the top of the same page. and it thus seems unjustifiable to apply precisely the same term to the pale. stem from Geoffroy. greyish. 'johnstoni' " . while allowing the species a certain degree of range in climate. Attractive and reasonable as this be seen shortly that Schwarz was quite wrong in connecting spot size with humidity. in another footnote. not greatly exceeding that of the much more inland Sudan zone. shape and colour of spots. near Ada. it will scries lies in the fact that similarly coloured. Schwarz quite unequivocally rated maculata (as he called the species) an upper Guinea closed-forest ("Waldgcbiet") animal. though of a slightly colder tone. time one of the most important export coimtries for African agreed to its relatively dry-zone origin. This area is in the Sudan woodland zone. the spots in the marginal areas oi the forest arc large and the groimd-colour pale . on the previous page. 'maculata' {'pardina'). which lies on the upper Bcnue River in Nigeria at about ii°30 East. They all emanate from a very restricted area some 30 kilometres long. one of remarkably low rainfall. from a small island in the mouth of the Volta River. 25 kilometres north-east to 25 kilometres north-west of Lau. maculata produces a small-spotted type 'genetloidcs' 'pocnsis'. creamy-butf. or the feasibility without considerable further evidence. is not dissimilar from these Sudan zone specimens. since Senegal. The extremes are very distinct and could support independent names. large-spotted animal ot the dry open country and to the relatively dark. Carter. The interest of this hypothesis may seem. though very taxonomic forms. Relatively recently an extremely interesting set of 10 flat skins. Allen had obviously adopted an at that which was animals". of drawing nomcnclatural distinctions between the various forms. 203 synonym. (1902) has already . 111 all fairness. and the vegetation of a dry littoral kind. live sympatrically. J. name must disappear as shown that maculata is no north African original description says (It) doubtless emanates from upper Guinea was imported live. and quite distinct in its paler ground-colour from all southern Ghana forest material. pardina. has been received bv the British Museum from Mr. intermediate types 'diibia'. J. be added that one exceptional skin.132. In other words lie — entirely different view of the distribution oi pardina in that he had ascribed the major part of his north-eastern Congo material to the species. can very well.GENETTA PARDINA Genetta pardina clearly a I. Matschie the it form as and. in only very fair condition and luifortimately without skulls. A. this area is. so that the second. some of them being close enough to Geoffroy's description and illustration to make it clear that the type specimen o£ pardina may well have come from the Sudan zone and that Schwarz's limitation of the species distribution to the closed forest v»'as misleading. and possibly distributionally. . But although so near the coast and thus expectcdly in the wet-forest zone. 39. small-spotted . Yet in his main text. running cotuitcr to Gcoftroy's "interior of Senegal". It must. in fact.

and in the attempt to differentiate everything one could be faced with devising an almost endless string of names. shows 8 together with a black tip making. Schwarz. calling the pale open comitr). Schwarz. while differentiating between the extreme forest forms. But it has this merit: that it does not burden an obscure situation with a mass of new names that more abundant material and deeper continental-wide research would almost certainly show to be unnecessary and inept. The earliest of these is viaailata Gray. meant though it scarcely accords with his verbal description ot 3 series of spots with scattered spots on the sides ot the bell)'. and had noticed. The course adopted in tliis work is to regard it as a species-group. expressed the view tjiat the written description "mav be regarded as authoritative as it speaks ot 7 dark tail-rings.<. below them. also. in fact. the lowest series roundish. however. which . The accompanying illustration. The picture. and spots in 3 rows on each side. not disposed in lines.forms pardiua. This decision having been made it is necessarv to examine and discuss the standing ot certain named forms ui more detail in order to explain the difficulties which have arisen over some and the reasons tor the rejection of others from the West African list. hi view ot the English description this could logically be taken as meaning a total derived from two sides of 3 each. whether a specimen is large-spotted or small-spotted must often remain purely a matter of personal opinion. In the face of this the question of what to do \\ ith puniiiui is a difficult one. the discrepancies between Gray's diagnosis and his illustration.204 inhabitant ot THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA tlic dense rain-torcst. though there arc considerable laciuiac is ni the study material. clearly shows 6 well-defined rows of independent spots on a single side. the large-spotted forest form <^aicttoiiIc.igrecs with the upper (iumea genet. the limit of whose application was anything but clear-cut. synonymising maculata znA pardiua. There would thus appear to be 3 clearly defined rows ot spots on each side with further spots. there forms arc wholly clinal. in tact. not absolutely straightforward. Neither does the illustration bear out the written description ot the tail. and. the 1 innermost square. below these are scattered black-browii spots. ignoring the confusion over the spots and contming himself to the tail. drew attention to the fact that Matschie to suppose that the I some reason — had already expressed the view that the former was no North African animal. This states that there arc 7 black bands increasing in breadth towards the end. those next to the spine largest and nearest together. and the small-spotted iorcst form fiicnsis. in all. lis English description is of a grey-brown animal with a brown erectile crest from the shoulders to the tail. But. which show no appreciable increase of width. 9 black bands. which since Schwarz (1930) has been generally accepted as synonymous with paniiua. however. But Gray's Latin diagnosis gives the spots as in 6 rows with scattered round spots on the flajiks. Owing to doubts and contradictions in Gray's diagnosis the position is. a not unusual arrangement in the genets. giving rise to the common diagnosis "spots in 4 or s rows on each side". Apart . 1S30. as regards the forest forms themselves. it tails to do the same for the dry-zone forms. and since Gray must presumably have seen the drawing before publication it might be taken that this is what he. This is more a matter of convenience than anything else and can at once be shown to be illogical since. as Gray had stated.

in some cases he soon published a third paper amending his second". because from time to time West African specimens have been referred.". in fact. The size of the spots is not given but. that conforms pretty closely to the general riui of the pardiiia group except that it is on the whole rather below average size and has an — . in fact. to quote here a view of his reliability written not from the purely zoological angle but as a pointer to his character: "He published a steady stream of brief zoological papers with such haste that in a number of instances he changed his mind and published a second paper correcting his first. the last 5 inches of the tail brownish-black. not without relevancy. A. but there is a Du Chaillu skull of an old animal in London (No. tor his figure is. In view of the character of the tail this latter classification seems improbable. the first incomplete below. the last indistinct. apart from an extra line of spots on the flank. for example. too. This is fairly clear from the tail. but Sch\\ arz {1930) regarded J. as in genettoides.GENETTA PARDINA from the inexactness of the 205 a long-legged. This latter also renders its correct position in synonymy uncertain. Allen (1924) treated ficldiana as a race ot pardiiia. The illustration is. bemg followed 111 this by G. i860. if the animal came from North Africa as he said. 1645a. it could well be. as a commentary on Gray's contused diagnosis. Other points in the description tend to confirm this. The forms pociisis and gcncttoidcs will be commented on in their own appropriate sections later. Not much is revealed by skulls in Gciietia. longIt faced genet that doubtless emanates drawing of the tail the picture shows . Du Chaillu's description is not very helpful but makes it probable that his animal belonged. One thing is certainly lacking from both verbal and pictorial descriptions any reference to the markedly melanistic tail with the extra-long black tip and pale half-rings which arc the essential characteristic of all parditia. Schwarz accepted or rejected the illustration to suit his own on the body pattern and on the tail there seems little enough in may be picked upon as usefully diagnostic apart from large. of a distinctly more tapering and fmely-tipped tail cast With doubt the type description that : than is general in that species. The first calling for attention is ficUiaiia Du Chaillu. which was said to have 7 dark rings. sex?). He further supported his view by a pure guess that the country of origin of Gray's specimen w^as really Senegal. Allen (1939). but in order to avoid introducing unnecessary confusion it has herein been retained in its customary place under paidlua in the synonymic list which follows later on page 209. it as a subspecies of tigrina. by mentioning that the two lateral rows on each side of the spinal band arc broken up into five or six smaller longitudinal spots he indicates that these must in fact be largish. indeed. in Rosevear (1953). without a skin. 1964: 13). M. which. It is perhaps of general interest. from upper Guinea . quadrangular. more or less separate spots. directly or indirectly. will be seen that theory and his own defmitions. The name maailata has been rejected as unavailable because of prior occupation. . (Paden. to the pardiim group. not a bad representation o(^ genetta afra. Were this not so it could justifiably be abandoned on the grounds of obscurity of definition. The status of a few other names must be examined here. indirectly. to it or it has been stated to occur in that region as. The true country of origin of Gray's specimen is.

theretore. two-thirds of the head & bodv length (tliere is a misprint in the key). Indeed.ite. also.ind tlie ditticulties connected with it must be examined in sonte six basic forms. and the neighbouring dry woodlands. but it is possible that with tunher collecting It may be found to merit some more independent status within the pardina group. when The species iiuisl this author cleari\ states that the I . but Cabrera himselt likened it in general to pardina. into tliree groups 1 detail. G. Tails are. described trom Fernando Poo in 1921 because no trace ot pociisis Itselt had so tar come to light on the island. including west ot t]ie Niger as tar as Senegal. in 5 mm pdidiihi. must next be considered. Tlic standing of only incidental to West Africa but regarded herein jiertaimng to the Ihudiiia species-group. but it is doubtful whether such an extremely short-tailed animal exists except as a treak or the result ot accident.frciicttoidcs. isjiere regarded as. which arc at most as wide as the dark. matched as m this lattc :i' by one of the laigc-spottcd Ucld'uiiui is oencnoiilcs from Ghana (No. is 46. The form is. No set description diagnosis ot the form must be built up from his was given by Matschic and scattered key characters. Sclireber quoted as his source the French edition of Vosmaer (1771) though tlie description had originalK^ been published in )iitc]i in the same \ear. and East Africa to the coast and to the Cape. therefore. under the International Code be dated from Sclireber. many of them formed trom two reddisji space. No form often been is attributed in this present in work t<i tii^iiua. large and annulatcd for the first two rows. No mention is made ot the tail. The torin dulna. the tail itselt very short. is unknown. It was thus in Schwarz's view extremely widespread. 1778. the hairs not more than 2s long at the root. is also almost certainly fn'itdtoides. though animal was unknown to him and that Ins description was copied from that of Vosinaer and the accompanying plate. the base black spots enclosing an intermediate. . Schw'arz grouped this with rifJiiiia. tail short-haired.397). the flanks and tjiighs very bright. both geographically and vegetationally. the feet grey. the name being iirobablv Matschie's duhia. ill- detmcd of the pelage infused with cinnamon. According to him its range was the entire jiigh-forest block except west of the Niger.iii was iicH alwa\s \-er\' acctir. normally rather shorter than the head & body length (about S'i per cent). Cabrera s liistilctrls. the savajuiah north of the forest.:o6 Till" rAUMVdliKS (II- WIST AIRKA it is uiubually narrow iiucrtcmporal auisuiction. with only 6 pale rings. but since this species has so mentioned previous paragraphs and has been held to occur in tii^ruia West Atrica It is necessary to consider the question here. constituted one ot Schwarz's it was certainly one ot the major species since he divided it embracing 1 subspecies besides X other named forms sunk into these as synonyms. However. put the two in synonymy. in iact. There is no reason to suppose that Cabrera's estimate ot taxononuc relationship was wrong and that Schwarz was more justified in allocating the form to ti(iriiia. the exact provenance ot synonymous widi whicli in West Atrica ot diihiii ocucttoidcs. oi which he considered it to be an island representative. In view of the importance attaclied to this naiiK Its standing . The most rows. also Sudan and Ethiopia. which are more irregular and imperfect than 111 significant ot these are: spots large. in this work s\nonynnscd whh f^ciicttoidcs. He described it as having few spots. Hut whether the French or the Dutch version be takiii Stlirelnr's re-\\riting i>l 11 in (ieriii. 111 the pardiiux group.

the plate accompanying Schreber's type diagnosis as far as outline is concerned. Other. the tur may well have been in a rough. This picture. This is explicable m that. Other uncertainties and contradictions in diagnosis concern the niiier cusp on /)'. more minor. The tail was described as ringed with black and white and having a black or brownishblack tip. When we come to consider what has been made ot lif^rina since by Matschie (1902). The dark tip is relatively short. despite the obvious taper in the illustration. pale rings visible. it was about as broad at the base as at the tip. loose pelage. Vosmaer having made no reference to them. Thomas & Wroughton (1908) modified this to forefeet black the original description ("feet with a lot ot brown") and the illustration belying this misleading assertion. narrow and pointed. an exact copy of Vosmacr's or perhaps made from the same block. Schwarz (1930) and Roberts (195 1) we get a pretty mixed picture. Schrcber stated that there were many irregular browii spots. near the distal end. It may be as well to add here that is. nor does the illustration make this clear. in tact. not brushed smooth as in a prepared specimen. mostly browncentred spots. and the tail to have 8 to 9 dark rings. run at a slope such as is foimd in no genet. were at least as wide as the succeeding pale rings. The overall impression given is that ot a long-haired structure. and. but the colouring. in the illustration This may be tigrina — — — .GENETTA PARDINA he said there it 207 cribed as was a black stripe troin head to tail whereas Vosmaer quite clearly desrunning from the middle of the back. short face. windblown state. Very few characters of any taxonomic value arc. very narrow. This would argue a long. defmitel)' stated that the hairs at the tail root were at least 30 cm {sic) long. Clearly there is very little that is reliable in the way ot characters to be squeezed out of the original diagnosis. which carries the subscription that it was drawn trom life. 1908). that. in the British Museum version at least. that the last quarter of its length was black with only traces ot narrow half-rings below. the only two. Schwarz endo\\ed tigrina with a number of new characteristics: short legs. neither visible inference respecting the dorsal pelage nor described. directly and indirectly in their key. appearance and positioning ot the blotches depicted by Vosmaer's artist. Thomas & Schwann (1906) stated. matching the similar made above. if the drawing was truly made from a living annnal. given by either author. is of a very markedly darker brown than in any ot tour different copies of Vosmaer. Matschie. pear-shaped bullae. Thomas (1906. but it is difticult to make the markings ot any existing specimen ot genet take on the size. but the number of rings was not stated. this he derived purely from the illustration. Again. Each has attributed to the species characters of his own devising. with large. depicts them as extremely irregular in shape. He stated the pelage to be variable but never shaggy. points cannot be touched on here. that is to say neither roundish nor squarish but with far more jagged outlines than are tound in any existing genet skin. in tact. that the whole midersurtace and forelimbs \\ ere dark-brown or black which trom Schreber and Vosmaer was patently untrue. that the tirst two dark tail rings. strong postorbital processes and a distinct sagittal crest all very inconstant characters in Gencltti skulls. for example. sometimes in direct conflict with the type description and/or its illustration. Matschie but it certain!}' is not tigrina as described by Schreber.

the former a race of the latter.397. two adult skulls 111 which the intertemporal breadth is greater than the (Ghana). the rings then four black. Pucheran's curt Latin diagnosis would appear cS to be too vague to be of any real use the spots of the back almost totally rusty. )»' and mthe excess is 41 mm. Of the i 111 . in fully adult skulls the postorbital constriction No. The general form of this in the pardiua group is ver).iiiosa as defined names to specific forms. the animal intended by Vosmaer and Schreber is probably more akin to the long-haired ficnctta group than to the relatively short. 27. However. especially the back ot the hindlcg contiguous to the heel. is otten involved with that ot rif^riiid. One dittereiuial character alone is. 1645a from Gaboon. may be added here as an appendix to the above. Skull. In the other. these animals being certainly pardiiia. this difference being on the average greater than it is m the scwaliua group. Schwarz looked on ti\^riua. as well as Allen's eastern Congo series.8.ire iiileresting ditterences the other. 12. which emerged incidentally from the wide investigations necessarily made. interorbital. the latter width dropping to as little as 8-0 mm.20S TIIF. The question ot iiihi'^iiicsii Pucheran. the legs and feet with a good deal ot dark colour on them. though Thomas in his 1908 key had with what open to question devised his own distinction between them. and that as regards specimens from eastern Nigeria and Cameroun. Though ot no tirst-hand concern to West Africa. in view of the doubt and conflict of interpretation that ti^rina has engendered a good case could be made for the abandonment of the name. or specifically discrete. 46. the cranial constriction becoming a very marked feature of the skull.ind there . 111 the light of now known colour It to render tie riihi{iiiio<ci ill certainly determinable. and which also accord with specimens trom the reputed region of provenance. At its greatest it may reach 5 or even 6 mm. No. are: that the pelage is longish. variability. tail furnished at the base with four rusty too obscure. such as the existence ot an inner cusp on p-^. are as variable as in other groups. Possible points of distinction. the hindfoot having at least some grey on its upper side. CARNIVOKFS OT WEST AIRUA The characters which most authors concur in tor n^i. No.and soft-furred pcvdliui. iHa. mostly independent spots in about 4 longitudinal rows. One skull in which this occurs. as to whether they are either one and the same. That such is all. the tail with about dark rings and a dark tip. constant. Schwarzs hypothesis about distribution is entirely at fault. has no skin. than the interorbital breadth. But whatever attitude may be adopted towards this. and sometimes markedly less. less. the following. and a dark. in so far as it is possible to gather. seems almost pointless to continue trying to nihi(. whitish-grey washed with tawny. is practically with few cxcep>tions. the teeth. . whereas in riihigiiwsa they were of medium size and the forefeet pale. with large. South Africa. one has an excess of oiiK' or mm. No significant variation of external appearance can be detected in exceptional examples.much as in other genets. that m fi(in>/(i the spots were large and the forefeet black.n'»ci and whicii do not conflict with Schreber's and Vosmacr's descriptions. is a quite typical large-spotted f^cncttoidcs from Oda (Ghana). On the average the excess of interorbital over postorbital breadth is ot the order of 2 mm. />'. probably erectile stripe on the lower halt of the back. or ot a sagittal a synonym of surely lustitication is — — crest. it seems clear that. It is whatsoever.

2??). pardina from Cameroun to Senegal. G. See p. Gcnctia pardina I. 1832. the material available for study is quite inadequate to provide sound data. Sudan woodland) and Fort Lamy (Chad. How far east it ranges not been determined.42. backwardly directed postorbital processes. of pardina \. small in 3. Other characters which been used taxonomically yield.. in length. Finally. Geoffroy. No. would appear to be nothing more than a renaming. if not pardina itself. especially the last which is only half the usual size and lacking from one side. Mag. belong. the nature of the postorbital processes has been suggested as of possible taxonomic significance. measuring 27-1 across in contrast to a mean of 19-5 mm. These points are mentioned since they have at one time or another in single skulls been regarded as having some taxonomic significance. de Zoo}. This was described from a living animal in the Tower of London and there docs not appear to be any preserved type. as regards British Museum specimens. S and accompanying text. class I. As imdcrstood in occurs in the drier open woodlands in these belts has this present work. and usually nomenclaturally associated with tigrina. Geoffroy resulting from the French name also given b\' Geoffroy at the head of his description. to the pardina group. There are no adult female skulls from which to derive data. varying from short. in fact. Two other skulls have unusual features but both arc without skins by which to check their standing. 1S30.493 has remarkably long. Spicilegia Zoologka . Geotiroy Type localit)- Parduie Genet given as Viverra maciilala Gra\'. Preoccupied b\' I'ii'crra inaailaia Kerr. And No. Distribution. GENETTA PARDINA but in tlie I. Interior of Senegal. However. 2iid year. As for a sagittal crest: it is present in 8 old skulls. in Jardhie's Naliiralisl's Library: 35 (13 of Mammalia): 171 No type locality given. from the Greek panther leopard. This. West African specimens ot pardina exist in the British Museum from the Wukrum Hills (Northern Nigeria. they show no fLxed form. 61. . pi. 9. 1842. or misnaming. A similar state of affairs with regard to iifi exists also in a Mamfe skull but neither skin is in any wav out of the usual run o^ ^cnettoides save that the Ghana animal was in full moult. but the present writer has little doubt that East African forms from as far afield as Tanzania. pi. and as defined above. 68. and it is absent from 4 medium-age skulls {zSS. 1792 (= Dasyiirops iiiaailattis Kerr). Sahel woodland). 5 of unknown sex.(cncttc) panthcrine. pointedness or direction. The name is a diminutive of the Latin pardiis lepoard. 3 of them ^. An iinier cusp on p^ is of irregular occurrence and is independent of age or sex. The three West African species included in this species-group may be separated by the key on page 189. and they mm are connected with liave no readily detectable external differences. blunt and deflected to sharp and long-pointed irrespective of other characters. Nortli Africa opinions of Matscfiie (1902) and Schwarz (1930) this should really be West Africa. from Musaia (Sierra Leone) is narrower across the upper camassials than any other specimen and also has an appreciably smaller p^ and m'. Cciietta pamherina Hamilton Smith. 205 herein..GENETTA PARDINA 209 being smaller than normal. hi adult skulls of the pardina group it is present and large in 9 specimens. the following data. The specific name is the Latin word for spotted.. 2: 9. and lacking from 4. There is no clear reason to suppose that they have.

the seventh is rather grcvcr. of which doubtful was that reference more to the species' uncerM'ii standing (p.::to iin: (aumvores or wrsr ai kh a Description. There are no skulls. tVom the River Boutry. as contrasted with twice this or more in other long. partial white rings. No special notes regarding habits accompany the skins.. between almost entirely black to almost entirely red-brown.irtK' to. in different skins. nat. . Gh. iy2i. some rounded. River lioutry and According tu ]cntink (1887 and 1S92) there are four r\'pes in the llijksmuseum van Natmirlijkc Historic. There is no reason suppose that open-countrj' genets differ materially 111 these from their closed-forest kindred except in so far as they probably more trequendy make use of rock crevices tor shelter and breeding than high-forest forms do. and the eighth somewhat more whitish though. black in most cases but rusty in two. francolins and to guinea-fowl. 21: 261.ind the (ircek termination -o-cidcs implying resemblance. is Bolii R. Leydcn: 2 mounted ++ with skulls separate. locality most Its likely in unknown. The legs and feet have been mutilated. 1137) than to diibia h. The scries ot K flat. zii Berlin. Rcbola. which extends also to of the skin itself. Hist. Field. named ( in honour of his "distinguished follow Matschie. H-nctta duhia V intanationaleii word Zoologcn-Concircssts igoi: 1141. rhc specific name from the Latin island. still palely washed with sandy tips.or several indefmite provenance. nevertheless. There is an erectile spinal crest trom the shoulders to the tail. this terminal part interrupted laterally and/or below by 2. Island ot Fern. seems as if it might be due drying over a smoky Skull. incomplete skins trom the Wukriuii Hilis and marking. des citizen". ranging. Six have the ground-colour a sort ot creamy. In some skuis thev are wholly independent. Hist. The dense soft undcrfur is about 17 has alrcidy been referred skins are precisely alike in their colouring No two — mm about 24 mm. the tine-shafted bristle-hairs skins. i860. (jcncttci ficldiaiia Du Chaillu. doubtless play a more prominent role in their dietary. On each side ot this are four well defmed lines of spots. in some coalesced longitudinally into short lines. mm but are pale rather than black. GENETTA GENETTOIDES I Tcmminck Pel's Genet 1S53. diough the inside of the hindlcg appears to be dark. 1902.indo Poo.ina. iiisiiln iinl. Pioc..i. the width ot the blotches being only some 7 or S mm. and 2 mounted animals ot unknown sexes from Elmina. V'crh. 7: 302. BpsIoii Sec. at least in some cases. and in one skin they are almost Imear. sott-haircd The tails and exhibit dorsally 5 to 7 pale rings and a black end portion 75 to 150 long. Tcmminck coined this name from Gcnclta . arc relatively short-.i •jcnctioiilcs Tcmminck. Cyrus W. some being obscurely black-ringed with rust\ centres. Soc. Habits. hiterior ot Ciabooii. insiilaris Cmclta Cabrera. This was 'nrrr. p. The Matschic's mind Latin in meanings. Hiiuina. ap. some are roughly quadrate. and ground birds. West Alric. some more oval. of the and to the undcrsurtacc fire. occasionally 3. trom tides lorm. more yellowish-brown colour and a less The fulvous colour. The sizes and shapes of these markings arc highly variable. The Fort Lamy tail skin differs in being of a well-detincd pattern of whoUv the rings to brown spots. Esipiiacs zoologiipus sin In cote tie Ciiific: Sy.

n Genet (Cauv. him) ..<): Small-spotted (ienct (G.Plate 4 Pel's Genet (Gvm-tla_icncmmi.„>): Uen.wiu. i>oo.


The pelage ingcncttoidcs is of medium length and fairly soft. separate. a small part and there are about 5 of these large blotches in the innermost row between the shoulder and the hip. The hindfect are dark above with a more or less pronounced pale streak running along fifth. Two corresponding to the deep-black clear-cut category come. strand and mangrove vegetation. the terminal third black with brown it is abundantly clear that he was wrong in his estimation of relation- greater or less degree annulate. Temminck wrote at some length of this genet. making them to a ship — bushy. to Gambia. This form (Plate 4) iiiliabits the closed-forest and neighbouring Guinea woodland. In the most typical gencttoides the spots are fairly large. and from Ejura (Ghana) come fairly large-spotted and very small-spotted skins. other brownish and confused. In size. rather sinuous underfur 12 to 14 terminally broadened and flattened bristle-hairs measuring 19 to 21 mm. The last. of very low rainfall) is a pale whitisii- mm .GENETTA GENETTOIDES Distriburion. As typically described this form comes from 57. the black rings half-rings below and that the form without doubt belongs to the pardina group. It has already been explained that pattern and colour are very variable and that there seems to be no clear-cut division between this form and pociisis. Some are deep black and remarkably clear-cut. however. the annulation wider than the white. From tliis and from his description of the tail —not at all irregidar. almost paratype of Temminck's the genettoides. These Guinea zone specimens may possibly come from high-forest remnants or extensions ("fringing forest") rather than from the more open woodland itself. and it is possible that its markings would increase in size with age. the inner edge long together with finely stalked. laying his greatest emphasis on the nature of the pelage. with small-sized spots too numerous to count. but on this point there appears to be no positive information. plentifully from Gaboon to Sierra Leone and thence. is. mm mm from about the base of the 2nd digit. it may be worth mentioning that the most inland places which have yielded specimens are Katsina Ala (Northern Nigeria). but one veiylarge-amiulate-spotted skin from a small island in the mouth of the Volta River near Ada (Ghana. with. Description. the one from Sapoba (Benin) west of the Niger. less commonly. colour. one of Pel's original specimens and therefore a Ghana coastal forests. oval or quadrate. in fact. Groundcolour is usually of a mediumly-dark grey washed with pale brovwi. there are all manner of intermediate stages of size. very fme. Between this and pocnsis at the other end of the scale. those nearest the black spinal stripe are 30 to 40 of a long and 15 to 25 wide. closed forest apart. No. and consists of abundant. from its history. regarding it as very closely related to genetta itself He gave no clear account of the dorsal markings. the other from Ikot Mbo (Calabar) well to the east. but neither this nor the colour and size of die spots is regarded as having any real taxonomic significance. Musaia (Sierra Leone) and Fouta Jallon (Guinea). The legs may be either pale or blackish. The localities from which specimens exist in the British Museum are too numerous to cite. but. One such certainly skin in the British Museum.9. either wholly black or with varying amoimts of ginger-brown hairs at the centre.3. shape and independence. is pretty young. These variations show no connexion with localities.16. the hairs being half as long as in gaictta. often. They arc in 4 rows.

W-itcrliousc. or sometimes with no trace whatsoever of white. wliile vastly different from the extremely long. Notliing appears to distinguish the largerspotted (jci/c/A'/f/c^' trom the smaller-spotted pocnsis. Description. zool. Skull.).xture and shape ot the structure. ss. jhirdiihi is Alh of course. is not luihke savalina. ^cmttoidcs.s has suttered niiire tips and downs than possibly any other form ot Waterhouse himself thought that his newly proposed species was nearest to pardithi: and Matschie (1930). The doubtful validity of a little this usefulness have already been brieH\' discussed above. as in others of the pardina group. The name G. Proi. sex skin only. in fairly good condition. coarse bristles oi i^cncliii.: 59. The black end portion is usually at least 75 in length and often much more. not dissiiiiiljr lu toiio tioiu opcn-countrv panliua itsL-lt but witliout this hitter's warmer drical. but never recently cleared land. short-haired.. can be made with open-coiuitry pardina itself since no skulls of diis last are 19 to mm IS mm mm available for study.w. Sutticient has already been said regarding tield this in the introductory remarks to the group. /)oi'.Z iu lengdi. but cast oil this provenance by Pocock (njoSb). There are no peculiar 10 f^cncttoidcs. species (Plate 4) but its descriptive It remains to enter into this matter more fully. Soi. 2Sb. and if these alone are taken as the sole criteria o{ pardina. black is the dominant colour since the pale rings (mostly wliitish) are generally much narrower than the dark and only completely encircle the tail in the basal halt. have the typical group tail. i.e. No comparison. and the of these collectors' remarks tins species in Camerouii (under the both high deciduous forest and ram first forest. 41:!. No.i2 Tllr. s ynonymised the two. "cultivated land and tertiary growth". creani-buft tint. which are only some 2. subcyhu- and silky in texture. Habits. runs coimter to Sanderson (1940) who said that lifirina fieldiana) inhabited low trees m at night. Loud. The bulla is shown in fig. species is collectors' notes turnishing any usetul information One specimen was trapped in a farm. Common observation also casts doubt on what Sanderson wrote. with 2 or 3 halt-rings (or shorter) below. Type in the British Museum. GENETTA POENSIS Ot-ncttti piH'iisis Waterhouse Small-spotted Genet doubt was ?. since these genets are tairly rehably known to come into open cultivated compounds and firms for the purpose of stealing fowls. possibly acting on this opinion and seemingly never having seen the skni or read the description with much care. snaooth. All this. 12. Tliis last because the bristle-hairs. occasionally entering old secondary forest. The species (jcnctta. Pocock (1908b) was astonished at this as "it would be hard to fmd two more dissimilar species in the genus". but legs incomplete. one shot said to be tairly common in Sierra Leone. but m. The abundant iindertiir about 9 to II long and plays a prominent role in determining the te. cither of form or of size. I1S3S. are slender and taper to a very fme base. This is very true. 24. . Taxonomy. as reference to Geoffroy's plate and diagnosis abundantly shows. ( AUNIVOKTS OI- WPST ArillCA grey. Island ot Fcinando P(')o.

Pocock (1908b). squarish. — — pocnsis being at the small-spotted end of a pattern range. thought that the yellowish tone might well be due to drying over a smoky fire. then the name pocnsis would have to replace gcnettoidcs. At any rate.e. which was figured by Pocock (1908). Pocock was also inclined to doubt the island provenance o( pocnsis. or that spot size was simply a matter of individual idiosyncrasy within a single species. In this. 1938. In it the rows of spots adjacent to the spine are more con- current than usual and also in places join the crest itself so that the medial dorsal pattern is rather darker and more confused than in other examples.)f«oidcs. Spots apart. Moreover it is very short. of much the same width as the spinal stripe or even less {i. Added the fact that the almost completely melanistic. in which the groundcolour agrees well with that of the ordinary run of high-forest genets of the pardina group. The authenticity of tliis colour. The fur of the back of the neck is not in good condition but as in the r)'pe it appears that the linear pattern to this is is there not so clearlv tail is defined and Kumasi specimens. however. Nevertheless. It nmst be noted.1. Nos. until that time. acting on a hint from Oldficld Thomas. in view of the early date of its collection and the imprecise conception of West African geography at the time. with this colour. 5. rarely more than about 10 mm). it seems worth while retaining the name even if only for its succinct convenience in description. Yet. which it antedates. It is now not possible to be sure. Pocock's scepticism regarding the identity oH poensis with pardina or with ^c. Besides these partial stripes there are about four more longitudinal rows of roundish or oblong. in the light of more abundant material than was available to Pocock. narrow.25. pervasive of the and seems very likely to be adventitious. which he would at that time have regarded as pardina is excusable. but is at once distinguished by its typical pardina tail with its lengthy black distal portion and indisrinct or partial pale rings.5 and 57. This is. basal half-rings. the pale annulations consisting solely of 5 rather obscure. in a way. independent blotches of fully typical pardina. The only West African specimen in the British Museum at aU resembling it in its warm colour is the animal herein latter named hitii: But there is a marked difference in that the reddish colour is is bright and hvcly whereas that o( the pocnsis type dull. the skin at first sight closely recalls scrvalina.GENETTA POENSIS The markings 2I3 ofpoetisis (Plate 4) are widely different from the large. the abundant narrow spots and the forelegs being black. 39. the two rows on either side of this being largely united into similar almost black bands but in fact comprising some 8 or more spots between the shoulder and hip. The same may be said of No.7. that were it to become established that transition from large to small spots was in fact of this nature. more or less independent spots on each side. They are very abundant. it seems to the present writer that the two may well be demonstrated in the future to be the same. but it is by no meaiis certain that it is all there. of doubt.12. he may well be justified. nothing siirdlar has come to and in the present state . however. has some- what aberrant features. has been called into question. recalling what Matschie must have meant for duhia. Indeed. confirmed by other specimens closely conforming to the pocnsis pattern.686 from west of the upper Cavally River in north-east Liberia. one of the first striking differences between the type skin of pocnsis and other specimens of the pardina group is its golden-yellow groiuid-colour. But this specimen.

ifter whom this was named is a well-known West African collector and zooloaist. Mcssirah. Hist. being between 7 and 8 per cent larger in many measurements but with a toodirow rather more than 20 per cent longer than average. There is therefore no which can be put together from his kevs. Pans.2\i light THE CAUMVOIiFS 1)1 V^' 1 S T AFRICA smcc troni rcniando Poo. No.rcsscs zn Berlin. 19015 in the Iiistitut fiir Spcziellc Zoologie und Znologisches Museum der Humboldt-Univcrsitat zu BerHn is herein. D. very closely agrees with Waterhouse's diagnosis o£ pociisis. iy02. for various reasons. So ftr as published Hterature reveals there does not appear to have been since his erection any critical re-exannnation of Matschie's material of the species at the beginning first-hand description additional to the rather inadequate accoiuit of this century. This piU-iisis. Apart from the type and the other skins just mentioned. Western Nigeria. is far larger than any other of the pardind group. 4 (I. natn. apart from colour. Dr. 6 paratypes in the Institiit Francais d'Afrique Noire. designated as lectotvpe. There is no type skull.A. thierryi group The relationship to other genets of the species included imder this heading it is obscure. It will be seen from the clinal nature of the paniliui forms that it must often be dirticult to assign smaller-spotted specimens unhesitatingly to a specific form. C.G. below on page 215. 1949. Hinterland of Togo from latitude 9'N.N. Since there is only one such species known it caiuiot logically be considered as part of a species group. Villiers .32 (453)). imi. but that belonging to the skin which. but Togo. It would seem that a few specimens from the closed forests of Ghana. also an early one and labelled merely "West Africa". It is necessary to discuss this fust before any pronouncement can be m ade respecting distribution and other matters. ties V intcriiatioiialcii ZooL-'i. No.5. collected at about 64 kilometres north of Kumasi (Ghana). Skull. It is tempting to regard this as validly diagnostic and as confirming the specific distinctness oi.cii-Ccii}<. Specimen No. of whom posted to was named. stuffed skin and skull. Senegal. tgor. The characters there given vield the following: the spots are . seems to merit separation from the species-groups so far dealt with. National d'Histoire Naturelle. Type in the Museum Taxonomy. this There appears to be no record ot exactly who Thierrj' was. unfortunately. i) has a skull that differs quite appreciably in form and is of average size wnth an average toothrow.7. Bull.F. onwards. 12. Habits. Will. Dakar. GENETTA THIERRYI Gfm'/M Matschic Hausa Genet thicriyi Matschic.ncua villiersi Dckeyser. Aims. 1142. pocmis.5. might be regarded as pccnsis. and possibly Cameroun.i9s2.5. One ot the skins referred to above as most closely came from it is probable that he was an army officer : Psiudi. Nothing whatsoever has been recorded of habits specially pertaining to specimen. the other is.-'gi. (2) 21 421-424. in honour since he was an Obcrleum. 57. but it would be very ill-advised to jump to conclusions on the strength of this single conforiniiig to the ty'pc is the more so as the only other adult skin closely resembling pociisis (No. Mis. 1938. 48. and it is so dealt with here solelv for the purpose of maintaining uniformity of treatment. but. No.25.

W. These provide 1 1 skins and 7 adult or fairly adult skulls. though nominally in the closed-forest zone. from an old German colonial map. It is not known on what grounds Matschie gave the distribution of the species as Dahomey and Togo westwards. mm — Dahomey and Cameroun. nor did Matschie ever label any of these skins with names. sau'g<iletisis. not sent for study. agrees. there are 10 pale rings. There is no type o( thicrryi. to be the equivalent of Borgu. The Sierra Leone specimen is interesting in that Rokupr. had independently come to the conclusion that these British Muscimi specimens represented what Matschie intended by thkrryi. of which genus villiersi was made the type species. 19015. Ghana (Ejura. just in the Sudan woodland zone. is today in the Invasive Guinea woodland zone where very little forest now remains. According to Dr. sometimes several united into a long stripe. The Berlin Thierry skins are labelled as coming from Borugu. from the area neighbouring that from which Matschie described tliis species. to the pardina group. the last British Museum specimen cited above demonstrates that three species. are sympatric within a restricted area just north of the Benue. and the species therefore is presumably a fairly recent immigrant. Dr. Further. Both fore and liindfcct are at the base. This latter opinion was held also by Kuhn (i960).) there is "a series of 10. or that Pseudogenetta Dekeyser. Sierra Leone (Rokupr). the last few visible only on the underside. . all without skulls and without precise dates or locality ("Togo")". Distribution. merits separation from Ccnetta even as a subgenus. but there are 4 complete rows with at least 9 spots in the first row. Angcrmann has \vritten that the majority of the series of 10. de Beaufort (1965) also records specimens (under the name Psciidogenettn villiersi) from Guinea. agree with specimen No. 19015. all of them prepared in the same manner. No. Before proceeding further with this question it must be said here that it does not appear to the present author that there is any good reason to bcHeve that villiersi Dekeyser is materially different from thierryi. The tail is short-haired.GENETTA THIERRYI small and very narrow. and those of the tliird row further apart than their length. Togo. with Matscluc's key characters for thicrryi and also with several skins in the British Museum from the interior of Ghana that is. and Mole Reserve) and Nigeria (Wukrum Hills. F. which is here designated as lectotype. Sudan and Sahel zones from at least the upper Senegal River to the western side of Northern Nigeria. an opinion which has been strengthened to virtual certainty by comparison with the Berlin material. the hairs not longer than 25 standing hairs at the root. Rcnate Angcrmann of the histitut fiir Spczielle Zoologie und Zoologischcs Museum dcr Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin it has now been possible to study some of Thierr)''s specimens used by Matschie. Of the 3 skins examined in London 2 belong. some uppale. specimens o{ thicrryi exist in the British Museum from Senegal (Bakcl and an unspecified locality). which would appear. the third. the light rings at most as broad as the dark ones. colour 215 is not mentioned. The present writer. and R. Ivory Coast. o°34E. By the kindness of Dr. Hayman (1935) previously. io°46N. north of Lau on the Bcnue). On this basis. Angermann (i)j lilt. these specimens show that it ranges through the open woodlands of the Guinea. without question. about 30 kilometres north of Sansanne Mangu. as near as can be told. and of considerable taxonomic interest. pardina and thiirryi.

spinal stripe. Over the back of die neck these rows are continued as much narrower hues or series of spots.7. die underfur 15 to 17 mm. The pelage is fairly short. 3710. than this. especially basall)'. Skull. or even becoming whitish towards the feet. The Berlin specimen. 7. though it is a very much narrower structure. 19015. while obviously lliicrryi. almost of a (jc/. then. Speaking generally. There rings as well. in the length of their hair. the undcrfur about 12 mm. The colour of the markings. It is narrow. and otten narrower.2i6 nil ( AUNiVDUfs oi vvi. but sometimes eventually becoming confused anteriorly. and generally obviously erectile. particularly near its base. No.ition of a sagittal crest. small-spotted genet.It most 10 wide. and on either side of it are 4 rows of spots which are no wider. They are not always easy to count but. has appreciably brighter red spots than the general rim of British JVluseum material. to a greater or lesser degree speckled with deep brown or black hair-tips.i. Those in the rows adjacent to the medial stripe may be united into ahnost conrinuous lines. airica Description. in broad terms. and the spot colour vary not only from place to place the Saliel woodland specimens are lighter than those from the Guinea belt but also within a table on page 219 show. A medial stripe nevertheless exists. and die remainder of the spots are even smaller than normal. The general impression actual tone — — single loeahty. as the measurements given in the The is that of a pale. something ot the longer-. No. The basal portiiin of die tail is very long-haired. One of the two Bakel skins. except. Though all tails conform to this general pattern they do vary considerably in the clarity or obscurit)' of their annulation. tollowiDg description ot thkrryi (I'Kitc 3). the bristlehairs about 15 to 20 long. and occasionally some very slight indication of a tenth. may be deep brown or ginger in different specimens from a single locaht)'. and m the colour of the dark rings. but in the two outer rows they are always quite independent and often slightly broader and rounder than in the inner series. sometimes very clear.cWii character. One ot the most obvious difterences from all the forms hitherto dealt with is the absence of a prominent black. The medial pattern of spinal line and contiguous rows is rather confused. mm mm mm . while uniform throughout a given example. 19. it has. It has the long blackish terminal section with pale half-rings of the latter: but. Those of the next row are sometimes partly coalesced. Apart from its markedly smaller size this corresponds closely to the general pattern of Cciictta. and with its less clear-cut boundaries to the long. or they may be ahnost entirely separate. the groiuid-colour is buftish. there are somcrfiing like 10 spots in the iimer row between shoulder and hip. Tlicsc specimens Tliis is tiuiiish the a disrinctly smaller species than the others. is exceptional. winch varies trom blackish to i_)range-bro\vn. but it is of precisely the same brown colour as the rest of the dorsal markings and is very frequently itself narrowly split longitudinally down the middle by a line of paler hairs. The tail is somcdiing between (jc/u'/Ai and parJiii. though the rather obscure markings of the aberrant No. Its bristles are about 25 to 28 are 8 or 9 pale rings and half-rings. 7. backwardlydirected-haired appearance ot the former. There is no old male skull amongst the British Museum material and this may account for any but the most vestigial indie.3710 referred to below are almost the same bright colour. There are spots on the upper thigh but the rest of the hindleg and all the foreleg is pale buft. .7. that is to say.

190S. Subgenus PARAGENETTA Kuhn. Type in the Britisfi Museum. was forthcoming.1. with more complete data.1 . zool. are smaller than usual. was thought to have nothing special about it apart from its slightly diflcrcnt pattern of spots and tail. No. Type Alexander Koenig. fi being particularly reduced. collected about 1907 by Mr. t. indeed. The former as of London label but was registered. This species has had an erratic liistory. 1-12. Ernst von Lehmami of the Museum Alexander Koenig. Habits. when it was by the Zoological Society but bears a label in Pocock's hand- him alongisde die r)'pe in his original description. adult skull only. in the after Gcnella [Paragcnetla) lelinianni Kulm. 57. in 1908. eastern Liberia. Loud. There were originally five specimens (Pocock. Johnston's Genet i Geiwtta johiiiUmi Pocock. a well-known explorer and collector.11. This was named Dr. & 2. who wrote a detailed account of Liberia. Kpeaple. Nothing particular is known of the habits o( thienyi. internal cusp on p^. and 1112 is for the most part subtriangular with only genus. both upper and lower. johnswiii which follows. No further material. The molars. 8. a short. 54. by the collector. sharp flange forming a mm II rarely more than 3 cusps. and usually large. however. i960. pi. Without exception ui the 6 skulls examined. Mitt. However. This was named in honour of Sir Harpi' Johnston. Saiigetierl:. it is possible that tliis species more commonly breeds in holes in the ground or amongst rocks than the closed-forest forms do. Museum General. Leonard Leighton. Soc. 8: 154-160. in the 217 extreme posterior of the cranium where there is. flat skin only. About 25 to 30 Putu Mountains. There is a clear. as throughout the T with the pronounced supraoccipital crest. and there the matter rested until over half writing as die paratype figured by The new species . KiJin's Genets i960 Some of the main subgenus from those on page 1 89 and as further information : characters which serve to distinguish the animal covered striclo by this included in Gcnctta saisu there is have been given briefly in the key relative to the only a single species at present known in Pariii^cnclta all subgenus can be gathered from the account of G.8. with no skulls. Liberia. in good condition apart from lacking head and forepaws. thought that it might. for 1907: 1041. Pocock.23. 1908b: 1038) but only the type and one other exist in the British Museum.GENETTA JOIINSTONI of course. sex?. sex unknown. No. GENETTA JOHNSTONI kilometres west of ttie Pocock f. It was first described from "flat. since it is an inhabitant of the open woodlands where for the most part the trees are of low stature and their crowns do not afford a great deal of visual protection. prove to be notliing more than a subspecies of pardina. Proc. The second did not come registered as presented bears a Zoological Society having been presented to the Museum to the Museum until 1930. Bonn. the intertemporal constriction is some 2 or more broader than the interorbital breadth. native-prepared headless skins".

These series continue forward over the back of the neck in the usual genet fashion. Tappita. demonstrating the svnonymy of the two. with the underfur playing as prominent a role as the not very bristles — in this respect also. but in the type the markings arc obscured by a blackish sufliusion similar to. of a soft and furry nature. well inland from the coast in dense forest. The small number of specimens known might seem to argue rarirv^. but this region is relatively poorly explored zoologically. 1965). but in the type the remainder of the hindlegs and feet are deep blackish-brown.and its continuation. underfur i mm). that is to say densely haired. The belly IS whitish. klwiiiiwi. was collected by Kulin near Tappita (Liberia) in the early 1960s. soft and not very long (bristles 20 mm. either (paratype) as independent spots or (type) united into fme lines. and what remains of the forelegs shows them to be so too. and the fact that the original collector obtained no less than five skins indicates that such a deduction might well be erroneous. moderately wide. The thighs are heavily spotted. The British Museum still has no skull assignable to this species. but not so intense as. the hairs not markedly long. The amiulation. that of the hindcranial. The pelage is dense. forest south of Freemantown (Kuhn. •. There is a black. It does not occupy the area to the exclusion of other species since Pocock (1908b) rccoids pocnsis as forming part of the collection obtained there by Leighton. a complete specimen of skin and skull. that of frrrnlina in its relative clarit). so that in the paratype the latter colour dominates. Gcnctta [Paraficmtia) johnstoni is now known by specimens from the following Liberian locahties: west of the Putu Mountains. without a skin. On cither side of this are four fairly clear rows of spots of approximately the same width as the spinal stripe and short confused portions of a smaller-spotted fifth and sixth. from long-haired and almost certainly erectile spinal crest. its spots appreciably less concurrent. came to the notice of Kuhn and especially dental. but it is not known whether the species is restricted to this locality or ranges further east and west. These spots are blackish-brown more or less heavily speckled with red-brown. though less much . The tail resembles that of the servalina group more than any other. characters of this were sufficiently different from tl IC general run of genets to merit. Because of this it is not really possible to count the number of spots in the furst row accurately. in his opinion. The ground-colour is yellowish-brown.. mm legs.i8 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA later a century The genet skull from Liberia. the latter being a shade paler. No connexion with Pocock's johnslciii was suspected until. It is long. Description. The foUowing description is basically that of the type. bub- cylindrical. Kpeaple. There is no information as to the degree of commoness o{johnstoni. at last. The type and paratype are of slightly different appearance. Distribution. These arc all in the western part of the countrv-. Bo. The sides of the neck are also well spotted. the contrast between the spots and spinal line bemg considerably more marked than in the type itself In this latter the furst two rows on either side of the black medial stripe are almost wholly coalesced into complete lines. not only the erection of a new species. but its assignment as well to a new subgenus of its own. but there would appear to be basically something in the nature of 8 or 9 between the shoulder and hip. recalls longer completely different from the (icnctia group. some 10 to 12 well short of the shoulders to the root of the tail.

CENETTA — MEASUKEMENTS 219 Table 10: Numerical data for species of Ccnctia .

Lond. Habits. 520.flat. But it would be ditflcult now to substitute this or any other specially coined English name for the generally accepted term African linsangs. and. From the nature I'ocock was. Taxonomy. 1824. but Gray had coined the name 33 years betore G. the French use the name poianc. . Proc. can be argued from this and the fact that the name is strictly speaking East Indian that it is inappropriate to call the African animals linsangs. The fourth upper premolar is altogether much . though bent upwards in the middle. the Gcnctta. Table lo shows mean measurements derived from such material as exists in the British Museum. Genus POIANA Gray. The true linsangs are Asiatic. indeed. justify the retention of the subgenus. 1865. Bates's Benito name is generally thought to have been derived from River specimens first recording this naine had come to notice. But the teeth clearly show it to stand apart from both of these and probably. also. 1865 African Linsangs Poiana Gray. only somewhat narrower. and in part by Pardictis Thomas. and those from Africa. backwardly curved. The zygomatic strong. Because ot this the chin is ver). from Nepal and Tonkin. as from the tail the comrexion would seem to be rather more with that oi scrvalina.THE CARN'IVORES OF WEST AFRICA ot the tcctli. but it may be said here that these animals used in parts there are certain clear differences which caused Simpson (1945) to place the Asiatic Linsangs in a separate tribe. Soc. 1925. the Priouodontini. Also the lower canines are more forwardly inclined in the jaw. nfl is tiny. and despite the lack of any existing link it has often been thought that the relationship between these widely separated forms is close. All the remainijig premolars are much lower and narrower than in Gcnctta. General. often in English spelt Po.-ican forms remaining widr It and others of extralimital concern in the Viverrini. The smaller. Fernando Poo. but the lower ones are more horizontal in the mandible than in Gok'tfii. Nothing at all is recorded of these. zool. imparting the appearance of many Insecrivores. external and cranial betrwcen these last animals. of the dorsal pattern one would be tempted. Civcttictis Afi. onlv the incisors being tilted of equivalent size. the supraorbital processes are a sagittal crest is absent except posteriorly. This second halt of the name ot the type locality. and arch is narrower than in Gcnctta. (for 1S64). the imier cusp on /'^ is only lunted at. Type tlic species Gcitctia rkhardsmii Thomson. to relate this species to the pardina group. The upper canines show no sign of the fme longitudinal fiuTows generally present on the outer face in Gmctta they arc more slender and more first premolar is just as high as in Gaictta. which has the merit ot indicating that other possibly related forms exist elsewhere. This is exanuned in greater detail later. 1838) as the scientific name of these oriental forms but has now been replaced in part by the carher Prionodon Horsfield. L. Linsain^ was also used (Miiller. recently de Beaufort (1965) has suggested derivation iVom the vernacular name oyaii. ox{johnstoni) from recently published figures. There is a degree of superficial resemblance. Naiulinia. the name itself being a vernacular one for of the East Indies. Tlie upper incisors are soniewlrat backwards.

in fact. 1924) to about as far as 4° South (Sclioutcden. of course. on the West Coast between Liberia and Gaboon. The sharp claws are not quite completely retractile. 1948). The measurements given by G. Whether the distribution is continuous throughout this range is quite another matter. This may not. chance or an especial cumiing m the avoidance of traps or of exposure may accoimt for the paucity of known specimens. but their long bodies. the subdigital ones ver)' small and rounded: the central pad on the forefoot consists of four anterior and lateral pads together with a partially divided posterior pad. they arc nearly related. comprising abundant fuie underfur into which are mixed not very much longer bristle-hairs. reflect the true position on the gromid. to be longer than the head & bod)-. or sometimes foiu% black lines or linear series of spots. indeed. clothed with spotted pelage. with dense. o:ften stated. narrow. but this may not always be so. The head is small and the face pointed. On the hindfoot the central pad is composed of four distinct pads. L. These are not quite so clearly disposed in regular longitudinal lines as in the genets. It is narrow. the prominent ears upstanding and oval and with a fairly large bursa. without any markings. as a fu-mly diagnostic character. Description. The recorded places of collection are listed below in the two specific accoimts. To judge from museum material linsangs arc very rare and probably extremely local in occurrence. African linsangs are in appearance ver)' like small genets. and especially on the sides and below. flattish and shghtly expanded distally but with long slender stalks scarcely distinguishable. The back of the neck is marked with three. more of any genet. are yet more slender and lithe than in Gcnctra. this seems unlikely and these animals can be pretrv' safely reckoned as some of the rarest in Africa. even imder magnification. truly cylindrical from root to tip than that . which posteriorly are continuous with the dorsal markings. is a very distinctive structure. The soles of the feet carry the usual naked pads. There may or may not be a narrow spinal line. The short legs are spotted and terminate m 5-toed tect which are clad. naked pad. The dorsal pelage is soft and ver)' short but dense. but this foot is chiefly remarkable for its medial. thence extending inland to the eastern half of the Congolese Republic from its extreme north-eastern corner (J. to which. very short hair giving them a velvety touch and appearance. It is. their legs even shorter. the space enclosed by these being entirely bare or only ver)' shghtly hairy. an experienced and extremely painstaking collector. di\dded anteriorly. Nevertheless. Allen. The underparts of the body are whitish or creamy. Bates. and extendhig nearly to the heel. from the fine underfur. and their ringed tails relatively longer. The two West African is species differ in their coloration but the general of a paler or darker brownish animal hberally marked with black spots which are rounded or oval and always small or very small.POIANA Distribution. A. African linsangs occur only in tropical Africa within the forest belt. as in Gciictta. the posterior flap arising above beliind from the island the pimia. show the tail to be the longer in only half of the The tail in Poiiiiiu. and verv^ long. but about 4 or 5 rows can be detected on each side of the body. It is the presence of this pad that is one of the chief differences between the African linsangs and the wholly hairy metatarsus of the oriental impression that ones. They are known also of Fernando Poo.

visteiice or absence of and no Uve or spirit material has ever existed in London from which this question could be determined. jugal process. It may be mentioned here that in these matters the oriental Unsangs differ from the African. The rostrum is narrow and pointed. But Pocock. In London specimens but character the\. the tail exceeds the head &: body. 30). is . series. as more or less absent from the subadult skull. The postorbital constriction is wider than the interorbital breadth. The clad with dense. pointed. . dentition normally differs 3N. who. 21.sliare with Gcmtui aiiil Wiinlliil. though never lengthy. Skull (tig. There are from to to 14 dark rings according to faintly divided somewhat narrower than the intervening pale bv very narrow accessory dark rings.i 111 its lesser development Although an occipital crest does exist it is relatively inconmore than a ridge.:. in Allen's ver)' Congo species. which mav sometimes by scent glands. 3 of diem |uveiiilcs. The zygomatic arch is strong and in most cases has a will-developed. the mean length 6 specimens working out at 95 per cent of the mean head tV body measurement. soft. in — may be occasionally present. iinderfur and only slightly longer. deal in the as B. the difference averaging rather less than 2 mm. bristle-hairs. . The greatest excess a of tail over body. is large. Nor is throughout that genus. iii^ varies a good whole more reduced than in Gaictia. 52 it is mm. There appears to be no pubhshed account of the detmite e. and in 4 of the 7 London skulls this region is fenestrated. the postorbital processes may be sharply pointed. CARMVOltl-S OI WLST AIUICA t> sp(. to elevated occipital flanges. The post-dental palate it relatively longer and the notches that separate in that genus. The canines ot both jaws have niinute longitudinal furrows along their outer found I'vidence on made-up skins of : their existence in Poiivui. m the Bates specimens occurs in his youngest it must assuredly indie. is The bullae are tairly large. spicuous. a on the the iiiandibL-. as there Go/cffj. which is relativeK weak and flat. Apart from considerably smaller size the Pciiiiid skull differs ot the posterior region. II. Allen (1924) where J. Since no skulls ot lfii.»l> is minute and seems. the posterior two being conspicuously divided by a waist. often httle most obviously from that oiGviutt. was intensely interested in this matter.1 medium-aged female.222 Till-. from the mam palate shallower and narrower than in and rather less less obvious than The j-y-jrs I. but this appears to be a question of age since this section of the circumorbital ring is any short posterior sagittal crest. ones. like its upper counterpart. all of 4 specimens. and there is no very marked excavation of the 111 posterior braincase to rise again. portion far exceeding the anterior part. said in a footnote (1933 970) that he h. 53 tail is mm. No. and one so unusual th. but III- from that ot Gciictrii m having one upper molar.liioiti exist in the British Museum its the tollowmg description applies more especially to richardsoiii. 7. the the meatus (jciuriti.M.ilc phylogenetic atfinitv. or the\maybe poorly developed and blunt. their skulls more closely agreeing with those of the genets. is true that this does not accord with the figures given by A. The braincase is smooth and ovoid. to be on the way out. subadult: also a subadult that exhibits the largest difference. though minute.\'iiiicus all ot It in ot riihdiJsoni collected b)' hini and nicasui'cd in the held. more or less erect.

presented by Dr. seem never to have been kept in captivity. B. Further. q. it is possible that more specimens have not come to light because of some special value traditionally attached to the pelt. Poiaiia richardsoiii: skull. either in zoos or. The small specimen in the British Museum. Thomson. No. 3. and as the skin is considered one of the most s. as domestic pets. Hans-Jiirg Kuhn in observations referred to below. and is a proof of the mgenuity of that singular people". was skinned from the mouth. have never recorded what they know. African linsangs. Their apparent rarir\' and purely local occurrence. Over a Fig. Exceedingly little is known of the linsangs iii life.M. they are unwilling to part with it.11. according to Dr. the century ago Allen . their secretive and almost certainly nocturnal habits have prevented their way of life from being observed save by a hmited number of African hunters who. more locally. at least.Habits. yS. 30. in the way of things. x i & Thomson (1848) recorded: "This is a rather scarce animal at Fernando Po.icred and valuable amulets or charms of the Edeeyalis. 19. The special significance of these rare skins noted by these authors in Fernando Poo seems to be reflected also in Liberia where.

Poidita is without doubt more closely akin to Gciutta than to Piioiwdoii and Pardictis. the forms of /ii and ot iiio . the result rather of convergence than ot said that artinirv'. and the affinity between the African and Far Eastern genera is. recorded that for the greater part a t. Further.^. Any corres- no more than frequently occurs ui this family. ite tli. and are assuredly fortuitous. A female brought to him in October had miUc in two teats. In this he states that the nests are round.iil of British Museum collecting in Ferand fragments of a pelt were "got m exchange for rum '. The position cannot be skulls is more than sunnnarily glanced at here. insects. responsible nando Poo. However. while ///a. as a result of intensive mammal collection and study in Liberia. in an unpublished commimication quoted in Walker (1964). at least z metres and usually more from the ground. or both the relatively recent descendants of some common linsang stock is remote. This is in some measure expressed in Simpson (1945) by the allocation ot the two groups of linsangs to different the lallier sqii. Iviiig cle. sleeping in the daytime on thick tangled vines. and ot green material. several animals sleeping there for a tew days and then moving on to construct a fresh nest.l Tlin CARNIVORKS OF WEST ATRICA arc usfd to make mcclicuic bags.ive distinctly different. and he was told that these animals produce two yoimg at a birth. in them. Doubtless it also covers small rodents . he was informed by reliable Airican hunters that the reverse was the case. squirrels taking over abandoned linsang nests. has given the most abundant information so far available. and.i skin doubtless varies with different individuals or may have suffered a decline.. the mystical value of the Pciiin. Hates c\ Kuhn. The former who characterized Poiaiui richardsoni in Cameroun as a rather rare little beast. Li the Asiatic Imsangs b>>th of these teeth are somewhat more complex. and walking (? waking) onl). The likelihood of either group's being an offshoot ot the other. is ot common e\olutionary occurrenee and of no overriding significance. More recently. It has often been assumed that the African Imsangs. down at present to two collectors. luieveiily and possibly reptiles as in the genets. giving rise to similarity of dental foriiuilae. the Viverrmi and the I'rionodontim. Kuhn says that the diet includes colaluits. Poiana. in fact. Kuhn. Loss of the posterior qiiadi. when not too worn.when disturbed. it was foimd only in the forest. although these animals have been recorded as using abandoned squirrel dreys as shelters. pi'lts since Seimimd. young birds and plant material.ict. Against this numerical consonance.irK tncuspidate. considerably more distant than often supposed. 111 tact.ilc or ti langiilai pondence between the . Both groups are tropical rain-forest dwellers. is fir more laterally compressed and more sharply. Resemblances which on the surface appear striking are on closer exannnation seen to be not so ex. This is die sum total of our present knowledge. and Misoime (1963 and 1965) has shown that the existence ot any forest bridge between Africa and Asia later than the Oligocene is improbable. Taxonomy. that is to say containers tor materials regarded as possessmg exceptional properties aiid worth. the supraoecipital region and the zygoma are of diverse forms in the t\vo groups.illy cuspid. p^. are closely related to the Asiatic Imsangs of the genera Piionodon Horsfield and Pcirdictis Thomas in spite ot being ver)' widely geographically separated with no known connecting forms. Habit notes boil (190s).

Thomson. all come from the Bight of Biafra. ochracca Thomas & Wroughton. Distribution and general. Fernando Poo. Three forms of Poiana have been described: richardsoiii. and he therefore concluded that the affinities of Poiana quite defmitely lay with Gemrta and not with Prionodon. Inspector of the Naval Hospital at Haslar. evidence in them of the existence of such organs. Thompson". pelage and feet. would be the presence or absence of perineal and quite oriental species show no scent glands in Poiana since it is known tliat A quarter of a centmy after pointing this they are lacking from the Asiatic linsangs. was one of the medical ofiicers to the 1841 expedition to explore the Niger and co-author of the published account. at least London.S bearing in side aspect a passable resemblance to a small premolar. that make it clear that close aft'uiity between the African and Asiatic linsangs is more apparent than real. unmounted young skin. dark rings of the tail rather chevronshaped. Ami. leightoni (panic 227) POIANA RICHARDSONI (Thomson) Genelta Richardson's Linsang ricliardsoiiii Thomson. This was named in honour of Dr. the canines of the of the fane furrows on their external faces so typical of Poiana and Gcnetta. The two relevant species may be differentiated in the follo^^^ng way. no continuous dark spijial stripe. in the British A note in Gray's handwriting Museum Register for 1842 indicates that it was he who actually prepared the description "for Mr. juvenile. nat. more or less continuous dark spinal line present. Poiaiiii. significantly in a rare trace though slight character. a character that would go far towards clinching the question of relationship. 1907. one fragmentar)% is and 7 skulls. one of which is of the two African linsangs. John Richardson. being described from the Aruwimi River. No.n. leigjitoni merits specific status. but from external characters it seems probable that whereas ochracea is merely a colour variant of richardsoni.POIANA tooth of Finally. in poor condition. whose name was consistently misspelt Thompson by Gray in synonymies. eastern Congo. no skull. These cranial and dental disconformities are supported by external ones of pattern. Only two of the three forms occur in West Africa. out Pocock (1933: 970 f.) had convinced himself. Type in the British Museum. m KEY TO THE SPECIES OF POIANA (previous key page 166) Dorsal ground-colour dull reddish-browii. a narrow. No study skulls of these two exist. Mag. Hist. belly pure white. . . This the British is the better recorded Museum These possessing 8 skins. that there was. ochracca and ki^htoni. sex unknown. 10. As Pocock (1908) indicated. in fact. belly off-white. but about which no information was available. that to say more specificallv. 22. 42. rmgs of the tail parallel-sided richardsoni [patic 22s) Dorsal ground-colour bright bufi^'. by the re-examination of the same dried skins as were previously available to him. (i) 10: 204.18. 1. 1842. the two last as subspecies ot the first.

and hence rather linear. However. Down the spine is a discontinuous series of narrow. and Auerbach (1913) recorded one from Yaoimde. the visible pattern of the back being produced by either brown or black distal portions of the hairs. absolutely Camcroim. well separated from each other. of course — — c\lindrical. it was also stated to have been one of Eraser's collection and. sometimes four. with which mm) bristle-hairs. spots. exist. This area. consisting of abundant. The skin referred to by Pocock (1908b) as being labelled from Sierra Leone has iiot been traced. the ears big and rounded. fully independent black spots. making no mention at all of Sierra Leone as one oi^ Pciivui's possible habitats. sometimes a discontinuous series of spots. L. one of the skulls. PeiTct iv Acllen (1956) obtained a specimen from Foulassi. but it is still smaller than any known genet. iof<4a. specimens. The proximal parts of both fore and hind limbs are spotted. Cameroun. the medial one (or two) narrow. The outside edge of the hindf'oot. it has a yet more slender body. and Gray himself must have come to this decision since he quoted this skull m Gcrrard (1S62) and illustrated it. linsang is short and soft. roimd or oval. The colour of the light rings above is precisely that of the ground-colour of the dorsum but below IS rather paler. only These are expanded subterminally into a narrow. on cither side of which are about 4 rows of roundish or oval spots. almost perfectly cylindrical nature and the regularit). which is not fir distant from Bitye. also Cameroun but somewhat further north. with little doubt from Fernando Poo. Fiowcvcr. that is to . the feet much the same colour as the back or a little more sepia. (1865a and 1869). in all but one specimen.226 THE CAIiXlVDRVS Fernando I'oo. No. 10 to 11 slightly longer (13 to 15 carrying 12 to 14 dark. and only perfect wholly within the rain-forest belt. relatively are mixed comparatively few. The head is small. hideed. and its very long. G. the relevant note being in Gray's own handwriting on the page so numbered of his draft catalogue but imder an 1854 Register niunber that does not. nor any evidence fouird of its existence. Ol- WFST AFRICA Spanish Ciuinca. The long tail is remarkable in its narrow. continuous mm long. parallel-sided rings. though purchased from a third party. The base of all the pelage is medium grey. The back of the neck carries three. Bates being responsible for adult. to The undcrparts arc creamy or off-white. It does. thus. seem highly luilikely that richardsoni docs. or ever did. It bears a label to this last effect. The groundcolour of this dorsal pattern is a sort of dull orangey-brown on which is superimposed a pattern of black spots. was said to have come from Sierra Leone. amiulated tail The pelage of Richardson's straight underfur. and Bityc in lower all the island ot Benito Jdwr lies m the 6 mainland. to which animals it bears some considerable superficial resemblance. the upper lips pale. and on cither side of tliis a far bolder. Its small. in fact. exist in Sierra Leone. But.and clarity of its parallel-sided annulation from root to tip. though the exact colour in hfe is difficult determine from old and hence rather soiled specimens. reversed left to right. is deep blackish-brown. flattish blade but taper proxinially to a very long stalk almost as fuie as the underfur. Description. more or less parallel longitudinal black marks. Richardson's linsang (Plate 5) appears to be the larger of the two West African species though no measurements of Icigbtoni seem ever to have been published. band. The dark rings are deep-brown rather than black. and it is very readily recognisable by the complete absence of any continuous spinal stripe.

Richardson's Linsang {Poiaiia richardsom). Two-spotted Palm Civet [Kaiidinia Iniioiata) .


zool. 190S. Bongle. nuich narrower. hi a number of specmiens. Duotown. but only 2 ever came to the British Museum. vers' soft and springy. Skull (fig. 30). in 1939. the bristle-hairs about 12 but exceptionally reaching 15 mm. a /ii/'ji(5 calami in favour Distribution. a second from the Zoological Society of London. As in the latter species the niaculation though appreciably more intense. Northeast Liberia. The head and neck being missing from both British Museum speci- mm . There is a definite. h-ightoni Gagnoa. the type in 1908. This has already been sufficiently described in the introduction to the genus. zool. (for 1907): 1043. narrow black spinal stripe. Igua.2. and the fact that tor his own private separates of his paper he had the name amended on page 1043 of the text to leightoni before the reprinting. It has generally been assumed that the lapsus must be in respect of the name Icightoui used in the key two pages later than lihcriciisis. Biple. Icightoui Pocock. is nothing to add to what has been given above under the generic POIANA LEIGHTONI Poiaiia ricliardsciii libcrkiisis Pocock Leighton's Linsang Pocock. a headless flat skin. 54. Kuhn (1965) gives the following from which he personally has obtained specimens. the dorsal is groiuid-colour being a sort of golden-buff. Tappita. Habits. Proc. relatively indistinct intermediate dark rings occur in a few of the pale annulations. Poiana richardsoni Uifililoni Pocock. additional places in Liberia Pocock. which was an obvious lapsus calami. rather further north than the type localiry. S. Soc. Loud. Leighton's linsang black. and bristleis very similar to that of the back. there- would appear to be a rare is and very localized animal. There are no skulls. Type in the British Museum. therefore. appreciably paler than Richardson's. not vice versa. no skull. as explained thereunder. Siamoiirovia. 1908.8. geographically widely separated from the Bight of Biafra animal. and the spots are of similarly small size but often of more angular outline. (for 1907): 1043-1045. situated west of the Duboc and Cavally Rivers. All these are in north-eastern Liberia. even from probably a discrete the very incomplete material m the British Museum that it is species. This name is accepted in spite of the apparent page priority oi liheriaisis. lacking also the forefeet. more or less continuous. on the road between Bia and Zwedru. Leonard Leighton of the Liberian Rubber Company whose small collection of mammals contained the r\pe. The composition of the more or less upstanding tail fur long. abundant underfur 10 to it long. but not a few. 1038) mentions that Leighton obtained 6 skins. The dorsal pelage is very short.23. Description. Proc. Soc. also hairs 13 to 14 mm mm mm occur. sex?. Pocock's pen. the abundant imderfur measuring about 10 mm. Like richardsoni. There heading. pi. but widely scattered guard-hairs about 20 long. Although Pocock named this as merely a local race of richardsoni it would seem. The vegetation is rain-forest. Loud. obviously slipped in the inadvertent use of lihcriciisis. but otherwise in fair condition. and west of the upper River Cess. This name is rejected as of that which next follows. than the dorsal niaculation. zool. But that Pocock's real intention had been to give the animal the former of these names is clearly shown both by a printed amendment slip m the Proc. F. This name was given in compliment to Mr. de Beaufort via (1965) says the species also occurs in the Ivory Coast at fore.r o ANA I 227 say. f 3. No. 24 to 32 kilometres west of the Putu Mountains. Soc. Pocock (1908b. Deaple. noticeably paler all.

p'^jc — m^ . long-stalked brisdc-haiis lo to ii long. 1. to mm mm Tliere are also scattered. I'alatilar br. No skulls exist in Habits. though they may possibly be only those of yoimg adults. and dresc instead of being parallel-margined are more chevron-shaped. terete guard-hairs readily distinguishable up to 15 mm m length./postorb. The tail is even softer than in riclumlsoiii. The structure is from that of richanisoiii by its aimulation. 7 to 9 iiK'Us . not possible to give comparative figures for Tabic 11: Numerical tl. m\jm2 »I3 360 . The tails of specimens so far known show no sign of intermediate dark rings. There are no measurements: but the skins as they stand arc of a somewhat smaller animal than richinihoiii. Skull. is known of these. clothed with very dense imderfur about long together with flat ended. 95 51 Zygoin.iins nt the legs and tect seems be quite similar to those of richardsoni. a clear distinction from the other species. Braincasc/zygom. There are only from 10 to 12 dark rings./condylob.i lor Poiiiiin r'uhtirilsoni I'uhardioui Vegetation Forest Number in mean lengtli 7 Coudylobasal Basilar Icngtli 67-6 61 -y Palatilar length 29-9 34-5 Zygom. Braincase/condylob. wliicli are dense black or ver}' deep brown. with a forwardly directed point. br. <AIIM\01U:S (IP WISI MUICA u IS not possible to describe iheii) but what rein. 44 86 25-0 hitcrorb. nor does there appear to be any published account. The belly and insides of tlie liindlegs are pure white.atic breadth Upper cheekteeth breadth hiterorhital breadth I9'4 lo-o Richardsoni I'ostorhital constriction 11 '6 Brainc. table it is London. 1. Nothing whatsoever The following Poitimi 36 70 l. gives the mean measurements of British Museum material of Ici'^htcni.Tse breadth 24' Tootlirow /)• (1 — »|l) 2S'i 0-3 length ihI i»l breadth length 4-6 5-4 1-5 i»2 length &• Head Tail body 384 365 59 fhndfoot Ear 34 (per cent) l^ATIOS Tail/head & body I.228 Till./condylob.

Pdradoxunis F. Binturong etc. derived from the Greek words pariidcxtis strange. in the absence of a major revision. but Simpson's classification is nevertheless retained in this present work since. habits and so forth are contained in the following account. more importantly. The subfamily Paradoxurinae is divided by Simpson into three tribes: the Para- doxurini Simpson. in the present instance. and the Arctogahdiini Simpson. on page 163. led him with little hesitation to the conclusion of phylogenetic divergence now under discussion. while indicating some degree of taxonomic distinction. ear pinnae. as in the parallel case of the linsangs. of the disputed classificaof the Paradoxurinae. both Asiatic. rated it as no higher than tribal. Pocock (1929) considered that the African animal now to be dealt with merited separation into a full family of its own. the Nandiniidae. Somctliing has already been said. the latter remaining as the subfamily Paradoxurinae of the Viverridae. together with those of other external features such as vibrissae. Resemblance between them. This is probably insufficient. that lend support to the conclusions he arrived at from external features alone. The name of the subfamily is formed from that of the Asiatic palm civets. but that there are. Cuvier. and the purely African Nandiniini Simpson. and the considerable differences that he found. important distinctions. musangs or toddy cats. form.PARADOXURINAE Subfamily ZZp Gill. mere tinkering on a minor scale with currently accepted forms is liable to add more to confusion than it does to clarity. and oiira tail a name given mistakenly without any substantial justification for its etymology. but whether that division should be drawn at family level is another matter. With little doubt. the form and siting of the perineal scent glands. 1945. tion Taxonomy. and thus be clearly more widely detached from the oriental palm civets with which it had customarily been associated. and. In view of the probable disunion of the African and Asiatic animals at by this subfamily. then. nothing further is said here regarding the general attributes of the Paradoxurinae as a group since all matters relevant to this present work concerning distribution. Such resemblance. Simpson. in fact. 1945. 1821. The character of the feet was well investigated and analysed by Pocock (1915b). PARADOXURINAE 1872 African and Asian Palm Civets. being rather a matter of convergence than an indication of close phylogenetic aftuiit)-. rhinaria. notably in respect of the bullae and of dental form. There is certainly a great deal to be said for Pocock's view of the taxonomic distincmess of the African and Asiatic groups. the African and Asiatic palm civets arc phylogenetically more separate than has been commonly accepted. is with very little doubt largely fortuitous. concerns not so much an overall similarity of external appearance as the nature of the soles of the feet and a general correspondence of skull shape. and the fact that there is only a single genus in Africa. He might have added that superficial resemblance of build in the skulls of the two groups is no more than runs through a wide area of these small carnivores. General. present covered — . skull. 1945. with which alone we are here concerned.

known considered to be very^ closely akin to certain Oriental viverrids. Soa. at which island nearly every ship called. Type in the British Museum. pi.jj. 54. this . Proc. Ashanti (Ghana). hciiiMpliioditiis (Pallas). Tvpe species IVivmj hinolala Gray. as recorded in th introduction to this present subfamily. it was m all likelihood due solely to Edward Cross of the Surrey Zoological Gardens. q skin in good condition except for an incomplete tail. Lcyden. 2. appears to be erroneous and stems from Gray (1 843) where he hmisell accredited the name to that author. situated as the tree civet.: 67. Spicilfgla ZcH'/iujiVii :y.aim civet came to be applied to Nandinia. and no specimen seems to have authentically been forthcoming since the type. the tirst of the two works cited in the previous sentence providing one such confusing example. The the first common name two-spotted palm civet tor this animal is pretty use. 1S30. with reicrence to the conspicuous pale shoulder spots. and in later works Gray {1865 & 1S69) indicated that Rcinwardt had only suggested the name in manuscript. in two old British Museum registers and in Gray (1843). I'roc 5i'c LiVhl for 1S64: 520-530. often given by authors (e'. List oj tlif S/'faHu/is Maiiiiiuiliti in the . In both cases the type locality is indicated. This was described from a specimen in the Nctlierlands Museum. However. where the type animal had been displayed. The species was called after Dr. i<S43 African Palm Civets Wwilina Gray.i (Ciray) Two-spotted Palm Civet . . Bririili Miisiiiiir. 1939). Incidentally.irded with considerable suspicion. was subsequently amended.two. less and this has possibly more to be said m its tavour than the others as these animals spend a good deal ot their lives m trees of all hinds. P. hx Anglo-Indians the palm civet or todd\' cat because it was reputed to . in could radier more sensibly be termed. The attribution ot this name to Rcinwardt. on the shoulders. to Fernando Poo. was called The best known species of this last Asiatic genus. and 1S65. and iiolola marked. Li firmly established in spite of several objections that can be lodged against place it its spotted palm civet since the pelage has. but. 1843. Gray more than once muddled his List of Specimens (1843) with his Catalogue (1869). zooL Soc.230 THI (AUNUOIUN (11 \V I s I A I l< I ( A Cicnus NANDINIA 11/ Gray. skull with the back and floor of the braincasc missing. 10. lUiislrations oj Indian Zoology. G. This revised provenance must also be reg. I'tiradoMiriis hamiUonii Gray. . but the type no longer seems to exist since it is not listed by Jemiuk (18S7 & 1892). No. as India. It is also. . M. It was not touiided on any knowledge ot th e animal's habits. the twintact. C(V'/. chiefly ot the genus Parddi'Minis. General. Allen. It is well known that the knowledge ot West African geography possessed by commercial importeis in the early I9di century was cNtremely sketchy and most trequently conveniently crystallised itself into Fernando Poo. Keinwardt does not appear ever to have published it. these being to this day largely unknown. Loiul. Hamilton. 1832. Thomas (1904) rejected Nanilinia from the island's tauna. The specitic name is tormed from the Latin hi. NANDINIA BINOTATA I'li'tr/. wrongly. Cabrera (190S) was doubtful. a multitude t)t spots but only one matched pair ot distinctively coloured ones. and 1835. palms being probably relatively infrequent. . It is interesting to see how the name p. as it sometimes is. As this is a nionospccihc genus all relevant characteristics are to be found in the succeeding account of the Two-spotted Palm Civet. the Atricaii species now under discussion was commonly. biiwlala Gray.

though this varies somewhat with different skins and the state of moult. measuring about 12 to 15 mm. In the two pale spots that normally occur. The dark spots arc the outcome of the lack of any subterminal zone. on the other. the entire distal half of the hair being black. Tlus latter formed part of a parcel of over a thousand specimens purchased 1855 from the Zoological Society of London. with its spotted body and long ringed tail resembles a heavily built dark brown-coloured genet. The claim appears to be based on two specimens alone. consequently became transferred to it. dense. Distribution. Sierra Leone. The deep sepia based throughout. one on each shoulder.413. Amongst this dense imderfur arc set. with suitable qualification. Natidinia was regarded as the exact Ethiopian counterpart of the Indian animal. The southern limit of its range is roughly a line drawn from 15° South on the west coast to 20° South on the eastern side of the continent.12. much more widely dispersed. but it may be characfur is terized in general tcruis as medium bro\vn hue with blackish spots. There are also much longer black guard-hairs scattered most of their length but. No. though there is no evidence. The pointed tips of these are black. wzwj underfur. and its reputed provenance is open to precisely the same doubt as given above in respect of the type o( luiinihoiiii. The dorsal fur of Nandinia is dense. soft to the touch if quite clean.NANDINIA 231 climb the toddy palm [Phoenix iih'cstris) to steal the toddy ("wine") from the receptacles which it was being tapped. that Nandinid chmbs palms to get at the palm-wine. but slightly harsh if dirty. It is widely distributed throughout the whole of the rain-forest block and some of the contiguous Guinea or Guinea-type woodland zone where there is fringing forest or forest renuiants for this is essentially an animal of fairly high trees and the shade of their dense crowns. already dealt with. some being appreciably darker than of a others. It would seem from its abundance in collections that it is probably the commonest of the African viverrids. The dominant component of the pelage is long. very shghtly flat-sectioned terminal portion. whose common name. Because of its supposed close affinity. and another British Museum skin. ver\' slender throughout be)'ond the reach of the luiderfur. fme. Something has been said on this subject above in the synonymy. cither factual or in hearsayfolklore. This has short golden-brown tips. taking in Uganda and south-west Kenya. This accounts for the rather nondescript slightly reddish-browii flecked with yellow of the back. so far as the present writer knows. 1940). rather longer bristle-hairs. The case for the occurrence of the palm civet on Fernando Poo is slender. thence it spreads north to extreme south-western Sudan. not of exposure to siuishinc in low-growing open-country species. Description. which often gives way proximally to a narrow creamy zone. on the one side and. the visible background colour and that of the dark maculation residing solely in the extreme distal portions of the hairs.24. and probably further west to Portuguese Guinea. the reverse is the case. Nividiiiia is commonly stated to occur also in Fernando Poo. 55. In general appearance the African palm civet (Plate 5). some 20 to 23 mm. The overall colouring is variable in into — m different specimens. there being no black tips. but the majority have a subterminal band of golden-brown. the type. of moderate length. expanded into a stouter. though the specimen on which this last range is gromided was in fact a captive one (Monard. terete or .

These are considerably variable but basically consist of a medial black line reaching to the crown of the head between the ears. in most. about 30 in length: and of sparser bristle-hairs. bodi top and bottom.rill ( Ai(M\ (11(1 '. behind the piima. the "rings" being unevenly spaced and mostly only half-rings across the dorsal side. apart from the naked. and there are four small triangular naked areas just anterior to the other sections. The face is greyishbrown. but it is very irregularly so. between die medial and outer band. which in some specimens impart a wholK blackish appearance to the terniiiial four niches. This is flanked on either side by another. but they vary and are often indistinct or sometimes virtually lacking. or sometimes little more than broad patches. But in some specimens they arc much smaller. or less. and a bursa is always present. divided from die flanks. though not sharply. the head ib\ The somewhat longer than mm mm . mostly independent of one another. or tlris last may itself by broken up into spots: or some or all t these elements may be entirely lacking. like that of the bodv. nothing like the genets or Imsang. In the hmdfoot the plantar and tarsal The mm >. each digit armed with a very sharp. diose of die female in front of the vulva. but the areas latter unite into a single. The scent glands have been fully described by Focock (1915b): those of the male are situated anterior to the penis. more or less parallel. The tail may be looselv described as ringed. Li the forefoot the palmar and the carpal pads are united. The ist di2. They are slightly webbed between the basal parts of the toes. black line reaching to the base of the ear. of abundant. cii w IS r Ai im A thioiighout less clearly till. large pad. well-curved claw like a cat's in shape and similarly retractile. It is darker above than below through the presence of long-black-tipped hairs. long. liic of this foot is joined to Its section of the palmar pad by a naked strip. without distinct markings. body. West African specimens the three main black lines are clearly present. The soles are very characteristic. low 111 height but broad at the base. a central depression boimded by the four main palmar and two carpal sections naked but of granular appearance. There is no black spinal stripe or crest.'p-bro\vn. not more or they are in most Giitctiii. bushy and woolly throughout Its length but usually distinctly broader proxiniallv than distally. though in a few cases tending to coalesce transversely. Its covering consists. dense underfur. spots torniiiig and rather irregularly disposed. about to as mm medial stripe. its semicircular posterior flap arising. the belly is yellowish and clearly.> pads are similarly joined. The ears are veiw rounded. However. v. although occasionally in some skins there is a combination of spots that gives some impression of a the dorsal pattern arc ot fairly small size arranged in longitudinal series they are roughly siibcirciilar. very wrinkled or ridged posteriorly and reaching almost to the heel. There may be a row of dots. Forward ot these lie the markings of the neck. occmsikiuHv dci. normally measurmg about 40 but which here and there attain almost 60 mm. sometimes very faint. flanks are almost completely unspotted.- diMj. though not all.-ell-developcd pads almost completely densely but shortly pchigc. The two yellow or creamy spots on the shoulders are somewhat oval and at their maximum are about 25 long and versplain to see. Broadly speaking in diameter. There are similai small naked forward of the central pad and tail is also joining it to rile 1st digit. The feet are 5-toed.

and is bounded anteriorly by a narrower than the interorbital breadth. long and pointed. The upper Gcnetta but canines arc much more obviously tifi so. wholly ossified. the jugal process constriction wliich slight. The zygomatic arch is strong. marked intertemporal part The most notable pecuharity of of which is generally held to be the Niindinici skull lies in the bulla. otherwise quite rv'pically viverrine. 3 I 233 and. lacking. The supraorbital processes arc long and sharp. and exceptional as regards the mammalia as a whole. flange-Uke supraoccipital crest.similar. There is nothing remarkable about the rest of the checkstraighter than usual. disagrees with this. is The dental formula ^-ia-i ~ 4-°" '^^^ upper mcisors are set m a straight or slightly curved. much greater are The lower jaw is strongly built. compact row. the paroccipital processes are closely applied to their posterior faces. of the animal the whole very small. in which the bullae are prepared specimens. The anterior. the posterior is entirely cartilaginous and lacking from normally is given by Hough under discussion. In the life spite ot its ot the two-spotted being both widespread and numerous not much is known of palm civet. The incisors arc bifid. perhaps always. so conspicuous a feature of other carnivorous skulls. portion around the meatus is often missing too. contrary to the usual statement. The braiiicasc long. wth deep rami. In other Feloidea. almost semicircularly curved. The posterior molar is relatively small. holding tliat "the dorsomedial side of the entorv'oipanic is commonly. in the opening . considering the series is small in comparison wth Gawltn. in fact. a character that is obscure in. ossified in mature and nearly mature individuals. in XiVidiniii there is no ossified bulbous portion to which they could become attached and they stand isolated as conspicuous components of the posterior part of the skull. This is considerably larger than that oi Gciniui but otherwise is superhciallv ver). but for the entirely different reason that it has been swept away through lack of its normal mechanical support provided by the bony posterior region. Be this as it may. peg-like.NANDINIA Skull (figs. She accepts the generally held view that the entire posterior portion of the bulla (the entot)'mpanic) is unossificd. the latter sometimes rather indistincdy. although normally there is a cartilaginous region between the tympanic and ossihed cntorympanic where they approach each other". Van Valen (1963). Li this it is unique amongst the Hving (but not fossil) carnivora. but nevertheless much better developed than the upper one. Habits. the outer ones being somewhat stouter than the iimer ones. or lacking from. 32). ovoid. and. In old males and very old females there is a pronounced sagittal crest. v^^hich posteriorly jouis a broad. however. Something has already been said. despite the peculiarity now fully ossified. the canines more curved tlian the upper ones and are similarly grooved on both outer and inner faces. (1948). and distinctly more canoid than feloid in appearance. A detailed description of this auditory region who finds it. for practical purposes of recognition almost ever)' prepared Naudiiiiii skull has the main bulbous portion of the tympanic bulla. the genets. teeth except that size is grooved on the outer face as in and also on the inner face. over which they spread to a greater or less extent. The lack of a posterior portion of the bullae is accompamed by a second peculiarity of the Nandinia skull.

xurus. This is not so. Naudinia liinotiila: skull. its conjectured attinity with the Asian I'didnuich as of phylogeny. who has recorded more of this animal in its natural surroiuidings than anyone else. 31. Fic. ex-Anglo-Lidiani. 48. In an area such as West Africa where wine-tapping is so abiuidantly practised such a habit. Hayinan has noted {in lift. It never catches chickens. Though Wvuiiniii does chnib and has been shot in diem. if it existed would be a matter of common everyday knowledge. Whether is. . B. relyuig on parallelism with Asiatic species. danger is real G.. W. as do other J'ivnjiddc" And T.) that 6 adult specimens taken by him in the Ituri forest in to open some doubt.-34 THE CARNIVOKKS OF WnST AFRICA dcaliiii. and particularly in so far as thieving palm-wine is concerned. certainly a credible failing in a viverrid than wine-bibbing. its despite common Enghsh name. its habits are in any exckisive or predominant way connected widi them. have in the past saddled NaiiJiiiid with the character of being "a noted fowl thief". witli this animal.. I .Jones has the impression that ripe palm fruits form a significant part of the diet. paragraph iL'. No. 1930 were all lured by baits of oifal into traps set on the ground between die buttresses ot giant trees. He also supposed a pair he saw in the bush to be interested in a flock of guinea-fowl. the present writer more two reputed was warned many years ago that it oil-palms standing in one's compoiuid since there might always be a therein. In combination of these habits. there is no doubt that the usual food of the Nandine is vegetable. Thorneycroft (195S). there is at present no significant evidence that. wrote: ". And R. ready to descend at night to is was foolhardy to preserve palm civet lurking this rob the fowl-house. . as a rule.814. S.M. writing in Malawi implied that the oiJy time die palm civet was. ot in respect ot habits as pahn trees. Bates (1905). encountered. Literal Further. largely vegetarian. On the other hand. for this small carnivore in truth. L. was "in connection with raids on the hen house".

and this remained its favourite fruit though it would eat. at who reaixd a yoiuig specimen in Nigeria. for even if it was only a little stale it would be refused. No.\ ?.NANDINIA 235 those The tivity'. 48. 32. x i. and it was very fond of sweetened condensed milk and of chocolate. fat moths being very welcome.iliital & dorsal views young palm Livet was eventually provided with a small lizard each day. This animal was. Such food had to be quite fresh.ils. p.M. found to an early age. B. but as it was diftkult to obtain a sufficiency of eat banana Fig. Naiiditiia binoiaia: skull. fruit-eating habit is well confirmed by who have kept Xiindinia in capit Ball (1955) for example. in addition. such items the . sc.814. This animal also accepted scraps from the table of a varied kind such as might come from ordinary human mc. given crickets and other insects. pawpaw and avocado. It liardlv ever drank water. also. including fish and pieces of meat.

Bates. is carried out on the ground. being. birds or anything of like kind offering Itself easily. in fact. Taylor (1970) rates Xdiuliiiia as the most efficient hung up to dr\''. and this is one reason why it is fairly readUy trapped. Climbing for this vivcrrid. Sanderson (1940) foimd the stomachs of his many Mamfe specimens "nivanably" crammed with vegetable remains that is to say plantains when caught near farmed land. Under natural conditions it wakes at about sunset and goes to bed soon after dawn. frightened by the barking of dogs at the foot. Probably the majority of its foraging. or It may be picked up by the red glow of its eyes in a torch in the darkness of the forest at night. is a matter of considerable ease. records raids by flesh still a two-spotted palm civet.S oy WEST AIRHA IS doubtk'ss a t. Its sure-footedness is also indicated by 13all (1955) who relates how his domesticated animal used to spring onto the curtains. at a considerable distance from the tree. yellow-flowered cucurbit Cof^iiiatixiii podolacna Baill. but an attempt to reach a third tree was foiled by the dogs. When on the ground it either prowls in feline fishion or proceeds at a trot. . This is a little surprising in that climbers do not very commonly form tangles such as would naturally provide suitable beds for quite heavy animals. to sail gracefully "almost float" to the ground 111 an effort to escape. These nocturnal habits are basically retained in captivity but may be partially overcome in response to the offer of food. jHoiiks R. Taylor (1970) giving a series of pictures of the successive moves. Bates said that it did this in thick tangles of vines in the tree-tops. active during most of the night. at which level lianes have generally achieved a good deal of independence. repeated a over a series ot nights. presumably. Li climbing vertically up the bole of a tree the claws may well receive assistance from the large. — mm — African vivcrrid at lumping. The sight ot a pair of glowing eyes peering down through the blackness can be rather eerie. descending at "an angle greater than half a right angle". During daylight hours the two-spotted palm civet curls up tightly and sleeps. Thorneycroft (1958) records an interesting incident concerning the palm civet's capacity tor leaping. Br. The landing on the bare ground was perfect. makes it clear that the animal concerned in this must have walked some distance clinging upside-down to the underside of the ridge-pole of a hut. with its extremely sharp cat-iike claws. on the shreds of attached to the skeleton of chimpanzee He also indicates that the fruits of the umbrella tree. legs and tail fully stretched out. indeed Bates.236 All this THE CARKIVOHf. He observed one high up a tree. The two-spotted palm civet is nocturnal. Mnsaiii^ii cccroand ot the climbing. especially in the upper strata of trees. It always climbs down heaci first. scramble to the top and walk along a curtain-rod only 13 in diameter. This performance was rapidly repeated from a neighbouring tree. small rodents.iir indication ot tlic sent ot dietary m die wild: a good deal ot hiiit tempered with insects. however. though not very tast. on all four feet. are recognised to be such favourite foods of this animal that they are used by local hunters to bait traps set with the object of capturing Kauduiia. It may theretore sometimes be seen 111 the half-light at either end ot the day. also. Tree-tops. in connexion with the nightly visits to the chimpanzee skeleton mentioned above. rough-surfaced pad under the hindfoot. Since this animal is both arboreal and terrestrial such glimpses may be either on the ground or on the lower branches of trees.

and since. but not with a cat. It is therefore ditficult to know how far races founded on these characters may be justified. races have been described from other parts of Africa. Three individual extreme. A. Two-spotted palm civets. Taxonomy. "to be It would therefore seem that these races arc justified. in common wirii most deep shade. and answering to its name and good daytime sleepers. Ball (1955) found his yoimg animal to enjoy games. and the pattern is certainly less marked. moreover. These are dependent on variations of colour or pattern. whereas Wmdiniii. warm. with a dog. And though nuchal striation becomes obscure in certain other West African specimens there is none exhibiting the complete absence of any trace of dark markings in this area that is the mam characteristic of Thomas's (lerrarJi. friendly and trusting pets. thus indicating that breeding may take place in either the wet or dry season. have shown themselves to make charming. A. though suspicious of and aggressive towards strangers. June and August. if obtained very young. and. March. there are in London several skins from East Africa with this distinguisliing feature it seems probable tiiat i^crrardi is something more than a mere . Some degree of variation is common (. Allen foimd this to be the case also with liis Congo series. Juvemlc specimens exist in the British Museum captured in February. but it is possible that the appreciably paler skins of the Cross River basin (south-eastern Nigeria and Cumeroim) may merit a hinotatii hinolatd (Gray). arborca Heller. but whether up a tree or in the ground it is impossible to say. Allen (1924) writing of nearly 75 north-east Congo specimens said that there was amongst them "a wide range of individual variation in coloration". even fairly rough ones. ratthng warning note. There seems to be no record at all of an actual breeding nest. recognising the sound of its master's voice. always had a pleasant. the West African two-spotted palm civet is regarded as a valid subspecific distinction it is always difficult to know where to stop. May. which was rather rough and bristly. prefers coming to a whistle.NANUINIA would sccni to imply a 237 deal of sunlight. the litter size being 2 or 3. At least one Sierra Leone skin has a more intense colour that recalls Cabrera & Luxton's ititcnsa from the southern Congo but it is not quite the same. Given the free range of a house they have been said to preserve it free of rats and snakes. This author also records that though his palm civet had the habit of marking out certain areas with its scent glands it never at any time had. Tangles certainly exist. named is race. that correctly designated Xandinia being so. Ball's pet when pleased uttered a sort o[ cwiick-cwuck sound mingled with a purr. It would seem probable that for their daytime sleep these animals would more commonly seek the shelter of holes or well-shaded crooks where large branches join the bole. Its fur. J. itself. Bates heard two palm civets calling to each other in the evening in the forest with a kind of faint kittenish mewing. but when amioyed gave a shrill. any offensive odour. . According to Walker (1964) the period of gestation is about 64 days. musty smell. This must almost certainly be a hole. and the British Museum West African material. of about 50 skins. If colour alone distinguishing name. Allen considered the third surprisingly different ". displays appreciable variety of both colour and markings. but at ftirly low levels or in partially destroyed forest to which simlight has been admitted. This animal was also responsive to human utterances.

60 44 128 21 -2 Interorb. 115 55 33 Zygom../condylob.\'im</ii/iVi hiuohiia I . Braincase/z\'gom. Bramcase/condylob.i^ (r m-) length m^ breadth »i(Ml breadth length length 5'4 2-0 7*2 ni2 3-0 Head & body Tail 484 5S4 85 Hindfoot Ear 37 (per cent) RATIOS Tail/head & body I. 1./postorb.iWe 12: Niiniciic.. p^jc — ufl i»3 iiijIiiio -f- 240 size ot Tabic 12 shows the average British 17 tuliy adult West Ahican specimens in the Museum./condylob. 1.S Till' West Vegetation Africa general Forest Number in mean Condylobasal length Basilar length Palatilar length 17 96^2 91-0 42-6 53-4. Palatilar l. CARNIVORES Of WEST AFRICA ilatj lur . br. Zygomatic breadth Upper cheekteeth breadth iutcrorbital breadth 29-8 l8'0 Postorbital constriction 14-0 32-2 35-9 7-6 Braincase breadth Toothrow . . br.

the adult body weight being from 3 to 5 kg [Herpestes. long and bristly pelage. monospecific. mongooses (Plates 6. The last of the three West African subfamilies of the Viverridae. just fmds is Europe. As contrasted with 2 genera in Asia there are something in the nature of 16 in Africa. I'ocock (1916c). Crossarchus. certainly in West Africa. sometimes shaggy. Lihcriictis. the majority. a long subcylindrical body carried close to the ground on short legs and clad as a ride in a rather coarse. from its skull size. involving the naked area itself. into southern of the three subfamilies. though a little smaller than the others. Mostly it is uniformly coloured throughout its length. and the infranarial depth . may be completely closed by tightly folding together. whatever their size as much more which in common regards both appearance and habits than often the case with other subfamilies. which differ from those of other West African viverrines in never having a bursa. generally similarly to the dorsum.and character of the upper lip. a sharpish face with low rounded ears set well down on the sides of the head. Distribution is mostly south of the Sahara. something. having a head & body length of under 400 and a weight usually well below 2 kg {MuHi^os. Galeriscus. with a head Si body length of about or much more. much longer. the nostrils. have is all credited with 9 genera covering 10 species. neither exact of defmition nor nevertheless enables them all to be readily recognised as and 9). but Ichncumia and Galeriscus form notable exceptions to this. 7. be certainly reckoned as belonging to the latter class. which is of somewhat variable shape but usually distijictly tapering from root to tip. it is true. and most often only a httle shorter than head & body. Nevertheless. and a tapermg tail that is nearly always loosely haired. members of the group. like the Viverrinae. takes on somewhat different shapes. who figured several con^pletely general. but Mungos is an exception in that the underfur is virtually lacking. fine dense underfur and abundant. HERPESTINAE Mongooses 1872 Distribution. much of it almost entirely tropical. It is in Africa that the group reaches its maximum development. whose bodily characteristics are unknowai. All the fur is erectile in anger or alarm. 500 Ichneumui. mm . in respect of the number of different genera. The tail. has a few genera pecuhar to itself and. can nevertheless. Atilix. of species. while in Hcrpcstcs and Gdlcrclhi there is a sharply contrasting terminal tuft of jet-black or red. The ears. in different genera. Gakrella) and large. its way. fall into two clearly distinct size classes: small. is clad in the same way but the bristle-hairs arc often much longer and sometimes give the structure a shaggy appearance.HERPESTINAE Subfamily 239 Gill. annulated bristlehairs. though some species range to South Africa which. for the most part. and almost certainly of individuals. like the other two. has. the Herpestinae. Mongooses. The rather pointed face ends in a naked rliinarium wliich. This the largest In this present account West Africa is General character. flattish-scctioned. Tliis is. moreover. nearly always to a greater or less degree speckled. Xciwgale). as something of a rarity. an Asiatic as well as an African distribution. 8 mm . or colour. The pelage in the Herpestinae is composed almost invariably of longer or shorter.

m some cases (ci.. which can be tig.1 quite difhreiit . Herpestmae. The claws are mostly strong.ipart from size. together with the shape and nature of the sac. Mostly there are most genera has only 4 on each toot. the external orifices of their ducts appearing either diametrically lateral to the anus or slightly above.<. but in GakrcUa are of slender build. 36.irison ot tiiiae. amount ot covering they carry. but the relevant points are not often clearly to be seen in preserved specimens. m 1 West Atncaii species are covered. used hvc or recently dead zoo animals as die basis of his observati(nis.ippe. Z'j w itli tig. hairy in the posterior part only {Crossiiirhm. . much more adapted to climbing than in most. The shortness of leg m the mongooses has already been mentioned. the soles. dctcrmmed regarding such uses. Like other viverrids the mongooses are provided with scent-glands probably tor die purposes of recognition and territorial marking though possibly not defence. are diverse in respect of the turr}- but Giikriicns the pollex and hallux are much reduced s digits.240 IHL CAKMVOIIhS Ul WIST A 1 R I CA L. 15oth these orifices and the anus itself are surrounded by an upstanding. though one such case is referred to on page 30('>. AV/ioiyd/c).ispect the . short. variable detail from genus to genus.i and laid sonic raxunoniic signitR'ancc upon the dirtciciiccs he cited. There are. though contorming to this broad general pattern are. never vcrf pronovuiced and sometimes only basal. . normally not highly objectionable.! . All these matters are dealt with in some detail and with illustrations in Pocock's paper on the external characters ot die mongooses fig fie). being either entirely hain. certain clear differences. Skulls and Deutitiojl. but Crossdirhiii has by comparison in a noticeably more fairly clumsy...os. AtiLix is mostly naked but seems to be vanable.'c\*-. and on the forefoot long. GiilcrclLi). elliptical or subcircular wall forming a sac which is capable of closure. is practised under stress bv mongooses in general is not clear. so far as known from limited investigation. G. but in GalcrclLj diey are quite different. always a pair situated cither side of the rectum. seen b\ a comp. but there are niajorirv' several other noteworthy features attaching to the limbs in this subtainily. The ot species are sub-digitigrade. while in Gcilcrclla and sometimes lacking. slender. tiat-footcd stance and gait.\///). not by the contraction ot a circular sphincter muscle but by the juxtaposition of the upper and lower sections of the rim in a hp-like action.ider frontal . CrosSiirilnis) very noticeably so.cnci. particidarly those of the hindfeet.uue in this region. A somewhat malodorous liquid seeps from the external glandular orifices into the sac and accords to the animal a faint odour. In dorsal aspect the rostrum is m the ITerpes- with the notable exception ot tile bro. In the veiitr. In all cases except that ot the marsh mongoose (Aiiliix) digits 11 to V are joined by webs. Herpcfics). fairly the also very much area combines widi the complete or almost complete orbital ring to Lilwrliilis.ider. or entirely naked {Mtiii(.iUrisais. but whether a more energetic and active expulsion ot fluid. Finally. .' [hhmiunia. The form of the glands. As might be the siting ot their openings. curved .md relatively sharp: 111 fact. mongoose skulls more closeK' resemble those ot the iiearK' related genets (Viverrmae) than those of an\ other West Afnciii carnivores.IS III the polecat. gi\e structure . The feet themselves are powerful. bro. though by no means all but little actually defuiite has so tar been positively in the There are.

The form of the cheekteeth is also widely variable m the different genera. mostly very clearly so. No. In one category of skulls {Hcrpestcs. former having either 3 or 4 lower premolars. B. or even a gentle curve.6. with the single exception o{ GalcrclLi in which the two are subequal. In some species the dentition is relatively reduced in size.14) There are nvo distinct rs'pes of herpestinc skulls m accordance with the positioning of the cheekteeth in relation to the zygoma (fig. Habits. and the bullae of being long arc for the most part much more highly and acutely domed. Arihix). In this gi^oup the outer faces of />•* and ml form oiJy a shallow angle with each other. the posterior comer of /!' is situated at this point and. 241 is at once obvious. just above the toothrow. Galeriscus. in consequence.)^ and all or at least part of m^ lie anterior to the reference point. 33.1. T0. ^ in Munoos and Crossiircluis. Gakriscia. Mostly the anterior portion of the bulla is very much smaller than the inflated posterior chamber. and in one case. No. Atilax).'. There may be 36. j in Gi^lcrcUa. p"^ Herpestinae: illustrating the well anterior to the root of the b. or j ui Ichncwniii.M. but in some Mii/Jijo. Xeiwgalc and Liberiiais. mostly fairly obvious though not exactly dcfmed. being sometimes fairly typically carnivorous with sharp-edged flcsh-cutring carnassials (Xaiogale. at which the lower curve of the zygomatic arch arises from the main body of the maxilla. 33 a & b). Miingos.M. the Both and Atihx Fig. secondly the point. In the other category {khncwnia. a.IIEnrRSTINAF. its outer face forming a sharp angle with the outer face of the camassial. 25. The dentition in the Mungotinae is remarkable for its variery. posterior comer of p"* about level two contrasting positions of the cheekteeth: zygoma {Idmeumia albicaiida. skulls the root of the zygoma is rather obscure. Occasionally skulls occur m these two genera with differing numbers of premolars on either side. 5. though often more as regards their everyday behaviour as captive animals than as concerns the more secretive aspects of their lives . the latter exhibiting the same variation both above and below. CrosSiirclnis. the comer of . which may be Giilcrisais. much longer post-dciual palate of the mongooses instead 38 or 40 teeth due to diversity. fraiikly crushing. Libcriictis).in the number of premolars. /n^ lies wholly posterior to it. 12. Compared with other groups the habits of the mongooses have in some respects been relatively well recorded. Crossarchus).(ih\ GcilcrellT. Herpcstes are capricious in this respect. and this is particularly so in Libcriictis. sometimes sharply-cusped insectivorous {Afiiii(.os. 13) with the zygoma (Xeiwgale imso. XfiW(. B. There are two reference pomts: firstly the extreme posterior comer of the upper camassial.

\i Tin their natural ( arm\i)ui:s or wisi aiiika because. It has been experimentally shown that some mongooses are markedly more resistant to the effects of snake venom than other animals are. It is often sweepingly beheved that all mongooses make a regular practice of dehberately seeking out and destroying snakes. they have excited man's sympathetic interest over many centuries. though seemingly unconfirmed observation. m environments. however. probably nearly all species can be tumed into quite lovable. but it is extremely doubtful whether any would purposefully seek out snakes in general as a matter ot sheer innate enmit)-. diverting. There is a good deal of misapprehension and misintormation about this. There can be no doubt. by modern Ichiiciimia Mimgos mtinf^o and dlhkandd have both been rehably reported as doing so and eating their prey. if not all. Possibly several species will kill a snake if they should happen in the course of foraging to come across one and it was not too large. though they nevertheless succumb to a sufficiently large dose. be they rodents. make an effective bite and leap clear before its opponent can strike. as popular renown would have it. . Indeed.::. often surprise and sometimes apparent affection. playful companions and even useful additions to the household since there is no doubt that one of these creatures helps to keep the premises free of luidesirable pests. The subject must. but for the merely hearsay. be taken in hand while still ver\' young. and the deceptive nature of its long-bristled coat in full erection.famous is snake-killing. not all West African species have yet been tried out in this respect. reptiles or cockroaches. Certainly as far as the mongooses dealt with in this present accoimt are concerned Herpi'stes ichneumon has since ancient times had a reputation. probably the kusimanse {Civssardnis) would lead as favourite from the point of view of size as well as ardency of spirit. for an exceptional devotion to killing snakes. Cansdale is quoted tame kusimanse was afraid of even a ilead snake and recorded ( 946) the same thing of a marsh mongoose. However. and. of the subfamily is the practice of smashing objects by throwing them against something hard usualK' interpreted as being basically intended for cracking open eggs. Accounts of this and other species will be found below in the appropriate sections. giving a false impression of size and misleading the reptile mto striking at what proves to be notliing more solid than hair. but on good other species evidence is either lacking or m Hinton & Dium (1967) as observing that his 1 . the ancient Eg)'ptians going so far as to say that Hcrpcstcs habitually entered into long preparation tor the fray by encasmg itself in layers of hardened mud as an impenetrable protection against the tangs of its opponent. The information relative to snake-killing is by no means so — — positive as generally supposed. of course. amusement. Of those that have. This is by reason oi' some ot their activities and the exceptional readiness with which many of them take to domestication. with this proviso. A peculiar activit}^ that is more certainly common to part. that where a fight between a mongoose and a snake does take place the former is aided to victory by two tilings: its great speed and agihty which enable it to spring upon its enemy. Of all wild African mammals there can be little doubt that mongooses make the most acceptable pets. presenting much less difficulty of control and management than monkeys and offering in return a certain indcfmable charm together with unending interest. Of all the activities or reputed activities tif mongooses that for which they are most widcl).

Little has been recorded of the various steps and behaviour patterns in raising a family. the other is to stand upright. beetles and their grubs. as noted later. are furnished with anal scent glands. birds and their eggs. to all intents and purposes. Mongooses have little direct economic impact upon mankind. Not a great deal has been recorded of shelters and breeding nests. snails and. but it would seem that all species normally use convenient holes in the ground. diffuses and would doubtless be picked up at a distance by a keenly attuned nose. Litter size can. and some frankly operation is carried out in two ways. as already described. and their flesh similarly helps to reduce animal protein defxcieno. amongst tree roots or gaps between boulders. scabbards and so forth in \'illage communities. snakes. The scent. chief uses of which is for the demarcation is two different ways: one — — . probably frogs. horizontally backwards through the hindlcgs against a rock or wall. seemingly always as an essential mainstay. but some species have been credited \%dth 4 or even 5. Some. such as Atilax and possibly Hcrpcstcs. The more spectacular is hurling the with the forcpaws. mongooses may be diurnal or nocturnal. They are. in the case ot Muiiqos imingo. particularly orthoptera. by and large. It has sometimes been asserted that mongooses are generally fairly closely associated with water. river. As for more general habits. and in captivity more exotic foods. pretty omnivorous. Some live communally in so-called warrens but consisting usually of a single chamber though with two or three entrances.o and Atilax paliidinostis. the other by the much more imusual method ot standing erect. and some rare and very interesting though brief observations on the at: period of gestation and frequency' of pregnancy are given in the accoimt o£ Crossdrchns. Their sometimes ornamental skins occasionally provide simple pouches. One other peculiarity may be mentioned in this general sketch of the subfamily. All mongooses. sonic familiar as foods. only be guessed 2 to 3 would seem to be the commonest. . While this is clearly so in the case of some. crabs. lizards. greedily eat fruit. insects. Courtship play and coupling have been seen. Tliis object. sohtary or gregarious.HEUPKSTINAE 243 evidence applied to other things. it is not so obvious with other genera. some strange. taking flesh when they can get it. and without question these animals are sometimes encountered at some remove from the nearest useless. rocks or other objects well above ground level. one of the of territor)\ This activity is carried out m by squatting down and dragging the circumanal sac across the ground. in fallen logs. hold the object in the forcpaws against the chest and then cast it with surprising force vertically down to the ground.. upside down on the forepaws called in gymnastics making a "handstand" and in this position pressing the scent pouch against areas where the more conventional butchers' meat is scarce or irregular in supply. but the advantage gained or the end served by dehberately making it less obvious is obscure. The purpose of this is not altogether clear since the warning patch is well above the nose level of any mongoose of similar species that should happen to trespass on the territor)'. West African species that have so far been observed to act in one or the other of these ways are Ichiieuiniti albiaiudd. sometimes fish. at least. Both methods are very effective and if they do not immediately achieve the desired end are repeated until they do. killing and eating small mammals. of course. Mnn^cs inni{i.

but though. iimn^o.S7) unorthodox belief. that the Herpcstinae are to the Mustelidae dian to the Viverridae has in fact more nearly related 163. This is only one of several traps and obscurities. but the sum total of their effect on man himself one way or another. mostly under very confused nomenclature. of the Viverridae. been referred to is earlier on page The nomenclatural position in the Herpestniae exceedingly involved. more fully. but. whether reference was intended to the common mongoose of hidia or to the only distantly related banded mongoose of Africa. to make clear. hyaenas. both external and internal. They themselves arc preyed upon by the wild cats and dogs.2-11 I III ( A l!M\ OKI S Ol \VI S r AI KICA Indirectly tlicy may be regarded as in some me.Viiriliiis. is probably not vcrf great. Mongooses of various kinds. notably I'ocock. Had anyone complex as to be almost beyond comprehension he could scarcely have bettered the labyrinthme confusion that by chance came about 111 diis group. 1935) with a long list of parasites. but m the 1 lerpestinac the absurd position arose wherein in using the name Muliiics miiiiiio it became advisable. Diiker's (19. but some authors. the situarion has been cleared up as far as modern writmgs are concerned the tact must always remain that the study of early literature is rendered highly misleading . Hcrpvslcs. Those to whom the matter is one of detailed interest must study his accounts. Taxonomy. had previousK' regarded them as constituting a fimilv in its own right. where they will tuid a score of pages crannned with the history and deliberately set out for malign reasons to devise a situation so nomenclature.Mien's tuidmgs . on the other hand.isiire benetlcial in lielpmg to keep in check a varied list of creatures many ot which can be looked upon as undesirable. pythons and hawks. Allen eventually went into the matter with extreme thoroughness (1919b and. but the general warning may be given to the West African student who attempts to derive intonnation from natural histories or scientific literature published well into this century to be cautious in interpretation ot Miiiioo<. both generic and specitie. So many scientitic names. in various combinations with each other or with other genera such as the previously all-embracing t Vi'crn. it must not be overlooked that they also take birds such as trancolms and guinea-fowl that are themselves of human food value. 1. are credited (Stiles c\ Maker. pitfills ot lierpestine .ind ditticult of comprehension without a good deal ot knowledge of this complex history. and all systematists must tor long be deeply grateful to Allen tor his painstakuig unravelment ot so tangled a skein. and that in killing lizards and frogs they are disposing of potential insect destroyers. hi this general note the main questions of present interest are diose ot the name and the status of the mongooses as a taxonomic unit. thanks to his labours. founded on observation of living animals rather than study material. In consequence there is little need tor more than brief mention ot this past complexit)' here. and so many animals ot no present interest to West Africa are involved in the muddle that no good purpose would be served by their mention here. have been prett)' generally accepted. linciatiis and iclimiiiihvi. the Herpestinae. Certainly they fill an important role in the complex network of nature.. 1924) and by reasoned argument brought order out of chaos. The binominal system of Latinised nomenclature was devised to overcome the imprecision of vernacular names. Cro. Fortunately A. m the vernacular. hi Simpson's classification (1945) they stand as a subfamily. or even necessary.

.. indeed the whole present conception of the Fissipeda. that in sum present a strong case for independent family recognition. at the 245 1919). on several counts detailed later. external. GalcrcUa. Thus. Similarly. to warrant regarding these three as generically distinct. felt examining the question almost purely from the standpoint of strongly that this was their correct taxonomic rank. Atihx. external and cranial. There is a good deal of the Vivcrridac and its component subfamilies. breadth of/)'' is less than 6 mm) Liberiictis {fiigc 336) Mature skull usually either appreciably longer or markedly shorter than the above. Allen (1919b) showed this to be an error and the family. cheekteeth relatively much larger . rostrum short. Cranial characters I. It involves questions far wider than the mongooses. or subfamily. however. More important than mere nomenclature name is the question of the taxonomic rank to be assigned to the group. But this is a matter essentially beyond the limited scope of this present work. in this work these 9 genera are considered to be valid for West Africa Mimgcs. Condylobasal length of the mature skull about 92-96 mm.. Oldfield Thomas's conclusion that in favour of a reassessment Gakriscus is generically separable from Bdcogalc seems. Gcilcriscus. Crossiirchiis. J. name to be more logically and correctly derived from Hcrpcstcs. oi GalcrcUa for cchracca alone. As regards the full generic use herein of Gakrclhi and Xcnogiile. Ichiietimin.HERPESTINAE Pocock (1916c and external characters. cranial and dental... . the present writer fully supports Allen's opinion that there is a sufficient degree of difference. and since time he believed Herpistcs to be preoccupied and Miingos comcquently the vahd for '"the typical mongooses" he called the family the Mungotidae. to be quite justified. but it may be said in this general account that. 2 . . blunt and mostly broad (length anterior to the postorbital processes nearly always appreciably less than that posterior). His reservation : Hcrpcstcs. and the major lines of Simpson's classification are therefore adhered to for the purposes of the present account.. The mongooses exhibit morphological differences. the arguments in favour of such action being at present not fully convmcing. Xenogalc. It must be added that this view is not shared by G. despite a broad overall resemblance of the skulls of these two genera and that oi Hcrpcstcs. A. the rostrum long and narrow (length of skull anterior to the postorbital processes very nearly equal to that posterior) all the cheekteeth very small for the size of skull (e. These may be separated by the following keys KEYS TO THE GENERA OF HERPESTINAE (previous key page 163) A. with the consequent erection of Myonas to cover the remaining species in this complex is. To deal with such fundamental matters piecemeal in a regional work is probably to lead more to confusion than clarity. Petter (1969) from the consideration of tooth structure alone. Libcriictis. the arguments will be dealt with later under their appropriate heads. . not accepted.g.

.. the rostrum at the canines 22 cheekteeth over 33 mm. ..7 .. subquadrate in outline.. than 33 mm. breadth ot />* greatest breadth across the outsides less of the cheekteeth /... the zygomatic and mastoid breadths under jo per cent and 40 per cent respectively Crossarclius {paoc 279) of the condylobasal length clearly ............ of /»! forms very obtuse angle with that of p^ 33a) 6 or more.. or a great part. .(. niterorbital breadth usually rather narrower than the Ichneumia (/'. . laterally compressed and with peculiar. of »ii a consequently also forward ot (tig.. .... its anterior breadth appreciably less than the external length .. breadth of. 8 7.)'* over 7 mm.j . and face 3.. the anterior in mm 4 chamber Postdental palate about as broad as with the posterior Galerclla (pin. sharp angle with that of /)'* lies is 33b) . .. skull narrow. die anterior breadth 5 usually well over 80 per cent of the external length 5.. postdental palate broad (about 14 mm) interorbital breadth considerably greater than Galcriscus (paiic ill) the postorbital constriction Posterior upper cheekteeth generally markedly wider than long. the occlusal outline ot the stout upper carnassial being more nearly equilateral. it Xctiogalc is (/niijc 329) Postdental palate longer than broad. .. postdental palate narrow (mostly well under 14 mm). the anterior Condylobasal length of the mature skull about 100 chamber of the bulla flattish and much smaller than the inflated posterior portion Condylobasal length ot the mature skull under 70 ot the bulla inflated and more comparable portion 4... Width of 5-5 6. . the occlusal outline ot the narrow upper carnassial being scalene.. it..'(' 8. above average size... 3 The posterior outer corner of/)'' well anterior to the point defuied above.... less Width of never less the rostrum at the canine alveoli nearly always than 20 mm. postorbital constriction.246 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA 2.. the lingual portion converging proximally to a sharp apex... occasionally a little wider 300) ... mm. Occlusal surface of upper molars subtriangular in outline. tall. premolars 100 mm. premolars y . the outer (fig. upper canines curved and of normal subconical form. . knite-like anterior and posterior edges.. over (p.c 307) long. the outer . 2gi) Condylobasal length ot mature Condylobasal length of mature skull well over 100 skull well under mm.. sharp..n^c Atilax . than {pa(. upper canines straight. The posterior outer corner ot p* lies very' close to the point where the outer posterior margin ot the maxillary root ot the zygomatic arch arises.c iCifi) much more. 5-5 mm . the interorbital breadth over 19 size mm and the cheekteeth light in build... length of less Herpcstes length ot ..». breadth across the mm. face of »(i forms all. and all or nearly all of a in^ conseqently lies posterior to this point.j2 than 7 mm.. mm or more. Posterior upper cheekteeth about as broad as long. 19 the interorbital breadth as much as mm then the cheekteeth are strongly bmlt. .

. one or neck.. dorsum Galeriscus [page 121) Feet with 5 digits (occasionally Galerella. sole of the hindfoot naked Mungos [page 2^%) .. like this Size large. body about 520 mm). beyond the Xenogale [page iig) 4 Ichneumia [page 300) 5 mm Pelage short.... skull broader.. . 3 Pelage dark blackish-brown.. a very large mongoose with black legs contrasting with the paler. much narrower distally with a conspicuous. claws of the with a (about 350 forefeet very 7. .. to with small webs comiecting at least the basal joints. no nuchal whorl. .. long . . contrasting strongly with the rest of the long... entirely . oi Lihcriictis are at present quite unknown. head & body of small size mm) and very slender. usually grey.. 7 Pelage with abundant long miderfur. but somehairy. most often entirely blackish-browai monAtilax [page 291) . ...... External characters The 1... and hindfeet with only 4 digits and soles completely hairy up to the main pad......... claws very short.. ..... the long nose projecting well ... nose very long. but sometimes coarsely parti-coloured. Digits II to V V times partially goose Digits 3. margin rounded. (head &: size large Ups.. soles naked Herpestes [page 266) 6 Size considerably smaller 6... the long-haired tail mostly unicolorous. animals of small size but stocky build. contrasting. Entire forelegs and hindfeet almost black... sole of the hindfoot naked for about three-quarters of its length. white or black.... hind soles usually quite naked... hind-sole almost completely hairy Not 5.. loose pelage. nose of normal length. head &: body 500 or more... II . close-lying.. slightly grizzled on the head and neck. unwebbed. ... hind-sole completely hairy Pelage of a lighter colour 4. small mongooses.. with zygomatic and mastoid breadths over 50 per cent and 40 per cent respectively of the condylobasal length Mungos {page 248) B. a large. have the ist digit much reduced or lacking) 2 external features fore Both 2.. tail terminating conspicuous black or reddish tuft. sole of the two whorls on the back of the hindfoot hairy on the proximal quarter Crossarchus [page 279) Pelage virtually without imderfur. . of fme texture and fmely speckled.HERPESTINAB Lingual portion of the upper molars elongate and the proximal 247 more or less parallel-sided...... Galerella [page 307) Pelage longer. coarse. to the heel . tail broad at the base. . long black tuft.

Hapeslcs mungo Desmarest(= Mungos (asciatus Gray). In this more fully dealt . Taxonomy. ijriin//. Proc. those interested should consult J. Geoffroy & G. Blanford. Sec. zool. for example. either completely synonymously : or that present work the two are regarded as quite distinct.?. the specific name niungo was correctly applicable. Four years later J. further. Type species I'ii'crra mungo Gmelin. Proc. comprises two species. expressly stating that this was the oldest specific name for tliis species. For a reason which today is not altogether clear Thomas. A. was that widely accepted as pertaining to the common hidian mongoose (e. This latter apphcation its is references in literature are liable to misinterpretation.MuMjjiU Gray. and Wroughton. Geoffroy & G. Z: 184. Allen (1919b or 1924). rcci/. thus introduced the combination Mungos niungo for this Lidian animal. Nevertheless. as at present understood. Type species Hcrpates tacnianotus A. the following brief summary is given as a caution to those who might otherwise be misled by the study of bygone papers or books. be apphed to the banded mongoose of Africa. At this time the specific name tnun<. This is a fonnalisation of an Indian vernacular (Marathi) name.pic. Smith. maiigus. the former widely distributed. Soc. but without a knowledge of this history some It is.). used in the now outdated sense of the common bidian mongoose in Pocock's important papers and keys (i9l6e and 1919). but one slight indication of the muddle that has existed in the nomenclature of the mongooses. It is applied to a wholly African genus not necessary to recount the tuU details here. 187.248 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA Genus MUNGOS E. Allen (1919b) showed that Mungos was "untenable as a genus name for any Indian mongoose" and should. accepted today without question. Only one other question of taxonomy arises in connexion with this genus that of whether it properly embraces Crosscirchus as well. Cuvicr. Lond. However. imder the genus Hcrpcstes.g. and properly. The fact that a vernacular is name from India is officially. Distribution and general. to which. iSSS). Aricia Gray. suddenly (1907) substituted the use ot Mhiii^os for Hcrpcstes which he had up to a short time previously (1906) employed in connexion with the identical species. A. 1795 African Mimgcs Mungos E. by virtual tautonymy. and without comment replacing Hcrpcstes by Mtiiigos.o. Type species.: 565.: 575. Mugasin EiuyclopiJi. this point of etymology is of minor importance compared with the chaos in scientific naming due to misimderstandings regarding the proper application of the names Muuiios and Hcrpcsics. as a is subgenus. . The genus Mungos is wholly African and. 1864. in many somewhat different local forms. Derivation of this name is not certain but is most probably trom Shakespeare's light and airy spirit Ariel. There was therefore a sudden and sweeping change of meaning of the term Mungos mungo from the common Indian mongoose to the banded mongoose of Africa. the latter purely West African. nningo and givnhiiuius. Cuvier. given with reference to the swilt and lively movement exhibited on occasion by small mongooses. for whom the name in specific form had been "so utterly barbarous" that it could be ignored in favour of a later one (1882: 90 fn. This use of Mungos for species previously known as Hcrpcstes was continued by Wroughton (1907). in fict. 1864. Land. a matter with imder Crossarchus. 1795.

apparently. far to the south-east. paucit)' its latter species. is situated anterior to the posterior root of the maxillarv' process. 14 less in Mungos~hut there arc some extralimital exceptions to the latter. The two species differ markedly from each other in superficial appearone being conspicuously cross-banded. the other an irregular mixture of colours. This discrepancy of length is. there is little that is absolute being almost entirely a question of comparative lengths or proportions. to be rare centre of distribution lying. in skulls from which the suture has not been obliterated. broader and blunter structure of Mungos. almost always or reflected in the mid-line length of the nasals: 16 or more in Crossarchns. absence of an extra-long. with all or a great part of in^ also lying in front of this point. whereas Crossarchns rarely exceeds 52 per cent and is almost always less. 37. From the former. where it becomes parallel-sided. with short legs and a short tapering tail. Skull (fig. of specimens collected. being both of smalhsh size and stout. 34). external description will be found under the two separate species. they are very similar in general form. of 11 adult specimens measured only one had a extralimital material. and a hindfoot whose sole is naked to the heel. The Mungos mostly somewhat broader. Externally. Apart from this. the most readily observed of these arc. Further. seems from the covered by this present work. the This belongs to the category of small-sized skulls having a condyloof less than 75 mm. Also clear is that the postdental palate. largely from differences can best be appreciated skull is which amongst itself is pretty variable. The contour dorsal pelage consists of annulated bristle-hairs. GalercUa and Crossarchns. Descriprion.MUNGOS 249 as throughout the continent south of the Sahara. more detailed. the marked pattern of nmngo aside. data in respect of this species consequently having to be taken it go on. an almost complete lack of underfur. The difficulty is added to by an almost complete lack of West African imtngo skulls in the British Museum. Mungos can be immediately distinguished by the more forward positioning in its jaw of the upper carnassial. whereas m fiamhianus they are randomly dispersed and consequently result in a diffuse speckling. ance. 34 with fig. and it is for this reason that the latter has by many authors been identified with Miingos. there are clear differences. closely recall Crossarchns. zygomatic breadth shghtly under 53 per cent of the condylobasal length. is in M. gamhianus in West Africa. in Muiigos. Neither species enters the closed forest such though they may occur within the nominal forest belt marked on maps where the original vegetation has been greatly destroyed or is mere open coastal scrub. in the territory however. in Mungos the posterior outer comer of this tooth. gamhianus and the mm mm . mioi^c elsewhere in the continent. basal length Differentiation to from Crossarchns is a more difficult matter. But. The slight by a comparison of fig. and one [gamhianus) in general colouration as well. overshot snout. The genus is well represented in museum collections and may be reckoned as moderately common The in the field. But the most obvious difference in the dorsal view is the long narrow rostrum of Crossarchns in contrast to the noticeably shorter. Two other West African genera fall in this category. /)''. Both species in form. in mungos the various corresponding colour zones fall together thus giving rise to a marked and very regular transverse pattern of alternating light and dark bands.

Mun^os gamhianus: skull.^.M.30. B.10. X . 34. 36. No.12.j' . .250 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA Fig.

for while there exists a tions relating to found below under the two separate species. These cusps soon become obliterated with wear. Habits. joining striction may be equal to or markedly more or less up with the jugal processes to form complete orbital rings. never. flange-like in fully adult animals. Land. 13th edition. subcqual cusps. Ami. including well mature or oldish skulls. and the whole cheek dentition appears adapted more to an insect diet than to anything else. for the Camivora. but fixed it by Ogilby of South Africa. and this makes the auditory meatus a flat oval. given in reference to the pelage pattern. A supraoccipital crest is clearly present even in very yoimg skulls and becomes broad and The depth of the bones forming the zygoma is. . Herpeslcs gothnch Heuglin & & Fitzinger. i: 560. I: 84. 1907. above and below. The outer cusps of the upper camassial are low and without any marked cutting function. mongooses. zool. the two lingual ones closely juxtaposed. Hist. Available subspecifically. caurinus always conspicuously shorter than broad. Soc. nat. relatively shallow. The anterior portion of the bulla is smaller than the well-inflated posterior chamber and carries on its ventral aspect a marked transverse depression and fissure covering the greater part of its breadth. is IViss. In both jaws the canines are. The postorbital processes are mostly short and sharp. terminates in an almost equally high sharp cusp. Type locality Kordofan. Type locality Bomu. loi. in Crossarchus the 251 M. The general appearance of the Munt^os skull varies slightly. the same considerations apply. as the eastern part of the Cape Province Type locality' given as Gambia. What is No general generic account can be given. 54 sect. Thomas . IVieii.MUNGOS type of M. 1866. (7) 19: 374. The name is derived from wrote that "By common consent the type localit)' is taken to be Natal the Marathi vernacular mangiis. as do those of »i2 also. in Linnaeus' Sysft-ma Naturae. Crossarchus iMoti north-east Nigeria. generally somewhat wider transversely than the camassial. In the lower jaw the camassial is a tooth of little or no more importance than any of the others. only 3 premolars on each side. This Wroughton. Mag. apparently with complete constancy. as with those of the two molars. Dicnotmaire des Sciences iiaiurellcs . Type locality given as was merely a renaming o{ immgo. and Roberts (1929) . being simply another form of the generic name. its inner heel. was named after its collector P. for relatively short. The specific Latin word meaning enveloped with bands. In Muiigos there are. . Prcc. tn^ is a fairly big tooth. in young animals it carries three small. but as this name is a Desmarest. 1788. nfi is commonly wider across than the lingual section of m^ but in exceptional cases is much reduced or may be lacking from one or both sides. Asia. Akad. though in other there are exceptions. even in the oldest skulls. above. 29: 58. . Banded Mongoose : MUNGOS MUNGO (Gmelin) Viverra mwifio Gmelin. though Thomas (1882) beheved Herpcstcs fasciatiis India. Sher. Possibly usable subspecifically for West African specimens.. number of observathe continentally-spread mungo next to nothing is recorded of the will be known of these purely West African gamhianus. The certain specific name the Arabic term for this animal. more probably (1835).". to be . at that time a member of Boyd Alexander's "Niger to the Nile" expedition. 1823. The postorbital con- than the interorbital breadth. Amaur)' Talbot. A sagittal crest may be well-developed but in most available West African specimens it is either poorly represented or completely lacking. mungo two measurements arc about equal.

The pelage is fairly long and slightly rough in appearance in life though possibly not quite so much so as m the kusimanse. and Schwarz (191. almost without exception. Portuguese Guinea. never of the closed forest. This race was called after the Mandjia tribe dwelling around the headwaters of the Shari River. 68: 63-^4. At any rate. the head & body length being of the order of 380 mm. backwards from the lowest point of the ear. for specimens were brought to England from Gambia in 1835. leaving much of the belly almost naked. Mimgos aiurmis Thomas. This is one of the smaller mongooses.) mm three distal zones are always the same: a deep. usually longish. this category of hair being almost totally absent. which caused Ogilby to regard that as the real type locahty. and may be very sparse. This cross-banded pattern applies only to the top of the back posterior to the shoulders: it fides out on the flanks. Naltirb. of the genera Hcrpcstcs. Atihix. Mag. and seems to be centred more on south-eastern Africa than anywhere else. Type locality Gunnal. 1926. the north-west wmd. (9) 17: 1S2-183. so there is a pronounced line where the two meet. and are markedly ringed light and dark.2J2 THE CARNMVORES OF WEST AFRICA }b. The hairs of the underparts arc plain or very inconspicuously aimulated. about 24 to 31 long. The long basal section may be either pure white or this colour interrupted by one or two indefmite blackish areas. and Fort Laniy (Chad). But there is no common each of these zones. But the species is reputed to have a wider distribution in West AfHca than this would imply. also. Li prepared skins it generally hes very flat. because of the situation of the specimen's source relative to the main distribution ot the genus. Type locality Bate. Available subspccifically. the tail about 230 mm. liornu in north-eastern Nigeria. Doka. an off-white or yellowish ring. The bristle-hairs are of flat section. With its prommently and uniquely cross-banded pelage this mongoose cannot be mistaken for any other in West Africa (Plate 6). four regions of aimulation. and the shoulders. I7°02E). and a black tip. and the weight i to 1-5 kg. whence only 4 skins exist in the British from Gumial in Portuguese Guinea (2). The name is from the Latin cmmis. those of the chin are directed backwards. to fall coincidentally . as there is. Crossarchus fasdalus mandjarum Schwarz. There are. for since ponding zones of the skin such irregularity is necessary for the corresfrom dispersed points of origin and so produce a total pelage effect of alternating light and dark transverse bands. even in the hairs arise at different points a single length for specimen. and this is because it lacks the usual cushioning support of dense underfur. although fairly common in Ichncwniit Distribution. These extremes embrace a wide variety of open-woodland vegetation: Guinea. imssai<. Vcr. and especially the basal one. Hist. The hairs of the throat are directed forwards and outwards. along the side of the neck. The that region it is apparently rare in are Museum. Cameroun. described the race numdjimiin from Bate near the Uham River in the Central African Republic (about 6''4iN. It is an inhabitant of the open grass-woodlands. where the outAvardly directed hairs of the throat oppose the downwardly pointing neck pelage. nape and head are an ordinary random "pepper and salt" mixture. Sudan and Sahel. Description. These <. lyij. Available subspccifically. wide distribution over the continent south of the Sahara ranging from Senegal to almost 30°S. nat. blackish-brown ring. Like several other mongooses and GidtnlLj — Miin^^os — nuini^o has a West Africa. near the Uham River. It is therefore just slightly more bulky than Crossdrcluis. Ann.

.. Mongoose (A/....\/i(.„ Monaoos..././/„......./.../i>()..i ...inibMi.< /»(..(.>): C.. . Talbot's IJandcd (...Plate 6 Kiisim.) {Crosscrclnii ohsam.


but always with a blackish terminal zone. is long-haired but not bushy. the species now under discussion hiimus is is a largish as round opening in the basisphenoid. The floor of the deep-wallcd sac is not a plain surface but is complexly wrinkled in the male. according to Chatin's description. There is. but which in gnm- obscured. the normal glands. The digits are webbed well to the side of the head. which in first the two species. and a lateral pair situated one each side of the rectal orifice and more distant from it. . The largish. Each of these six depressions contains a small glandular pit with several secreting pores. particularly those of the forefeet. dark. Skull. and the sole of the hindfoot is naked to the heel. Recourse is therefore necessary to extralimital material of the former. there are two pairs of depressions. in fact. The legs are speckled but the backs of the forefeet and the digital area of the hindfeet arc generally. above the anus. there are subsidiary glands and ducts. The glandular system itself is more complex both in external appearance and in structure than in other mongooses. in the only one adult West African skull of tnungo from which to derive data for comparison with five adult gtuiihianns. an upper and a lower. and of this there is an abundance. the latter the female. very much in the manner of Crcssiirchus. the former dealing with the male. of a nondescript speckled colouring like the anterior portion of the body pelage.MUNGOS 253 The head is broad and the muzzle fairly blunt. terminating in a small knob. (^dinhidiius its The inwii. but in the male. but not always. here is A general description of the Mungos skull has already been given above. Summarising Pocock's description of these latter. this in respect not a great deal to add to of the species. In the great majority of extrahmital imiiifio skulls measured the interorbital breadth is greater than the postorbital constriction. for. between the proximal joints. none of which. It is evenly tapered from base to tip.o skull appears to be slightly broader than that o[ zygomatic breadth averaging about 56 per cent of the condylobasal length as compared with only some 53 or 54 per cent in the other species. The posterior projection of the ptery- goid process is narrow and club-shaped. and in the female comprises integumental folds or depressions. appear to have become more highly developed and to approximate to the true anal glands both in their structure and in the nature and amount of their secretion. strongly smelling. The scent glands have been described in some detail by both Chatin (1874) and Pocock (i9i6e). The smaller. which is in broad terms about three-quarters of the head & body length. however. whereas in the available gambianus material it is almost . of a more rudimentary nature in the female. besides the usual simple pair of organs with single orifices cither side of the anus. Hayman (1936) British Museum drew attention to significant differences between the skulls of The most unusual of these concerns the carotid foramen. rounded ears are positioned The tail. oily fluid which escapes into the sac. described imdcr that species. subsidiary glands are very different. The orifices of these. are to be found on each side of the sac close to the inner margins of the two lateral folds. represents the true anal glands found in other species. deep basally and fairly well curved. the claws are very long. The sac surroimding the anus and the orifices of the glands is subcircular m shape and very large compared with most species. These true anal glands arc a pair of large muscular sacs containing a dark-coloured. even blackish.

but now and again claims to have seen very much larger congregations. The notes ^\hich follow herein are indebted in large measure to the patient work of both these observers. Habits. outcome of the excitement of the hunt. Whether. T'"- CARNIVORES OF WI.iys less. Simpson (1964 and 1966) and Neal (1970). even up to 100. There are consequently a good many notes on certain aspects of its life and behaviour though not a single one emanating from West Africa. D.254 alw. generally no easy matter. by being frightened into taking the it move . have been made. delayed by play and a lack of that fervent application to the business of food-finding commonly exhibited by their elders. or if danger threatens. If these estimates were accurate they concerned very exceptional gatherings. This. This between the two species lies m the is ni some measure brought out teeth. but since it appears that some sort members of the community it seems at admitted leader whose movements are instinctively is followed. Nevertheless. at any rate. Occasional packs of 30 or 35 have been reliably reported. The younger members of the group may from time to time lag behind the rest. Moreover. Pocock (1916c) thought that it was one of the functions of the anal glands in the gregarious mongooses to assist in holding a group together by scent. The banded mongoose is probably wholly diurnal in its activities. and pardy as a means of keeping together by the creation of a communal spirit. it has often been kept as a pet or zoo specimen. Realising their separation they hasten forward and often actually run ahead of the main body. The most complete and up-to-date field accounts are those given by C.' are strikingly smaller.ST AIRUA distinction The most obvious which in ijii/ii/x'. should a few get cut off from the main body for any length of time. head to tail. Like the kusimanse It limits in companies which as a rule number between half-a-dozen and a score. in the measurements on page 265. This may be true in the more static sense of recognising and clinging to known friends rather than risking the society of strangers but while on partly the .'. Throughout these foraging expeditions a fnrly continuous twittering is kept up. seems certain that sight and hearing. in any case. Because it is not imcommon and ticcurs ui large and noisy parties in relatively open coimtry the banded mongoose has possibly more frequently attracted attention to itself and been observed than any other African species./iiii. both highly developed senses in this species. play the greatest part in maintaining close contact between all members of the company. a single individual ultimately determines the table ot — general direction taken by is the parry of dominance least is recognised between different a tacitly probable that there unknown. to count even a moderate-sized band or merely to estimate their numbers with close accuracy since at any given moment a large proportion of the part}' is on the move and often in and out of the undergrowth. except at the nocturnal shelter itself. These relate to the animal in the wild in the southern and eastern part of the continent and to captive or semi-captive individuals but can with little doubt be taken as applying equally well to the forms occurring in the territory covered by this present work. say a new nest or fresh feeding grounds. The members of the unit keep fairly close together but not m tightly packed formation unless they are rravelhng purposefully from one given point to another. was the opinion of Simpson. in point of fact. when they bunch together or fall into line. It is.

These are then rapidly dug out with the long claws of the forefeet. and it is possible that the paucity of such animals as elephants. mice. Larger prey that dash in for a gulp by one individual is pounced upon by the pack in it ripping off as big a chunk as it can and carrying it off to consume at leisure apart from its companions. buffalos and other large game in West Africa accounts in some measure for the relative scarcit}' there of the banded mongoose. a procedure that could only be accomphshcd by scent. . is interesting as running contrary to the habit of the in many respects similar kusimanse.root. quickly gobbling down what it and ever). dog fashion. especially dung-beetles and sometimes masses of dipterous larvae. their larvae. fledglings and other small creatures that may help to satisfy seemingly insatiable appetites. caterpillars and chn. each individual hunts purely on its own behalf. eggs. But occasionally Simpson records having once wimessed kill a pack of about 10 of these mongooses occurs also in large sand snake Pstiniiiiophis sihilmis. but in sharp contrast with the be not very acceptable to captive specimens of muu(. each at a member that can get at In captivity a wide range of human kusimanse. a species that fur. and vast niunbers must be eaten in the course of a day. part-time affair as it has the appearance of being in so many carnivores. It is possible that in such localities wild fruits play a more important role. Africa. fallen fruits form part of the natural diet. in which Ewer (1968) observed that shaking was not carried out. that insects are the basic food.MUNGOS cover. cannot be demolished general. in fact. Ncal observed 255 main parry by pursuing exactly the same by it. The combined voices of a party of banded mongooses on the forage do. rock. If water is available these animals drink.'salids to be sniffed out though well hidden below the soil or in tussocks. Travel is therefore slow. When it is necessary to sound an alarm or to demand the full concentration of the pack the twittering takes on a shriller. lizards. however. Li such an attack the mongooses fluff out their quick bite at the snake's body and leap clear before it can strike. snails. Mostly. cverv' fully adult slightly member of the unit displaying not only an astonishing voracity but a dedicated eagerness and keen inquisitivcness as well.o though it is said that. No one has yet succeeded in following a pack continuously throughout the day. hole or crevice within the discovers before predatory interference larger prey a is the object of communal West attack. Simpson's statement that prey such as mice are killed by shaking. An acute sense of smell enables insect grubs. worms. as in a number of other small carnivores. There seems no doubt. more urgent note. It is a highly active. grass tuft. from others can take place. The party fans out ambience of each individual is determinedly explored. Foraging for food in the banded mongoose is no leisurely. but though the species has often been held to favour the vicinity of water. surface litter raked apart and such stones as are readily movable turned over in the search for insects. fallen log. companies have been observed in prett)' arid territory where bodily water requirements must be satisfied by extraction from food. carry a considerable distance. spiders. fruit was found to foods is accepted. once or twice a day. Because of their richness Neal found dung trails to be an important factor in determining the direction of the himt. continuous them to rejoin the intricate route as that taken performance. by lapping. Droppings of large animals are of particular interest and eagerly broken apart since they arc often the source of a plentiful supply of insects.

large and small. large.2<. The extent of a hiuitmg range has not been closely investigated and there is nothing to indicate the sort of area covered beyond Simpson's incidental observation just quoted. at the end of the day. clearly audible from above. and it is at least possible that such established refuges. though not necessarily conmay. The methods by and be occupied for tinuously. more commonly. a long period of months.f> Till. above or below ground. and it is likely that this special accommodation is for the use of breeding mothers. the entire company seeks the shelter of a common warren. and the second. may be used for a recuperative phase of inactivity during the heat of the day. for view roimd. whether or not hmiting is. that Simpson found the entrances to abound in fleas. This last m certainly seems to be the favoured site. a hole beneath a deserted termite mound. in fact. having as its basis a burrow originally dug out by some larger fossorial animal such as an aardvark. has partial that daily divided into several troops Shortridge (1934) mentions "an unusually large colony of at least thirry individuals" which hunted independently. but Simpson recorded that there is little activity of this kind during food foraging but that it was common at drinking sites. nocturnal as well as diurnal. Simpson observed one pack to use three different warrens located within an area of more than a square mile. Once the general appearance of these warrens has been grasped it becomes. Two general points concerning warrens may be mentioned here. the latter with binoculars from vantage points. A warren may. be more or less on the surface amongst place may occasionally. This commmial resting suitable territory. It is not certainly kirown. or periods. fairly easy to pick them out. It would appear that more than one commmiity may occupy a single warren. tree roots or other convenient cover. or. Neal makes no reference to this at all. In the deserted warren excavated by Neal this chamber measured some i -o by 1-5 metres and had a mid-height of 0-5 metre. for the pack . If one has been in occupation for any length of time it can be readily identified by the piles of droppings on its summit and scattered for some distance around. according to Neal. Besides these more or less permanent nocturnal shelters there may be within a territory other temporary "bolt holes" to which a foraging company can retreat in the face of danger. but more often it is subterranean. There are generally two or three separate entrances and several feet of internal tiumels leading to a central chamber. possibly when food runs short in the immediate vicrmty. suspend their pursuit of food for a period. takes place below ground. like so many other animals. boulders. of rest. t AIlNIVdUF. Nor is there much information concerning scent-marking of boundaries. Entrances of convenient size are dug or enlarged with the long-clawed front paws which cast the excavated earth backwards between the hindlegs much in the common hcrpestine manner of "egg-throwing". at least. The first is that a good deal of noisy activity. therefore. unremitting throughout the entire daylight hours. particularly if it is on a slope affording a clear shrubby cover and a not too distant water supply. Be this as it may. There were also two side tunnels leading to small chambers.S OF WEST AFRICA tliough both Simpson and Ncal have observed dieni for long periods. and it seems at least possible that they. temporarily desert it for other warrens within its hunting territory. For any animal to be persistently and so vigorously active as banded mongooses from dawn to dusk would be a severe tax of energ)'.

its precise length being as yet undetermined. and nursnig of the young takes place "in a Whether this statement is derived from actual excavation of the site or is deduced from the fact that a tame female offered several alternative possibilities for a natal chamber always chose a dark box accessible through According to Snnpson (1966) the birth grass-hned chamber deep in the warren". a good deal of the more active. or the male may circle the female. like the kusimanse. a tumiel in a at the pouncing on each other. It is not possible to derive information regarding a preferred breeding season in West Africa from the limited material available but it seems probable (C. one banded mongoose is known to have lived in captivity to the at. sometimes at air.MUNGOS of registering scent convenient trees. The period of gestation is in the nature of 2 months. . an adult female reached the exceptionally high weight of 225 kg. And on return of the parry to the warren in the cvcnuig all the females niu-sed any of the young without distinction. Several miscellaneous matters of behaviour must be briefly glanced In connexion . with a dark skin and a fine transparent pelage which. marking sometimes by raising the by dragging the anal region across the ground. and another of 8| years. however. Neal observed mounting to be repeated three or four times. the two animals generally chase each other roiuid and round in ever narrowing circles. The weight at birth is about 20 g but this increases very rapidly. Finally. however. with a short chase between each. mounted soon after the first male had separated. jumping around. 257 pressing the anal pouch against level. They are born blind. At between 2 and 3 weeks the pelage begins to become more apparent. though it does not attain its mature coloration imtil the age of 3 months. Sexual maturity occurs certainly in females age of 9 or 10 months. though seemingly less designedly than in her case. or nudging with the head. these mongooses are capable of breeding more or less conrinuously. 1966) that. Both sexes. D. lying on her back and wrestling with the male. and during this the male also "scents" the female. possibly a httle later in males. hi heat. His anal glands become enlarged and exude quantities of a white secretion with which the female unavoidably becomes covered during this precoitional romping. signals follow the usual pattern : logs or rocks. besides this dabbing. which had been watching throughout. Simpson. The eyes open about the loth day. but. faintly reveals black cross-banding on shoulders and rump. is given as only 155 kg. and it starts to assume adult appearance after 6 weeks. on the other hand. or flattening herself against his back and rubbing her vulva through the fur. for in one community Neal observed that when the pack left on the daily forage one female remained behind to suckle and look after the eight young. age of II years. his tail held high. dehberate courtship seems to be carried out by the female. though the figures published by Simpson (1964) exhibit an extremely wide variation between different individuals. an adult male. From 3 to 5 young seems to be the general number at a birth. and on one occasion a second male. The young appear to be held in common. As regards longevity. ground hindquarters well into the and. become playful. mound of soil is not clear. One young male achieved what may be regarded as a fully adult weight of 1-75 kg as early as about 5 months. but a litter of 6 has been recorded.

almost straight claws are scarcely adapted to this. some of them necessarily strange to the to a variety mongoose.258 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA it is interesting to note that the backward egg-hurhng procedure common members of the siibtamily is well confirmed in inmijio. in which. but this may refer to a pack of banded mongooses that. too. Wliere there arc positive footholds such as offered by the wire netting of a cage it is known that iiningo can reach a good height from the ground. imini^o droppings invariably showing clear and abundant remains of the chitmous shell. as KinJoch has shown. is applied of quite unprofitable including even a bimch of keys. on the other hand. in fact. is of especial much as it concerns large millipedes so commonly occurring in Africa. considerably lessen the difficulty. Neal. in his opening paragraph (1964) makes some mention of tree chmbing. the millipede was then readily consumed. they like to stretch their an important factor . interest in as made by Davis Bronx Zoo. The force with which this is carried out is surprisingly powerful. The sloping trunk and interlacing branches of this would. articles. At diese times. that play does not occupy much of the adults' time. Kinloch describes a few rather inept attempts at tree climbing made by his pet /. too. Though banded mongooses often live near water not more than 500 Simpson says that they never seem to take to it of their own accord and are. of course. it is true. is stantly illustrated 111 the lives ot all young carnivores. and. scrambled to the top branches of a tree that had been pushed over by elephants. both in the vicinity of the burrow and while actually on the move durmg forays. its teeth to This achieved. however. and tins fact is conby juvenile and subadult banded mongooses. but especially in the morning after rising. fmally hurled it dirough its hiudlegs against the wall twice. Davis (1966) and Kiiiloch (1964). an egg With feeding to several docs not always crack sufficiently at the first attempt.i/»njp. in any case. the upper branches of acacias were attained but descent thence found too nerve-racking to be imdertaken. poor swimmers. and more especially to getting down again. tail-chasLng and scampering after each odier. in which case the action is determinedly repeated until success is achieved. escaping from hunting dogs. found these myriapods to constitute a very important item in the dietary in Uganda. It has been observed and illustrated by C. in the One obser- vation involving this behaviour. basking in the early morning sun or resting around the wan^en after the day's hunt. Lrke others of its kind this mongoose is almost wholly terrestrial and probably normally has little urge to climb for any distance up vertical tree trunks. thereby cracking the hard chitmous coat sufficiently for effect penetration. chest to chest wrestling. D. Its long. nevertheless. Simpson (1964 and 1966). moreover. Dalton (1961a) records how a pet of this species leapt into a flooded river in order to rejoin her on the other bank and successfully mm swam Play across. Apart from an ability to scramble over low obstructions it can leap onto them provided they are or so high. A banded mongoose. not reserved solely for eggs but is employed with other desirable but encased foodstuffs. bodi of getting up and of getting down. discovering after repeated attempts that its teeth were imablc to pierce a cc-iiled up specimen of one of these. Play follows the common pattern of mock-fighting. however. These. This procedure is. Simpson. Simpson found. go in for a good deal of grooming of dieir own or other adidts' fur.

may arrive at the home territory considerably earlier. in the observation of Simpson. All who have studied banded mongooses in the wild or had dealings with them at closer quarters have been impressed by the obvious acuteness of the senses of sight. however. These animals. This caution and an obsessive curiosity that is often vital to the discovery of food hidden 111 soil or vegetation lead to a constant exercise of these highly developed senses. at which distance. though recklessly courageous in the face of close danger. and there has been no suggestion that crackling is a terrifying noise as it is to the kusimanse. also. Simpson noted that pet animals could pick him out visually at some distance. The return home is commonly effected a little before night closes in. on the occasion of leaving or return to the home.MUNGOS 259 limbs out quite straight tore and aft. Banded mongooses have a range of different calls and notes. That most commonly heard is the rather bird-like twittering of the whole pack when on the hunt. Neal found that this constant vigilance and acuteness of perception rendered close observation of a pack a matter of difficulty since a stationary Land Rover or other strange object at about 40 metres aroused nervous suspicion. and if all looks clear one or two adults come out and. there is a general exit followed. but if a single indisplay of wariness can be seen is A The banded mongoose . and that lizards cUmbing trees or insects flying away were followed by sight. Both at the warren and frequently during the course of the daily excursion one. Play and other intercourse within the group. Before actual emergence from the warren the immediate vicinity is carefully scrutmised from the mouth of an ennance hole. stretching. and peer round. lying with their bellies pressed to the soil. not so early a riser as other diurnal animals. grooming and defaecation before moving off^on the day's forage. possibly deceived by the poor light. This may change when danger is suspected to a strident note of alarm. intently watching and listening. for domination of one animal over established. The returning party never enters the warren direct but pauses to rest and relax at a little distance from it. are at all other times highly suspicious of possible attack and timorous to the point of fleeing for cover at the least imagined threat. in one of which a female established her position over two males of the same litter at the age of about three months. siui-basking. of the group will sit upright on the haunches. by putting the foreleg across the shoulders of the inferior animal and seizing this latter by the back of the head lightly in the jaws. Simpson noted female dominance in two different groups. moimt to the top of the nest and stand or sit erect scanning the surrounding territory. Thence. the click of a camera attracted surface is another is attention. Then. hearing and smell. though should the afternoon be heavily overcast the pack. by a period of play. and the shghtest movement was detected at 20 to 25 metres. if no danger threatens. irntil the final bolt down an entrance tminel as night falls. as a rule. approach to and actual entry into the nest is carried out in gradual and cautious stages. if it is an old termitarium. puncuated by the usual play and grooming activities. or if necessary stretch up fully erect on the hindfeet. mostly making its first appearance an hour or so after sunrise rather than in the grey light of dawn. yawning. Such ascendency by no means always belongs to the male. whatever it may appear on the not necessarily on a socially equal basis. or sometimes nearly all. High sounds seem to make more impression than low.

rather. and in almost every case from one or two specimens only. described almost purely on the basis of colour. and although. This being the case it shoidd be fully realised before taking on the responsibihry for such a pet that. within The majority of mongooses. iir the wider aspect. play and general watchfulness. at least apparently. general body and tooth sizes receive occasional reference and rarer emphasis. and restraint sometimes in response to slight personal injury. affectionate. in the type descriptions of these. shght and moffcnsive. which it quite obviously holds in considerable fear. and this may possibly have the beneficial effect of deceivuig hawks and eagles. M. in response to differing ecological than 16 subspecies are. the amomit of material available for study is for the most part quite insufficient to judge reliably the constancy of colour in any given locality. a great deal of time and trouble are unavoidably involved m feeding. of which their keen eyes give them early warning. ot blind fury. for a hawk may swoop swiftly from the sky. however. while the effort is usually very rewarding. with humans. hstcd in G. Without question. but even now. making them more hesitant of attacking an apparently large body than they would be of attempting the comparatively simple task of picking up isolated its anger. together with goodhumoured patience in the face of inevitable accidents to possessions due to an insatiable curiosity. and its bodily smell is. sufficiently young. mdeed. At the other end of the scale. as a general rule. after many years of collecting. in individuals. erecting CMrinus on the basis of two differing specimens. the outcome of an incalculable uncertainty of animal temper. cannot be kept confmed to small cages but must be given more or less free range. As some sort of defence against assault from the sky. It is by nature a cleanly animal.260 dividual THE CARNIVORES OE WEST AFRICA is scared or threatened it it spits radier like a cat and growls. whereas the combined tooth-power and lightning agihty of 20 or 30 enraged mongooses must be a considerable deterrent to almost any ground predator. These animals. himself thought that "probably it will be foimd to are. The banded mongoose is at heart a very friendly creature. and if this proves ineffective alters to a staccato chatter ot rage — or. these mongooses instinctively bimch together m tight formation. seize an mdividual and be safely away without the possibihty of counter-attack. . the great majority of the forms smgle population as No less m fact. a conditions. with its owti kind. m domestication it becomes trusting and. obtained and Mungos mungo is fascinating pets. and hence the real validity of presumed races. clear differences of colouring exist between specimens. All this has been vividly brought out by Kinloch (1964)Taxonomy. easily house-trained. make excellent and no exception. The species appears to have few natural enemies apart from birds of prey. for at these moments one of these mongooses has aroused uttered is will hurl itself without reserve in attack at whatsoever moments of pleasure the note something of a low whine or even a kind of soft purr.o with a pelage composed predominantly of light and dark ringed hairs must inevitably display a range of colour variation. Thomas. and often with dogs. A species such as imin{. Allen's African Checklist (1939) . Nevertheless it is said that the larger carmvores such as lions and leopards will pursue and attack a mun^o hunting party. Its feeding is a matter ot simplicity since it avidly accepts a very wide range of foods. well as.

from a single locality and both ascribed by Thomas to caurinus. Li any case the colours themselves vary quite appreciably in different parts of the pelage. could be held to be tallwii is not clear. Moreover. If it does this there is no reason why should not range yet further. Certainly as far as West Africa grade hereafter into others of the banded forms is concerned it is futile to pretend to the accuracy of deterniuiation implied by a tliird name. "pinker" or "buffer" may well be full of meaning. since certain names have been connected with West Africa the foUowing notes are given for what they are worth. possibly not. but it is a juvenile and not strictly Mungos mungo The talboti (Thomas & Wroughton) brief distinguisliing features of this race (Plate 6) — s . their locahty of origin. However. and determined two years later as this race. is.MUNGOS . for practical purposes in a work such as this present it is not possible to go any further. The only clue to its appearance given the type description.". The other two. If Ogilby was right in thinking tliis to be Gambia and there is no positive reason for supposing his guess to be less accurate than those of Thomas or Roberts then caurinus might fall into the category of a synonym. Very few users of this present work have access to standard colour charts. an Ethiopian species. with possible justification. Until a great deal more material has been it seems pointless to go into fmer division than the species and imply a degree of understanding that does not exist. from well separated locahties but both ascribed to talhoti. is that the white colour of the imdcrside is less well developed than in zebra. Measurements of a few Sudanese speci- same it m mens assumed. 261 . Four specimens alone exist in the British Museum from the region. gathered together for study — — Mungos mungo gothneh (Heughn & Fitzinger) Kordofan Banded Mongoose This was described from Kordofan (Sudan) in the Sahel zone of vegetation but has sometimes. been assumed to range westwards through this belt at least to the eastern side of Lake Chad. possibly due to age. and on what grounds those specimens. What specimens Schwarz had as a foundation for tliis statement. somewhat darker. but with a range of several dehcate nuances it is an almost impossible task to convey absolute colour to a student possessed of a single skin. to be gothneh are given in the table on Talbot's Banded Mongoose from Bornu (north-east Nigeria) were given as medium size and very pale coloration though Schwarz later wrote that it was not always so pale as Thomas & Wroughton had said. in truth. and that almost useless. one the type. and even with these at hand the task is still fraught with difficulty since the selection of colours in them is too limited to find an exact match for the slight nauances involved. from page 265. A second specimen in the British Museum from Fort Lamy. differing as they must have done from the t^'pc. At the outset it must be pointed out that there is uncertainty regarding the precise appearance of even the nominate race since three different African localities have been assumed to be the type locahty. one being the type. Two of these. The plain fact is that with only a couple of sharply different forms to differentiate or ^vith comparative specimens actually in the hand such expressions as "paler" or "darker". differ very distiiictly from each other in coloration. . also differ from one another.

type of vegetation. thougli not lies certainly. and feet that arc quite . Quite difterent m general appearance cenus of — from its strikingly cross-banded near relative imiu\i. taken at the same place (CTiinnal. Comparison was made in the type description with sonudiais. which Pama the from the source of Mungos imingo niandjariini (Schwarz) i extralimital to this work and in die (niiiiea woodland zone. He also ascribed to this race two odier specimens trom and is hence just into the Ubangi flows River. the skull of the t)pe. it having tor a long time been held to be Crosfardius mdeed. 55. more yellow or browiiish ground colour. A second specimen.tlhoil but at once distinguishable by its darker. Sot: Loud.THE CARNlVOliliS OV WEST AFUICA comparable. hi the r\'pc the but Thomas omitted to say that the specimen was colour is certainly MUNGOS GAMBIANUS No. iimngi. in the type. zool. vcL!.\ it does. have conic h'om dirterent Aduia raddiana. M. in the pale M. Schwarz's Banded Mongoose is in the Central African Republic this race came. in the field with which it has in consequence quite often been confused both and in the museum (Plate 6). but Bornii is a district covermg a large area which incluties both Sudan and Sahel woodland. 17"02E) and in a much moister vegetation zone.: 102. 12. Although there has been some confusion regarding the and. and if it is compared with the type q{ taihoti it will be seen that though the flanks oi taihoti are paler the backs match exactly. Fort Laniy hi the Sahel. whence the type (6'4iN. 9. and udhoti was said also to have a black tip to its tail. m tlic liritisli Museum condition but probably much it was once mounted and on exhibition. the general appearance being characterised as even paler than in that race. an old animal. The material available is quite inadequate to form the basis ofany expression of opinion on the validity of this proposed race. the type locahty of which lies in the Guinea woodland. lalboti of Bornu". North-west Banded Mongoose to Muiigos mtingo caurinus Thomas Thomas gotlinch. this mongoose.So km further south. described this race as "rather small". Portuguese Guinea) six weeks carher is very different.rossarchus ohsciinn. bear considerable external resemblance to the more distant C. a feature that certainly does not show very clearly today liirthcr. so classifie'd in G. Type faded since Gambian Mongoose Hcrpistcs ^anihiamis Ogilby. skull much damaged. skin in fair (Ogilby) Gambia. Doka woodland. m the section devoted to . Possibly for this reason its coloration is duller: Schwarz described the form as ver}' like i. Allen's Checklist (1939)— there seems never to have been the slightest question respecting the species.22ft. in consequence tlie bands are obscure or entirely lacking from the posterior halt of the back. specimen of Bate. than is usual for this species. and with h.\ unhkethat of moult and that relatively dark. Pioc. 1835. 24.ilfthe tail missing. little m fact exlubits The quite diflerence of measurement from Sudan specimens presumed be general colour was said by him to be "nearly as dark as in typical M. The essentia! distinctions this latter species between the two are brought out and need not be further entered into here. Distribution and general. in fact. yoiuig. bkick. the two may.ctation zones. the end of the tail being missing. especially on tlie head and neck.

First of these is a black zone the length of which varies between different specimens. imicolorous red. the next distal zone. but the more representative range is from about 35 to 45 mm. Sierra Leone. the vegetation of which. in a Ghana example averaging II mm. Child (private commiuiication) records that packs are not i:ifrequcntly to be seen in the dry-season throughout the Borgu Game Reserve area in western Nigeria. as explained in the description of that species. However. It occurs almost exclusively in the Guinea woodland zone just inland of the high forest but may penetrate into the rather similar Doka belt. These latter are flattish. dark brown. Ghana. though not exactly blunt. Nigeria. The overall colour o( qiwihianus varies somewhat with the area from which the specimen comes but the broad general appearance is that of a smalhsh. which is white and averages 5 and this is very often. mm similar-looking kusimanse. with a head & body length of some 350 and a tapering tail measuring about three-fifths of this. nearly every specimen exhibits the next zone. but these are not always all present. Because of the much longer subterminal yellow zone the overall pelage colour in (^ambiaims is almost always rather lighter than in C. its known range being from Gambia to western Nigeria. but not always. near Shcpeteri. the ticking having a considerably coarser appearance than the fme puctulation of the coat in this latter. followed by about i of deep yellow. On the throat it is imicolorous white.MUNGOS 263 This is a small-sized mongoose apparently entirely of West Africa. hi the proximal half there may be four zones of coloration. to lack On inspection it will be found. obscurus. apart from fringes of mangroves. iniingo. but its presence there implies that it may also be discovered in other stretches of coastal scrub such as the Accra plains. Ejura (4) and Bole. The pelage is fairly long and fairly harsh. OiJy 6 of these : are adult. The annulation of these bristles is distinctive and serves as one of the points of difference between this mongoose and the kusimanse. mm mm . Togo. How the species got there is an interesting speculation. and constant. The actual places from wliich the 1 1 British Museum specimens came are Gambia. there is then a golden-yellow subterminal zone averaging from 5 to 7 followed by a fmc black tip which averages 5 mm. heavily speckled mongoose. from 30 to 52 mm. in a Nigerian one 18 mm. Description. genera. Bonthe and Dumbaia. Exceptionally there is a basal white portion measuring 3 to 5 mm. is rarely less than 4 mm. rings. . and directed outwards and upwards mm . Kete Krachi. Ogun Forest Reserve. it has also been obtained from Bonthe island on the coast of Sierra Leone. but not quite so much as in other They vary considerably in length as regards extreme examples. Ghana. G. and may reach 10 mm. for the most part. S. present in most specimens. lacks the conspicuously long protruding snout so characterstic of the rather . The face. Unlike the nearly related timngo there is not the least suggestion of the corresponding colour zones falhng together in the pelage and therefore no hmt of any regular transverse pattern. dividing the proximal region from the three terminal. other species of this genus. The fur on the belly is very scanty and. unspecified (2). consists of sand ridges and sparse grass. is black and averages 5 to 7 mm. or yellowish. like the any obvious sign of underfur below the contour coat of bristle-hairs.

but a similar bony projection is. the sole ot the hindfoot naked to the heel. the length being only about halt the breadth. five adult skulls. from the ear to the foreleg. especially in }hriHsiis ichneumon. quite different from the kusimanse. this is a somewhat narrower skull than that ot the generic head. The arms and legs are ticked with yellow in the manner of the back. however. The toes are slightly webbed. both inside and on their backs. It can be seen also. the difference more marked. the 2r\-gomatic breadth averaging length. niun^ parting.9. No. is the existence in i^ainhiivnis of a projection of bone from the antero-intemal angle of the bulla which at least partially covers and obscures the relatively small carotid foramen in the basisphenoid. 33. No. in the type o[ Crossarchus iinsor\. but much clearer in some specimens than in others. in '^amhianu'. 10. This follows the general MtDii^os pattern to as described above under from nmngo. 95. Since the nose is not elongated the depth of the upper lip from the rhinarium to the mouth opening is short. to be found from time to rime in other mongoose skulls. 35). from Where its direction conies into opposition with of the neck it curves backwards and forms a more or less distinct white line. posteriorly directed hair Fig. certain points of difference most interesting of these.3.M. 35. The posterior part of the . with which bone it eventually becomes fused around the latero-anterior rim of the foramen (fig.8.4.4. as for example m B. set well down on the sides of the head.M. speckled hair. m fact. of two longitudinal black and white lines. in the fifth the two measurements being Whereas in numfio the postdcntal palate IS is generally slightly broader than long.3. though less well developed. 34). The evenly tapering tail is mostly speckled but has a longer or shorter black termmal region.7. MiiwiiL^s i^anthiaitjts: huWa. The mterorbital breadth is less about 53 or 54 per cent of the condylobasal than the postorbital constriction ui four of the equal. but the backs of the forefeet and at least the digital area of the hindfeet are black. five adult specimens. 2 Skull (fig. No one appears to have investigated the form of the anal scent glands and pouch. The rounded ears. This structure appeared to Hayman to be unique in the carnivores.6 and B.264 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA a longitudinal nuxli. the shorter. arc clad with short.M. The short fur with which it comes iitto contact is blackish. Judging from the slender material at present available. B. so a characteristic giiiiihiiiniis pattern is formed along the side of the neck.5. The which Hayman (1936) first drew attention. There are.

. lies m the teeth ^'^^ smalJ very considerably less in bulk for .^0 and the nS Table 13 : Numerical data for species o£ Mimgos mimgo ?gotlmch imwgo caiirimis gambiamis (ex Sudan) Vegetation (Type) Sahel Number in mean Condylobasal length Basilar length Palatilar length Zygomatic breadth Upper cheekteeth breadth Nasals. k. if is ther^o^e ^.s only partially tonveyea by the measurements given 111 the ^ conveyed bv Table below./condylob. however.n sTm imilar". Braincase/zygom.f:r sized skull. Braincase/condylob. Palatilar l. I. Li a personal communication he states that he collected another young specimen at the end of September. I./condylob.i'rTr/""f The visual sharpness of this distinction ..^-t'^-"gJ--n' even known t^rw^TheTh'Ih whether Zt noI^tS.MUNGOS 265 The most obvious diffl^rencc bcm^m the two species. ..Bonthe wa^ young near the ti"ot XtneaTthe T t''^'' "^Z" end of June.^" 'VTu' '""^ ft[P°'" "°''^^g '''^ '^^ 7^ " this species shares m any way the communal habit of .. '' ^''''''' of tl^^^^^ not a single field independent observation havmg been record a in^Tf ''v?' 'f'''°' "" '^ J°""'^ ^P^"'"™^ ^o. and young or very yot^^ ones and Februa'ry... br. Interorb. Zygom./postorb. length Interorbiul breadth Postorbital constriction Braincase breadth Toothrow p* length ("1 (c 111-) breadth length m^ breadth "11 "12 length Head Tail & body Hindfoot Ear RATIOS Tail/head (per cent) & body br.

No subspecific is weak and soft. Palaeontologically. there are but. which. Anatoniital ami zoolofiital resfiirclies 171. Taxonomy. Hcrpcslcs is. 1758. Type species Vivcrra ichiicwnon Linnaeus. In that continent. Calictis Gray. as designated by J.iccpcde. this misprinted spelling was corrected to Hcrpcslcs in a list of Errata on the tmal page (302. Not Greek and means the tracker. genus. There is no doubt. in fict. TahUan is ilcs divisions. quickly followed by others from the far east. Hirpcstcs is a genus of very disputed scope. C(ilo(. synonyms. Hcrpnlcs Illigcr. and a host of smaller animals in Africa. at least outwardly. it was not long (1823) before the name became generically attached to a species from India. . Thus the position soon became established in which the genus was widely regarded as satisfactorily covering all the Asiatic as well as several African species. ol Linnaeus. extraliniital. . Urva Hodgson. of which siiiif^tiinciis. gave — — 1865). however. regarded as having originated outside Africa and to have spread from its source over itself out a great part of Africa. iSi [. To deal with these small mongooses first: all were assigned generically by their original authors to Hcrpcstcs as. TUF CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA It food can only be assumed from the small size of the teeth that the probably almost entirely insects. Anderson. as Hayman (193C') pointed out. with reference to the reputed hahit of hunting out and consuming crocodiles' eggs. This n. from ichncno to hunt. Mciiiiiiista Horsfield. indeed. much of the oriental region and diroughmensurally in the course of evolution into is large species and small The minor question of the generic identity of the Asiatic species interest to the area necessarily of relatively now being covered. 1837. and though it is true that minor differences of coloration can be foiuid significant to justify amongst the available material these arc certainly too in- any such distinction.(i. Genus HERPESTES lUiger. . from the type species Hcrpcstcs southern representative dijjcr.. Ilhgcr. t\ut (^diiihiiuius is a full)' independent species and not merely a West African race of /)ii/»/i. . nearly resembling ichneumon though on a smaller scale. ordrcs c ( (jcdri's dcs Mammijlrcs . 1865. division ot it has yet been suggested. Taxonomy.ime .i. Gray (1865a). Meanwhile. as Vivcrra ichneumon Linnaeus from Africa. named by dc Winton H. means creeper. but actually unnumbered). dividing species. Prodniiinis systcmatis Mammaliinn ct Avium . sous-ilivisiotis. in first naming the no country of origin nor any type species though he did cite the name ichneumon. The name. and was presumably given with reference to the animal's stealthy habit.ak Gray.: 7. . 1799. very much later (1878) became the type species by designation. a situation that holds today though at one time or another attempts have been made by different authors to assign the eastern species to other genera (c.266 similar kusimansc. as stated by Illiger. apart basically from Egypt including its belonging to multitude of forms. . spread from the Mediterranean to the Cape. split up the large assemblage of species. 181 Typical Mongooses Ichncuiihvt L. 1878. much more urgent problems concerning the genus idiiicHiiwii. I: of tlic two vxfH'ditioiis to Western Ynnnan from the Greek hcrpcin. a mentioned as . 1822. iuiso. . .. There are several other.: 135. there have been ascribed to the genus one other large species. ^^rdcilis and ochrMctis may be of prime importance to the present study. .

But this name. clatural inactivity brought about by the second world war. remained cuiTent during the period of relative nomcn- G. as briefly expressed in Ellerman. Gray's genera did not.racilis were placed in C. In his preliminary notes on the carnivora collected in the north-eastern Congo J. Simpson's Classification (1945) pubhshed at the close of tliis period. Four years after Allen's paper Thomas (1928) drew attention to it. but eventually. The characters taken into consideration in this and in the rejection oi Myonax will be detailed later in the account of the first of these genera. which had been named type species. The reasons are several. The former genus comprised Indian as well as work of Thomas (1882). to use. ichneumon (the type of the genus) there are many more small species of Hcrpcstes in tropical Asia". Gakrclla or The Myonax sub- The argument for not generically separating the Asiatic and African mongooses under consideration here. Hayman (in Sanderson. —Hcrpcstes— Gakrclla — Myonax —Hcrpcstes. Hcrpcstes. following Simpson. which he named microdon. restoring Gakrclla to the scope that J. and this its widespread and numerous group of small mongooses thus imderwent generic name. at once to criterion of nomenclature. in fact. A. Xciun.). H. in fact. A. has been little used in literature. ochramis in Gakrclla. Allen (1924) had accorded However. current practice generically. apphcable solely to the northeast African ochracca. is that "it should be borne in mind that although the small African mongooses appear very distinct from H. Morrison-Scott &' Hayman (1953: 119 £n. it became mongooses. Allen's contention that the small mongooses under discussion merit full generic separation as Gakrclla from the large Egyptian mongoose. largely through the restricted to oriental (1935) expressed the opinion that there was no justification for generically valid morphological distinctions between ochracca it since there were no and the others. the question remains simply one of genus — is Xenogalc validly separable from Hcrpcstes at generic level? In erecting his new . the present author accepts J.ale. though widely recognised and understood by African mammalogists. Allen (1919b) foimd it necessary to erect a new genus. Allen (1924) made out a good case for reviving Gakrclla generically to cover all the small African forms. at choice. and H. was then the more commonly accepted name for this group) until J. Myonax then became the fashionable name for the majority of these small African mongooses imtil a few years later Schwarz African species. fmd much favour. 1940) satisfactorily showed that this species was identical with de Winton's long-established Htrpcstcs naso. sank both Gakrclla and become the universally accepted Myonax in Hcrpcstes. though somewhat latently. (. A. which as part of the general nomcnclatural mix-up. M. s<in(iuineus and H. tlie African species continued to be associated with Hcrpcstes (or Mungos. thus it. A. only to express the opinion that Gakrclla was. by that time ascribed to Hcrpcstes into a number of smaller genera erected by him for this purpose. Allen (1939) in his Checklist did not accept this view and Myonax consequently. He consequently erected Myonax to accommodate the numerous remaining pan-African forms to which Allen had shown the name Hcrpcstes to be inappropriate. Mnni^os is. to cover what he thought to be a hitherto undescribed forest mongoose.IIERPESTES 267 both African and Asiatic. It is now necessary to glance at the other large species named by de Win ton Hcrpcstes naso. However.j/oijii/c. fifth change of in 20 years.

it almost certainly the oldest-known mongoose Greek and Latin literature. 1940. 1808. either integis regarded as apphcable Egyptian mongoose.icus. Type locality Newton. . they should be the West African nomenclature. Syslcnin Nnlnuic. sons-tlirisions. here it must be said that Hayman. Zoologie . It was and general. H. Geoffroy. connexion with this regional investigation. rejected Allen's arguments on the grounds that though Xciio^iilc did exJiibit well-marked. Type locality Anara 50. One meaning of dif/ins '+' (Greek) is red-hrov™. In view of this reduction in scope. but long before was depicted on Egyptian tombs and temples nearly 3000 years B. 175S. Tahk'an tics ilii'iiiions. in the work just cited. It is true that a decision on this point of taxonomy must affect is too wide to be decisively probed in can only be said here that the present wTriter considers Allen's proposal to be correct. The specific name is Greek . of medium age.. last from certain commonly allocated to oriental of course.uinciis-<<mcilis-ochriKeus-piih'ciHlcntus-riitlamuclii-ctc. Described on page 276 of this present work. lOtli cd. One sense of the Greek word mesos is middle ot two extremes. skull structurally complete but with teeth missing. khncwnia and Atilax. Description des Mammijercs ijui se tronvcnt en Egyple. J 1 Type specimen in the in the British Museum. divided into the subgenera Galcrclla and Xcno'^alc.268 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AFRICA genus Allen adduced a number ot differential characters. Egypt.'cstcrn civilization. ArcJios Mus. 011 ichneumon Linu. and that it is justifiable as well as convenient to regard Xciiof^iik as generically independent. 1812. 2: 139 (footnote). in Asiatic species no greater than the divergence of this Hcrpestcs. ichiictimon.i/i' from Hcrpcstcs. The name ocadcntalis is Latin for western. ft (^cnrc^ iies Ichneumon phamon Laccpcde.C. 1799. instead of Hcrpcsics being taken as and the rally or san(. No. This. Herpcsles ichneumon occidenlalis Monard. to each of which the new mongoose bore some measure ot resemblance. Distribittion that to v. luiso complex. Mamnnjl-rcs . This It figures in ancient . given because this mongoose was since ancient days reputed to hunt out crocodiles' nests to rob them of eggs. would be better split off as Gray and others long ago contended case. The specific name is the Latin for larger and was given because the mongoose described (based on La Grande Mangoustc) was thought to be bigger than others in the group dealt with by Geoffroy under the general heading of ichneumons. both external and cranial. : 7. meanwhile. These characters will be entered into later in the appropriate place. therefore. nov. I: 364. Portuguese Guinea. . 53. raises the basic question of whether these like AV/ii'ijii/c. Valid as a race. hindfect and part ot the missing. . near Kaduna. Ichneumon aciiypti Tiedemarm. Forest Reserve. it covering icluiciiiiioii. Described on page 278 tail is ot this present work. differences from the African Hcrpcsics tact. skin complete and Sierra Leone. ichneumon these were. Type specimen in the British Museum No. habits and so forth are reserved for the account of the single species which follows. I: 43. II: 193-194. of medium age.and means tracker. Bocjge. Ichneumon major E.320.. solely to the HERPESTES ICHNEUMON IVi'iTni (Liimaeus) Ichneumon or Egyptian Mongoose Egypt. Hcrpestcs ichnctnnon aithos subsp. odrcs This name associates the animal with the Pharaohs of Egypt. that he regarded as sufficient to separate AVmnj. Mansoa and Cacheu. in good condition. Herpcstes ichnctnnon mesos subsp. questions of general generic description. skin 5 fiir. It In this work.130. but the matter mongooses arc properly included in Hcrpestcs or whether. . the hanks ot the Nile. northern Nigeria. skull with cranium badly damaged and partly missing. nov.

the only mongoose in the European fauna. Throughout the long and doctrinally varied history of Egypt this mongoose was.HERPESTES certainly revered in 269 Egypt and was commonly mummified. though less frequently. The imderfur measures 1 5 to 22 mm. especially that of the hindquarters. It is. the ichneumon seems also to have been kept in some well-to-do Roman households. The higWy speckled of long wiry bristle-hairs. richly coloured ears are short is coarse. Description. As in most mongooses. the mm romided pelage but wide and are set on the sides of the head. but this was without religious significance and was most likely little more than a matter of possessing a rather unusual domestic pet. though it is not found everywhere. often reaches to near the ground. moreover. The ichneumon (Plate 7) is one of the larger mongooses. the muzzle terminating in a naked black rhinarium. but so far from being a nuisance it was widely revered in Egypt. The so-called Egyptian over the length and breadth of Africa from the Mediterranean to the Cape. This is a m mm very short-legged animal considering the size of the body. There are anal scent glands. The soles of both fore and hindfeet are naked. long-bristled tuft. of characteristic appearance. hi fact the long pelage. chin and neck is similarly coloured and speckled but very much shorter and close-lying. annulated with several rings of alternating light and dark colours. consisting imderfur. Two widely distinct colour forms of pelage occur in West Africa. and fairly long. where they sometimes attain a length of 65-75 mni. in fact. It is also found in Palestine but. slightly curved claws. curiously enough. occurring in Spain and Portugal. Froni this stout root it tapers to about its nud-length whence it continues to almost the end as narrowly subcyhndrical and terminates in an intensely black. most probably primarily because of temples and the houses of the rich largely for its pest-destroymg value. The area around the eye is bare. having an adult weight of 3 to 4 kg. at different times or places credited with a number of mysterious or momentous attributes which cannot be entered into here. a long. docs not seem to have received mention in ancient Jewish writings as it did in those of other neighbouring pre- mongoose is. It is very broad basally being there clad with very long hair which obscures its junction with the similarly long-furred body. abundant. webbed in their basal half and armed with long. Doubtless having its origin in Egyptian practice. The short legs and the feet are fairly powerful. openmg not within the recmm but into an external oval sac which surrounds and encloses their orifices and that of the anus itself. These have been described and figured by Charin (1874). One of the names it was known by in early days was Pharaoh's rat. The fur of the head. distributed christian civilizations. fine. hiding much of the legs. together bristle-hairs are The with a third tail is intermediate form. though some idea of pest discouragement may have played its part too. Basically it is an open-country ammal but forms arc also known. relatively slender head &: body of some 550 to 600 together with a notable tail measuring roughly nine-tenths as much. standuig only some 150 to 200 at the shoulder. are especially so over the long throughout all the pelage right up to the nape but rump. and being honoured in priestly circles for its reputed enmity to the crocodile. face. The . the face is long and pointed. all described in detail later. in fact. being kept its snake-kilhng propensity. the latter all with five long digits. in the dense forest.

2. Nn.2V0 Till ( AliNlVORES OF WEST ATRICA Fi<.11. x i .. sex ?. //(T/ii>7c< iiliih-tiiiioii: skull. 9.M. yi. li.10.

not only did it. The zygomata are strong and broadened through most of their length. Habits. The incisors. its bulk clearly less. a simple peg. top and bottom. The posterior outer corner of the upper camassial lies near the outer posterior root of the maxillary process. m^ is of moderate size. having. it fliuig it into the Nile to drown. and one has 4 and 3. instead of biting it to death. somewhat rescmbhng a remarkable long snake". flange-like supraoccipital crest in a T. and there are mostly 4 in the lower jaw. terminating anteriorly in a very narrow rostrum. The ichneumon has a long-established and almost unassailable reputation as the prime enemy of both crocodiles and poisonous snakes. of the intcrorbital breadth to the postorbital constriction is pretty widely variable being sometimes lO per cent less. 27I short. than the inner. short but wide. besides courage. The ovoid braiiicase carries. sometimes lO per cent more. with few exceptions. when. In spite of the fact that the alleged habits of this animal have been written of spoken of. for the fairly broad and. posteriorly joining the The frontal region is broad. There arc always 4 upper premolars on each side. destroy crocodile eggs but it also regularly and courageously leapt do^vn the open throats of these animals. and handed down almost as folklore for many htmdreds of years the truth IS that very little that is up-to-date and reliably factual has ever been recorded.HERPESTES Skull (fig. and ate its way through the internal organs. until it was enclosed in a thick fang-proof armour of hardened clay. the male in the lead. its bulk about that of the buccal section of/)"*. such dedication to the destruction of the latter that it was reputed in ancient times habitually and deliberately to prepare itself for the fray by covering itself in successive layers of mud. most part. high. its outer face forming a sharp angle with that of this latter tooth. closely followed by his mate. making an exit through a hole gnawed in the belly wall. well-developed sagittal crest in males and females alike. The postorbital processes nearly always meet and fuse with the jugal processes to form complete circumorbital rings. and she again by the young ones all in line close behind one another "as diough the whole chain of animals were only a single being. which commonly sleep with their mouths agape. i)fi is small. iirflated to a slightly higher level than the cranium. according to the ancients. The postdcntal palate is clearly longer than it is wide. the anterior part of the bulla small. As for its other foe. but of 11 skulls examined 3 mandibles have only 3 premolars on each side. The outer and anterior cusps of the lower camassial (. 36). the lower ones rather more so. quite smooth away in an even curve to the rostrum. drying out each in turn. The anterior premolar is always very much smaller than the rest. and also laterally to the orbits. are in a compact straight row. With this protection it was able to seize its opponent in its jaws. the posterior and falling ratio The chamber very inflated. bliint but a The skull is long and rather narrow. The crocodile was presumably supposed to remain placidly on dry land imtil this intestinal timnelling had been brought to a conclusion and a safe emergence achieved. Even modern accounts of this mongoose are invested with some air of fantasy. the outer ones larger canines are slightly curved. The nasal sutures also fuse and disappear fairly early. its transverse width about that of the lingual portion of /h^. The upper .»i) are markedly larger than the iimer posterior one. as when Brehna (i88o) describes a family on the himt.

Flower characterises it as hunting aroimd in leisurely fashion. He says that it is diumal and crepuscular. it is very unlikely that plain inborn enmity would lead them purposeful!)' and regularly to seek out these reptiles. and doubtless honoured. In regard to snakc-killing one must distinguish berween habit and ahiliry. Jones (personal commmiication) says that in Sierra Leone it appears to be largely nocturnal. the ichneumon's capacity' to attack and overcome so dangerous and feared an opponent as the asp or cobra. The ancient Egyptians knew. and it seems to be little disturbed by the presence of people or vehicular traffic since it has been known to cross Cairo streets. Also that there should be some significant basis to religious veneration. Flower who gives the habits oi Hcrpcsics. although this last would seem to be discounted by the sacred ibis. and the Indian mongooses arc not unlike the iclincumon m appearance. even a put-up one. it has been suggested that even this last reputed practice may be pure invention since nest-robbing would be difficult if not impossible with the female crocodile constantly on the watch in nearby undergrowth. and to have been run over by a tram. It is as diough the ages have passed it by and it still expects the protection and respect that were its heritage in ancient Egypt. Yet there seems to be no record of anyone ever having witnessed a fight between ichneumon and snake in the wild. Even such verbal accoimts from travellers as may from time to time come one's way may be open to some question since there has in the past been a good deal of traffic between India and Egypt.27- llll ( ARNINUKES Ol WKST AlKICA suppose that such ancient and persistent stones. where these mongooses were habitally kept as sacred animals. Flower (1932). However. S. for that matter. those who claim to have seen such set fights arc rarely competent to tell one kind of mongoose from another. though very brief account oi the Egypt is concerned. and T. in fact. between a snake and an Egyptian mongoose. any recent account of a staged one. never to be seen in the early morning but on the move equally in brilliant noon-day sun and m die dusk ot evening. most positive. Nevertheless. It must be noted that other observers state It to be positively nocturnal or possibly nocturnal as well as diurnal. The crocodile stoiy may well as an important factor in. numbers. Hinton & Dunn (1967) in writing a general work on mongooses and all that was kno\\ai of them obviously combed the literature pretty closely. and the marsh mongoose has been said to be a great destroyer of these too (page 297). force motor-cars to slow down. at least in so far as . together with tlie Greek must have some foiuidation in fict however slender. no record has been traced of such depredation having been reliably observed. the control of these greatly feared reptiles. But that Nile monitors (I 'araiius niloiiais) acting in consort can rapidly create havoc in a cache of crocodile's eggs is well-established. indeed. but they make no reference to any fight. recorded that Itinerant conjurers were often to be seen in Egypt with the small hidian mongooses colciration yet was embalmed in countless be a simple enhancement of egg destruction as part ot their stock in trade. and possibly the spectacle of such combats was from time to time staged in or aroimd temples. so there seems no good reason why I Icrpcstcs should not behave similarly. It is. While ichneumons may kill and consume snakes met with in the ordinary course of foragmg. or. which has little to it beyond its rather striking Olio may name "tracker".

The gait is normally a quick. on the other hand definitely states that the and swims to well. there are no West African juveniles in the British Museum from which deductions might be drawn. in fact. cheetahs.IIERPESTES Hcrpfsics 273 takes readily to water is. at the same time it is by no means averse to woodlands. then. [ones states that in Sierra Leone it will certainly attack chickens when it gets any chance. purposeful trot. commonly. when caught young. very unsuspicious and easily trapped. S. and like so many other mongooses. and it is to be regretted that no systematic field study of it has so far been undertaken. It has a doubtful reputation as a fowl thief. Flower (1932). with consequent bitter resentment of depredations amongst both birds and eggs which had come to occupy a highly important place in the Egyptian domestic economy. 1954). but though these animals probably lead much of their hves in solitary fashion they have been said when raising young to go about in family parties of about half-a-dozen. birds. being sometimes caught by accident in fish-traps peasants assured him that the iclmeumon never steals chickens — though a fairly well authenticated record of the destruction of seven geese was once sent to officer. the ichneumon. Wlien living on river banks it is said to feed on fish and possibly crabs and frogs. states that sometimes these mongooses sit. though widespread over the continent and not uncommon. Hoogstraal (1964). hyaenas. T. and it has been said to play havoc in a fowl house and to be detested for this reason throughout modern Egypt. it takes readily and kindly to domestication and makes an admirable pet. while such predators are fairly readily observable . however. be caught sight of only for brief moments as it hurries from one cover to another. insects and reptiles. In view of the fact that it has been known in this capacirs' for five thousand years fact is that. but one Sierra Leone specimen taken on 2nd November contained two foetuses. the ichneumon can emit an offensive odour when alarmed or otherwise excited. It when it is attempting rob thcni (Pitman. jackals or himting-dogs and capable of being followed. indeed. It spends much of its time in rather concealed conditions of dense ground vegetation and can. play or move slowly in easy sight of humans. and doubtless breeds. So far as limited observations indicate there seems to be no fixed breeding season. defmite figures for the number of young 111 a litter are almost non-existent. that is rcbable or not controversial has been recorded of the daily and yearly hfe of the Egyptian mongoose. 1965). but away from such a locality it takes small mammals. in burrows. riparian. open countr)' at a distance from water. dwelling and hunting amongst reeds and other dense imdergrowth. it is known that Hcrpcstcs shelters. as it has for some of the larger carnivores. but not exclusively. and even to montane grassland (Ansell. It is. Little. but gaps in rocks. besides being of less immediate economic moment presents considerably more difficulty. holes under tree roots and similar convenient cavities arc also made use of. For the rest. Beyond this. which may be of its own making or taken over from some other excavator. Like other vivcrrids. as a rule. The as lions. him by a medical Flower's assertion is the more interesting in running directly counter to views expressed by Zeuner (1963) that Hcrpesles had declined from the position of a sacred and much respected animal in ancient Egypt to that of a widely hated pest in later times due to the introduction of the domestic fowl from Lidia and its eventual spread amongst all classes.

eating of mating-play. breedmg. No further records were possible with this pair since the female suddenly died. rising in speed and intensity to a pitch of excitement. that is whether the separation of the southern African animals at this level. particular scope for an almost infinite variet)' of effect due to slight differences of ring width or nuances in the tone of the two main colours or the transitional zones between them. and sleephig habits. which was answered by the female. With so wide a distribution it is obvious that local races must almost certainly exist. When copulation was actually achieved the act took some 4 to 5 minutes. Taxonomy. which must have been eaten by their parents a common event in nature.vhere between. in fact. it might be there is the London record of two foetuses. voice and so forth. Bh. after about a couple of hours. — — . period of gestation. Some of i960) single litter . there is one detailed account (Diicker. as differ. postures. once the practice.274 T'"- < ARMVORtb Ol WEST AFRICA remarkable that more has not been recorded of its behaviour.. After the birth the parents were both very excited. The broadest question is whether there is. copulation and parturition as exhibited by a young pair. of a boni in captivity. Zoo Yr. consisting of a top coat of long amiulated bristle-hairs in which black and white play a dominant role there is. However. Ten days after parturition the female was again m season and the pair strongly sexually interested in one another. At lengdi. is valid. Play of sexual significance started between these two when they were only about 15 months old. ruiming and climbing about the cage: but it was some time before they took any notice of the cries of their young. from the northern ones. and they had two offspring. the mother carried the babies. Also. did not come about for another 6 months. as in other similar genera. It IS dislikes. into the sleeping box. 7 and 11 weeks. This would seem to confirm that breeding is not merely an annual event related to a particular time of the year. Considerable wooing play took place thenceforward together with repeatedly imsuccessful attempts at coition. inferred that two is a common litter size these two parents were themselves twins. The only occasion on which they seemed to be aware of a parental dur\' was when the cage was approached and they growled and erected their fur. during which the male repeatedly nudged the female in the region of the throat with wide open muzzle. and more so under the unnatural stresses of captivit)-. evinced by a swelling and redness of the vulva. It seems fairly unanimously held today that the species ichneumon satisfactorily and correctly covers all mongooses of diis genus from Spain to the Cape. Two young were eventually born at a half-hour interval but owing to the long-dra\vn-out nature of the mating period it was not possible to tell the actual period of gestation. but real sexual readiness. Next morning there was no sign of the babies. where they simply lay on the floor while the parents sat snuggled up closely against one another taking no interest in their oftspring. separately and held by the middle of the body. its nature. It may here be noted that a specimen has been known to have lived in captivity to the age of about 124' years [Int. hkes. 2). From the dates indicated it might he an)n. parental care. The male frequently uttered an 00-00-00 sound. say. At moments of great agitation this cry became something like hc-hchc-hc. With a pelage of the composition of Hcrpcstcs. but the problem here is not so easy of solution. more than one species in the genus. litter size. and this view is held in this present work.


the inhabi-


be simply idios^ticratic; others may, in truth, be pecuHar to


of conditions, though the plain fact is, as so commonly the that existing study material is often too meagre to cstabhsh on a firm basis whether
a locality or set

such divergencies are sufficiently constant over a given area to justify nomenclatural


or eleven races oi ichncuimin are, in


currently recognised, only one of them,


Monard from Portuguese Guinea,



African, though



been suggested that parvidens Lonnberg from the lower Congo possibly reaches Lake Chad. One incontrovertible fact exists, however: there are m West Africa two very distinct colour extremes, the one pale grey, the other dark red-browTi. The former is not ver)- dissimilar from specimens from the type area, Eg)'pt which, not unusually,

the hairs of and whiter rings; the miderfur is orange, whereas in Eygptian material it may sometimes be redder, sometimes drabber; and the belly is better clothed, with longer, paler ("oft-white") hairs. Menard's description oi cccidaitiilis, though in respect of mdividual components detailed, fails to convey the overall appearance of the coat. His type has not been seen; but by the courtesy of Dr. Villy Acllen and Dr. J. L. Perret of Geneva it has been possible to make a direct comparison of a small but adequate sample of the type pelage. From this and Monard's characterisation of the underfur as orange it seems sufficiently clear that the three pale West African Herpesics in the British Museum are indeed occidciittilis. These are all from the Guinea or Doka woodland. The five dark form specimens, of very marked contrast to those just dealt with, are, with one possible exception gone into later, animals of the closed forest zone between western Nigeria and Sierra Leone. There is nothing m the large London collection like these dark reddish-brown skms except an aberrant one from Spain, and they would thus certainly seem to merit a descriptive name of their own. It might be deduced from tins that Hcrpcstes ichneumon is pale grey in arid country becoming deeper and redder as the atmospheric humidity increases; but there is an intermediate form which comes not from an intermediate ecological zone but, so far as can be told from the verv limited material available of each of these forms, from somewhat further inland than the pale form, that is the drier Doka and Sudan zones. These skins partake rather more of the reddish forest colour than they do of the grey; but the pale rings are broader and whiter. Since they do not fit into either category they, too, though less obviously, seem to justif,- a distinctive name. The subspeciation described below hinges entirely upon coat colour; there are two other specimens of West African ichneumon in the British Museum, one from Gambia (no localit)') the other from Oda (Ghana), which since they consist of skulls only cannot be particularised. No satisfactor)' evidence for the existence of Lonnberg's parvidens in West Africa has been foimd in this present investigation.

somewhat amongst themselves. But

in the

West African examples

the dorsal pelage have rather wider

Herpestes ichneumon occidentaUs Monard

Western Ichneumon

Monard had two specimens

him when he named




adult tciiKilc h'oiii


both, accorduig to the author, in dense tropical forest.

male frmn Cachcu, both 111 Portuguese Guinea and The following are the particulars and description ot the three London specimens believed to represent this race. They come from Thics (Senegal), Cape St. Mary (Gambia), and Kita Sudan (Upper Guinea) which seems most likely to be Kita in the former French Sudan, now Mali. The first two places are situated in Guinea woodland, the last in Doka. Description. The overall impression ot the dorsal pelage of these is pale grey flecked with chocolate (Plate 7). The furly dense, fme, not very long underfur, on the average about s though individual hairs may be longer, is, as Monard described, a beautiful orange colour. This is almost completely concealed, in repose, by the very long (at the lower back 60 to 65 mm) bristle-hairs. These arc ringed black and white, the basal and two other zones white, separated by two major dark zones and ending with a rather short black tip; that is to say 6 alternating rings. The "black" is seen on close examination to be really a very intense red-brown; and there are some rings in which this true nature of the pigment is more apparent than in others; and there is always a brief transitional zone to the white where it becomes progressively less dense and hence pale red. The coat, therefore, always displays a fnr amoimt of reddish colour, mostly deep, which, as the corresponding zones of the hairs come to lie somewhat together, tend to form short, very irregular, transverse lines or chevrons. On the belly the imdcrfur becomes very pale buff, and the still very long bristles cream, with one, or sometimes two, rather pale, inconspicuous dark rings. The hairs of die head and fice have the same sort of colouring as the back but are quite short, with correspondingly short annulation. The same can be said of the legs, where, however, the dark clement is more prominent; so that, while the dorsal pelage may be said to be grey speckled with dark, the legs arc dark stippled with white. The tail is similar to the back m the broad basal half beyond which it becomes much more yellowdsh-brown up to the long pure black terminal tuft. Skull (fig. y>). It is not possible to draw useful conclusions from the single skull available for study. There are in tliis only two marked differences from the remaining West African material, and these may well prove merely idiosyncratic the zygomatic breadth is appreciably greater than in the others, amoimting to 55 per cent of the condylobasal length as compared with rather less dian 50 per cent; and the breadth of

Mansoa and









any other specimen.

Herpestes ichneumon aithos mhip.



Distribution and general. The contrast between this and the last is very marked specimens exist in the British Museum; these come from Newton (Sierra Leone); Wulade, Kissi country (northern Liberia), 2 specimens; Idumiye Ono, 4 miles north of Iseluku, west of Asaba on the River Niger, Benin Province, Nigeria (these are spelt Idumuje Uno and Issale Uku on modern maps); and Senegal, no specified localitv'. The first four of these lie within the closed high-forest belt, though Newton has become degraded by fire and cultivation into grass with patches of secondaiy bush near water. The last would seem to be possibly an exception, though, in the absence of
(Plate 7). Five

Plate 7

Forest Icliiicuiiicn {Hcrpcftcs




Iclineunioii (HiT/Jcsfex



Mongoose {Alikx



an exact locality and the fact that in 1863, when the specimen was registered, the limits implied by "Senegal" were not precise, one cannot be at all sure of the vegetation. There is another ground for not blindly accepting at its face value this accrediting of an apparently high forest mongoose to predominantly dry open woodland country in the vicinage of the Senegal River. The collector was the late 19th century controversial author Winwood Reade. It is a fact that on this visit to the then very httle known and not very well comprehended western side of Africa he went to Gaboon, Angola, Casamance, Gambia and Senegal, in that order. He might easily have said, speaking generally, when visiting the British Museum that he had just returned from Senegal and had brought some specimens for identification, thus conveying a wrong impression; whereas the specimens may qiute wcU have been obtained at various pouits of his tour; this one, for example, in the forests of Gaboon, whither he had gone deliberately to follow the footsteps of the then famous collector Du Chaillu. The Newton (Sierra Leone) specimen, collector T. S. Jones, B.M. No. 53.130, a mediumly-agcd $, gravid with 2 foetuses, is nominated as type of this new race because, although the skull is badly broken, the skin is complete; whereas the only
perfect skull in the material available has the skin incomplete.

Description. The overall impression of the dorsal pelage is a deep reddish-brown abimdantly ticked with yellow. The underfur is of an appreciably deeper rufous shade than the orange o( occidcnhilis; it is about 15 to 18 long, and though in a large measure hidden by the bristle-hairs it does to some extent show through and help to account for the reddish impression of the pelage. The bristle-hairs are not much more than 50 long, and their annulation is quite distinct from that oi occidentalis; for whereas in this latter race there are, including the black tip, about 6 alternating rmgs in which the light and dark are not very different in length, in this newly proposed form there are about 9 or 10 rmgs, the dark ones very much predominant, the pale ones being mostly reduced to widths of 3 or 4 mm. The dark annidations are to all intents and purposes black; but the two narrow distal pale ones, the only ones which show beyond the underfur and constitute the ticking element in the pelage, are yellow or off-white. Because of the vastly different widths of the aimulation in the two races the actual physical appearance of the pale tickmg irrespective of questions of colour, is very distinct in occicienUilis and aithcs, being in the former long and longitudinally almost continuous, but in the latter very short, very much interrupted and numerically very abimdant. There is a fuller note on annulation at the end of this generic section. The belly fur, though in all rather paler, is very similar to that of the back, being annulated yellow and blackish-brown. It is paler because the pale rings are far wider than they are dorsally. The neck and top of the head are fairly similar to the back but ticked more fmely; but whereas in ocddait,ilis the ticking continues forward almost to the rhinarium, in this new race it stops short about the level of the eyes, the upper part of the nose being clad with plain, d.irk blackish-browar bristle-hairs. The ticking on the chin, throat and underside of the neck is whiter than that of the back. The upper parts of the legs are ticked hke the back but the feet are deep red-bro\vn. The tail resembles the back throughout nearly all its length but is for a short distance before the black tuft very slightly redder.






Skull. The measurements given ni the table on page 279 sliow that the zygomatic is less than in occidciinilis, amounting to 49 per cent of the condylobasal length.
interorbital breadth
is less than the postorbital constriction. Li the type skull premolars on each side ot the lower jaw; in one other skull there are


there are only

side, 3 on the other; the third skull has tlie normal 4 on each side. Paratypes. Other specimens exannned are No. (skull broken), and No. 7.12. 17.2, both Liberia; No. (no skull), Senegal; and No. 13.11. 6.1 (skull perfect), western Nigeria. Although in these the shade of yellow in die ticking, and the width ot the pale annulations do not absolutely correspond with diose given above

on one

for the tvpe, the difterences are too slight to be ot aiiv account.

Herpcstes ichneumon niesos



Nigerian Iclineumon

Distribution and general. Three specimens in the British Museum collection are assignable to this: from Aiiara Forest Reserve, near Kaduna, northern Nigeria; from Kode area, 24 kilometres north-east of Lau (on the Benue), northern Nigeria; and from the Northern Territories, C.hana. The first of these places lies 111 the l^oka zone, the second in the Sudan zone; the third specimen, having no clue to die precise locality, might have come from any of the Guinea, Doka or Sudan zones. The Anara specimen, collector D. R. Rosevear, B.M. No. 50.320, a mediuni-aged to old S> IS taken as the rj'pe of this new race. The skin is poorly stutted, the hmdteet and part ot the tail missing; the skull in itself is complete but has several teeth missing. Description. There is no doubt of the intermediate nature of this proposed new overall appearance it is appreciably redder than oaidcntiilis but a markedly race; lighter-coloured animal than aitlios. Like other features, the underfur in this proposed race is intermediate between the bright orange o( ociiiiciitalis and the rich red o( aithos. long. As in occiiliiitdlis, the bristle-hairs have about 6 annulations. It is about 13 Their overall length is somewhat shorter, about 50 to 60 mm; the pale rings, besides being shorter, are buti and the dark ones are a less intense red-brown. A comparison of this ammlation with that of the other races is made below at the end ot the account of this genus. The imdertur on the belly has lost most ot the red of the upper side, becoming pale brown; the long bristles are butf and their dark rings relatively pale. The colouring of the head and face is very much that ot the back but the hairs and their annulations very short; the specklmg continues forward dorsally very nearly to the rhinanuni, there being only a few millimetres of luispeckled hairs in this region, markedly less than in aitlios. The forelegs are speckled, of a slightly darker tone than the back, the feet being a deep brown; the upper part of the hmdlegs in the r\'pe is pale buff\'-browii with very little obvious annulation; the proximal part of the feet is darkish with short speckled hairs similar to the head; their end part is missing from die type, but in another specimen is plain dark browni. The very long-haired tail is similar in appearance to the back; its terminal portion is lacking from the type and one other specimen (No. 56.250); but in the third specimen (No. 22. 12. 2.1) it becomes very rufous in the narrow part; and the terminal tuft is not the intense black of the other races but a little reddish throughout and more particularly so distally.





The two paratypcs
described above.

exhibit minor, but not significant, differences

from the type


two sets of measureof average width, the zygomatic breadth amounts to precisely 50 per cent of the condylobasal length. The braincasc is a little narrower than in the other two races; the interorbital breadth is in one case (the t)-pe) larger, in the other
available. It

Skull. This has no very distinctive features discernible in the

Table 14: Hair annulation

in Herpcstes

khneunmt subspecies

occiJentalis (7)




than the postorbital constriction. The type specimen 4, tlie otlier skull 3, premolars on each side ot the lower jaw. The breadth ot /»' and the leiiuith ot 1112 both seem to be less than in the other subspecies. General comments, h must be repeated that no duect comparison ot the specimen (No. 9.1 1. 2. 10) here assumed to be McMiard's caiJiinulis with his r\'pe has been possible:
if it

should be shown to differ materially it would require a new subspecific name. table given on p. 279 shows a comparison of the lengths ot the various annulations of the bristle-hairs in the three races, as illustrated by the mean values derived from a number of diflerent hairs from each of a number ot ditlerent specimens. The ringmargins are never clear-cut, the dark zone fading throughout a longer or shorter



exliibiting a pale

(mosdy of the order of 0-5 to red-brown colour.
and the



into the light zone,


transitional region




therefore never possible;

hut, with this proviso

tact that there are

always occasional exceptions, the

examined and for the most part do not vary from the mean lengths shown below by more than 2 mm, usually less. Three groups of zones may be recognised. There is a terminal region measuring consisting usually ot two zones, the tmely tapering black tip and a pro10 to 15 ximal pale ring; but in dithos the transitional area between these two is of sutticient width and importance to merit separate recognition. Proximal to this terminal region is a second group of 4 annulations of the utmost importance in determining the appearance of the coat; for whereas it will be seen, in the table, that the width ot the dark rings remains almost constant throughout all three races that of the pale rings diminishes very greatly, mi til in iilihos it is a half, or evcMi a third, ot what it measures in occidcniiilis. It will be appreciated diat, ignoring colour, this results in a marked ditterence of appearance, hi addition to the two sets of rings just detailed, iiithos has a further, long basal region of 3 (and in one hair specimen 4) alternating dark and pale bands. The length of this extra region is more than compensated for by the extreme shortening of the pale zones of the adjacent region, to which attention has just been directed,
ring-widths arc pretty constant


the specimens


so that the overall length of the hair


in fact, less

than those with only 6 alternating

and dark bands.




Cuvier, 1825

Long-nosed Mongooses
A/iyiisiH Ei)cycl^j\iiiqii,\ 2: 1S4, 1X7.

Miiiii^os E.



G. Ciivicr, 1795,






Gnielin; in part.


., 3, pt. 47, F. Cuvier, 1.H25, in E. GeortVoy & F. Cuvier, Hiiloirc Niiltiifllc i1t:< Mitiiiiniji-m Le M.inguc: 3. Type species Crossarclun obsainis F. Cuvier. West Atrici. This n.uiic was coined from the Greek words crossolps fringed, and arclios anus, with reference to the appearance ot the circumanal glandular sac, the wrinkled folds of which bear a fancied rescnibl.ince to the old-fashioned pleated




as a ruff.

species inhabiting

Distribution. The genus Cros<archui, as at present constituted, embraces three mainly the closed forest block but sometimes reaching into the



woodland zones by means of forest remnants or riverain extensions. Only one of these species, obscurus, is found in West Africa, where it is known from Sierra Leone to lower Cameroon at about 3''N. The other two species are alcxandri from the Central African Republic and northern Congo; and anscr^ei from north-western Angola. Where these mongooses occur they may be reckoned as moderately common animals since they mostly associate together in fairly large companies. General description. The range of size of the three species is wide, from the small ii»5or(;ci with a head & body length of 320 and a skull of 58 to the relatively large alcxaudri which measures 450 and 81 mm; but even this latter is, of course, small in comparison with the really large mongooses such as Hcrpcstcs, Xawgale and Gakrisais. In between the two extremes of size in Crossiuchus stands the very common West African obscurus. All forms arc, most typically, darkish-brown animals ticked to a greater or less extent with golden-yellow, pale yellow, or even white; but ansorgei and an occasional obsainis specimen exhibit considerably less ticking than normal. The rather harsh pelage is composed of long underfur and considerably longer bristlehairs; and there is, almost without exception, a whorl or whorls on the back of the neck. The snout is exceptionally long. The tail is shorter than head & body and tapers evenly from root to tip; and though it is clad with long bristle-hairs it is not, when in repose, in any way bushy. The legs are short; the 5-toed feet armed with very long claws and webbed between the proximal joints. The soles of the hindfeet are mostly naked except for the last quarter near the heel. The rectum is flanked by a pair of scent glands, their external orifices either side of the anus, all being surrounded by a thickwalled circumanal sac. While both obsainis and akxandri conform well to this general




description, ausor\;ci


in several respects



long and narrow especially as regards the rostrum, though this last is less marked in aiiforff-i than in the others. Crossarchus belongs to the category of mongooses in which the upper carnassial is set well forward of the root of the maxillary
Skull. This

process, the cheekteeth being sharply cuspidate but not particularly sectorial.
are three premolars

points; the

There on each side, above and below. These are the essential generic remainder of the skull characters may be gathered from the description of
tspe species obsainis was from the
start assigned to Crossiuchus,


oi^ obsainis

Taxonomy. The

Cuvier simultaneously especially erected to accommodate it; but though this genus has to a large extent managed to maintain its independence there has been some tendency to identify it with Mun^os. Thomas, in his 1882 review of the mongooses considered obsainis to be congeneric with fasciams, zebra and qnmbiiiiuis. These are now regarded as belonging to Muiii<os Geoffroy & Cuvier; nevertheless he ascribed them all to Crossarchus supposing this name to antedate Munj^os, which he wTongly attributed to Gray, 1865. The complex muddle over the names Mungos and Hcrpcstcs has been referred to earlier in this work; it has been very fuUy dealt with and clarified by J. A. Allen (1924) and need not be gone into here. But since it has sometimes recently become the practice to treat the Crossarchus species as very closely allied to the banded mongoose, AIuik^os immgo, and to deal with Crossarchus cither as completely SAiionymou5 with Mungos Geoffrey & Cuvier (Hill & Carter, 1941) or as merely a subgenus


(Ellcrnian, Morrison-Scott

of it


Haynian, 1953)



be profitable to quote here

which at the same time succinctly incorporates the views of others on this matter: "The restoration o( Muiii^os to its proper place in nomenclature need not in the least disturb the stability of Crossimhiis F. Cuvicr (1835), which has, by monon'py, Crossiirchin ohsciinis F. Cuvier as its gcnor^-pe, for which and later described aUicd forms it should be retained. As thus restricted Crossiiirhiis forms a group very different from the banded mongooses for which Miiii(>cs is available and to which it should be restricted. Gray showed good judgment in separating the two groups gcnerically. Attention has recently been called to the generic distinctness of these groups by Pocock, he adopting for die banded mongooses Gray's unavailable name .4nVl<!. He also calls attention to the fict that the inclusion of the two groups luider Crossarchus was due to erroneous information concerning the structure of the anal glands. Before meeting with Pocock's paper I had become strongly impD?sscd with their incongruity and their evident generic distinctness". The two genera, especially as exemplified by C. cihsciiins and M. (^iunhiauiis, share something of a common size and appearance; and it is difficult, as a glance at the keys given herein on pp. 245 and 247 will show, to separate them, either externally or cranially, on commonly accepted morphological characters. But this is not the whole story; and, like Allen and Pocock, the present author has little hesitation m regarding them suft'iciently different animals as to justify separate generic assignment. They arc therefore so dealt with in this work. As far as internal division of Crossanliiis is concerned, oidy the three species menAllen's opinion,
bles ohscums, differing

tioned in the opening paragraph have so far been described. C. dlcxaiiilri closely resemfrom it chiefly by its markedly greater size, and it is possible
that the

tinction as

two may be conspecific. However, the present author regards the more than racial and the two are accepted herein as specifically
on the other hand,
besides being considerably smaller,

size dis-




aberrant in several
it is,

respects, notably the

shormess of the rostrum; and


at least possible that

in fact, not a true Crossarchus.

3, pt. 47,




Crossarchus ohsiuriis F. Cuvicr, 1S25, in E. Gcoffroy


Cuvicr, Histoirc Naiurcllc






Lc Mangue:



species Crossarchus ohsciirus F. Cuvier,






the Latin adjective

meaning dark or dusky, given

witli reference to the pelage colour.


Distribution and general. The name kusimanse, pronounced m three syllables sometimes spelt cusimanse, is of obscure origin. It is said to be a vernacular name even its approximate source appears to be unrecorded; and it does not seem possible but 1861. It has also to trace its use back beyond "Wood's Natural History published been used by Germ,in writers; but never by the French, who originally coined the term mangue, now confmed to the genus Miiin;os and replaced, for the animal at present imder discussion, by a simplified form of the scientific name, crossarche. The kusimanse has sometimes been referred to also as the Long-nosed mongoose; but if


such an expression


used for Crossarchiis


should, be quahficd as the lesser long-nosed
tiaso is


since the very


larger Xeuof^ak

similarly characterised



unusual length of its snout.

The kusiniansc is wholly a West African animal, ranging from Sierra Leone to lower Cameroun. The list of places from which it has been recorded is too lengthy to quote, and the fact is that it may be expected almost anywhere in the forest away from populous or much disturbed areas. It has been taken at an altitude of about 600 metres on the Cameroun Moiuitain and about looo metres on Moiuit Bintamane (Sierra Leone). It is found solely in the high forest, chiefly in the main block but occasionally in extensions of this vegetation into the contiguous grass-woodland zone; but it appears never to stray from these outhers into the grassland itself. Because it is diurnal it is rather more frequently encountered than most of the other mongooses; and when it is seen it is in some numbers since this species associates and hunts in companies. It is to be recognised in the field partly by this habit and partly by its small size, plump low-set body and dark family speckled coat, its noticeably long pink nose and its short tapering tail. It might from its size and superficial appearance be confused with the Gambian mongoose {Mwigos gambianus); but this latter, apart from having a shorter muzzle, is a species of the Guinea grass-woodland and the tw'O are therefore unlikely to be foiuid in the same sort of place. Puchased skins, however, are another matter and recourse must be had to a close examination of the pelage. Description. The kusimanse (Plate 6) is nearly the smallest of West African mongooses and has a head & body length of about 340 mm, a tail of about 170 and an adult body weight of from i to 1-5 kg. Before proceeding to the following detailed description it may be well to draw attention to the fact that some of the chief distinctions between Crofsarclius and Mun(;os rest in the character, composition and annulation pattern of the pelage; and this applies to all known species of each genus, extralimital as much as West African. It is therefore as well to get a clear grasp of the points involved. As a matter of interest, it is not difficult to distinguish between the two genera by a


single bristle-hair.



o( Cwssimlnis has mostly


rough, slightly bristly appearance, or very



erected, as

yellowish. However, commonly, between something almost black, in specimens in which the ticking is reduced to a minimum, to a heavily speckled lighter brown in young animals, or even a very red-brown in juveniles. The pelage is composed of


commonly is, in excitement. The most dark brown ticked to a very varying degree with

usual overall general

the basic colour ranges,

densely abundant, fairly long, slightly wavy, very fme imderfur, and plentiful though
scattered and very much lengthier bristle-hairs. The existence of with a specimen in the hand, the most ready, and completely certain, distinction between Crcssarclws and Mwii:;cs. It is some 17 to 19 long and carries alternating bands of dark and light colour, the basal one, occup-sing nearly half the length is dark, ranging m different specimens from chocolate to nearly black. Distally of this, and the v-isually most obvious zone when the fur is turned back is a grey, white or yellowish ring, 4 or 5 wide; and this is succeeded by a narrow black ring of about 3 and a golden tip of 2 mm, often obscure. The bristle-hairs are commonly

much more widely
dense underfur




sex ?.841.284 THE CARNIVORES OV WEST AFRICA Fig. X . Crossarchus ohsctinis: skull. No. B. 37.M. 48.

It was the appearance of these that gave rise to the generic name as explained above in the synonymy. widely separated medially. 37). It is the lengths of these gold ring of 2 to 3 three terminal zones that. This is a narrower skull than that of Mungos. that is to say laterally more compressed and basally not so deep. the remaining 6 being slightly over.os. which the median black is much shorter and the distal gold ring and slender black tip both appreciably longer. when it is complete the extreme tip is dull reddish. their orifices and the anus are surroimded by a sac remarkable for the parallel ridges of skin connecting its upper margin to the anus (Pocock. They have pale base followed mm mm in tiated from Muni. broad base. mostly. but not bushy except when the hairs are deliberately erected in anger. but though these are for the most part very conspicuous they are not always so and may. especially of the forefeet. its pink rhinarium. apparently be wholly lacking. All known West African skulls have a condylobasal length of well under 75 mm. exceed the imderfur in length. though a m mm. In 11 out of 1 7 specimens the mastoid breadth IS imdcr 41 per cent of the condylobasal length. It often. fleshy nose with not much more than half the length of head & body. except m g^ambianm. parting this from the chest. some 25 to 30 and thus occupying the greater part of the hair. clothed with long bristles and underfur in a similar maimer to the back. the The tail is short. imderfur.CROSSARCHUS some 37 or 28 to 30 38 285 specimens from some areas they may reach only by a long black zone. This latter organ is bright and keen. at least in museum specimens. exceptionally. The braincase is in every way much narrower and less voluminous than that oi Munoos. The low. Two features which influence the overall appearance of the skull are . being as a rule It is markedly tapering from a fairly claws. Skull (fig. there never being a black terminal zone as in Mungos. a long way overshooting the lower jaw. The head and face are covered with very short. Juveniles are chiefly clad in dense may be present but are relatively inconspicuous and do not. 3 4 and 37). One of the most characteristic features of the Crossarchus pelage is the presence of a pair of large whorls on the back of the neck a little posterior of the ears and crown. arc very long. The legs and feet are dark-brown or blackish. rounded ears are situated very much on the side of the head. almost without exception. very fmely speckled. the soles of the hindfeet partly hairy near the heels. bristle-hairs at first. The hair on the throat is directed forwards and there is therefore another whorl below. I9i6e). the toes are webbed between their proximal joints. seems to be broken. appreciably so. differing rather from those of MHHi[os m being more slenderly built. The underside is similar to the back but mostly somewhat more sparsely and shorter haired. the zygomatic breadth being almost always (11 out of 13) less than 53 per cent of the condylobasal length. whereas all Mungcs skulls measured are over 41 per cent. mediumbrown hair but there is a barish patch anterior to the eye. But the most noticeable feature of the head is the lengthy. enable Crosstinlius to be differen- nun long. There are two scent glands situated one on each side of the rectum. hi stance legs and rim the animal is very flat-footed and this makes the already short seem even shorter in contrast to other mongooses v/hich are clearly digitigrade. much more so visually than the measurements in the tables on pages 265 and 290 would suggest (compare figs. distally of this is a narrow subterminal and a short black tip of about 2 mm.

appreciably bigger than the lingual portion of . Accounts of the species have been published by Haig (1931.286 curiously variable: Till. providing the sexing has been correctly to little developed supraoccipital crest is present in all adult skulls. it is rarely so deeply transversely depressed as it in Ahiinios. the last regarding items of observed kusimanse behaviour in deeper perspective as elements of a general study of mammalian ethology. iifl is a well-developed tooth. including the nearly always conspicuous and sharp. anterior portion ot the bulla so that their size relationship is pretty inconstant. but its degree of development and the amoimt of inflation of the latter are both variable. without exception in posterior root of the maxillary process.' carries three cusps.ave in best developed done in the do with age or sex: only adult skulls are included. not quite so closely juxtaposed as in Muii(. tield. for cariiivora. a rather weak structure. and one old male is devoid of any sign. CARNIVCHiF. A well in 4. To judge from British Museum material both these molars retain their cuspidation to an advanced age. also lingual. Crofsairhui inhabits the rain-forest. the and Ewer (196S). Croisarchiii is one of those animals the behaviour ot which has been moderwell observed in the status of a pet but of whose life in nature little has been recorded. The postorbital processes. the range being from S<.widely separated from the short jugal processes. It has been said to prefer the banks ot streams. for the most part. relatively short. and although a similar cusp often exists in A/i/j/(.iv it is usually not quite so clearly developed. ranging at a jog-trot through the tairly dense herbaceous inidergrowth..os. In the lower That on p^ is and two abundantly and sharply cusped. fliirly evenly cusped. rather larger ones are set back and are more lateral than frontal in their positioning. However. the an oldish female. the anterior chamber is The postdcntal palate where as it is becomes parallel-sided is. one buccal.o skulls. although quite well developed. . The zygoma is is. Naimdortf first two each (1936) relating to IS known to occur in such conditions present little factual evidence to indicate and to consume water-loving animals there is at any particular preference for such sites. and is Secondly. Opinion . a sagittal crest in 7. •itely captive specimens. tor this tamily. is well adapted to an insect diet. the four inner ones form an almost straight transverse row but the two outer. are. absent from 9 skulls. This. 9 spccmicns the internrbital breadth is greater than the S it is less. CrcsSiinhiis broad.. but may in a belongs to that section of mongooses in which the posterior outer corner carnassial together of the upper with the whole of m'^ are situated anterior to the The upper incisors are compact. rudimentary or very poorly developed m and prominent is appears to h. but though it pseudonym Bushman"). y All the cheekteeth are sharply and inner heels of/)^ to /»-. The dentition as a whole has little sectorial capacity but is jaw the forward half of i.|i. The always smaller than the posterior chamber. 1112 slightly the largest. these mostly concern one specitic animal kept about the house. m comparison with those of other mongooses.S Of WEST AFRICA tirstly. in postorhital constriction. to 159 per cent. To these can be added a few disconnected notes made by various tield naturalists. about as long few cases be either slightly longer or slightly shorter. nearly always relatively short and tor the most part pretr\. The premolars are. The canines of both jaws are. under the Habits.

and it is also known that small river crabs are commonly eaten. in fact. On the other hand. consume quantities of grasshoppers and crickets. for one. and this sociabihty is not confined. Naundorff mentions worms and snails. insects and other small creatures already mentioned in nature the it would seem that kusimanse must. Durrell (1958) observed a kusimanse to secure crabs by flinging them with the forepaws from shallow water to the bank. and he also recoimts attempts to capture frogs in a similar manner unsuccessful because immediately on landing they leapt away. nevertheless. made up of parents and the surviving members of two or three litters still holding together. effecting a great deal of damage. But. T. It is presumed that these parties. Whether these assemblages are fortuitous and tcmporaiy or have some greater or less degree of permanence is quite unknown. T. other things are taken. comprising old and yoiuig specimens of both sexes. consist of one. and Haig found fruit salad. and Haig (193 1) found his tame specimen to sleep more or less peacefully from dusk to night the animals often his 9 visit dawn. to judge from the breeding note given later. The teeth are well adapted to such a diet. a large part of the food intake probably consists of insects. Jones (personal communication). two or three family imits. to be greedily taken. was also readily eaten. Yet Sanderson (1940) states positively that "at cleared land and farms in search of food". As a domestic pet CrosSiircliiis willingly accepts prepared foods such as cooked meat or chicken. observed it to be so in the forest on Bintamane Mountain. Sierra Leone. This latter is kusimanse cxliibited the widely used mongoose shell-breaking technique. In this last comiexion it is interesting to note that Naundorli 's or twenty or sometimes many more. This appears to be the only record of this not uncommon mongoose procedure in CrosSiircluis. dogs. and cooked egg was a titbit. breaking open the mud nests with a great deal of excitement. probably. It may. comprising largely orange and banana. however.CROSSARCHUS is 287 almost imaninious that the kusimansc is in nature a purely diurnal mongoose. cats and other animals. at the same rime bouncing its hindlegs oft the ground to clear them out of the ball's line of flight. Besides crabs. to the limited circle of those who regularly supply food and shelter but embraces a wide sphere of strangers. who worked in niuch the same area (upper Cameroim). using a ball. in excitement or greed but without deliberate malice. Durrell (1958). take more typical carnivore . found the stomachs which he examined to contain nothing else but crabs and insects. and apparently necessarily. That the kusimanse is a highly sociable and apparently affectionate animal is testified to by all who have experienced these charming pets. without. so distant from any food likely to occur in nature. writes of Crossarchtis as not uncommonly seen by day. Those who have had the task of feeding these mongooses and at the same time keeping them in good health know that they avidly. Sweet biscuit. of course. at least from time to time. Whether this fair contradictory observation was the outcome of night-trapping of a porportion of specimens is not clear. Sanderson (1940). occasionally bite the hand that feeds it. flinging it backwards towards a wall with its forepaws. But this latter author also records watching a solitary animal fishing for crabs companies of a dozen whereas the kusimanse is renowned for its custom of hunting m without doubt the general habit of the species. In nature.Jones (personal commiuiication) has observed that they are particidarly fond of the grubs of masonwasps. S. in captivity. S.

one of the characteristics of this species which. Hayman"s experience with the very similar eastern Congo species dlcxaiuirl is a guide these mongooses. or perhaps tones. This was doubtless part of the himt tor insects. same work described as killing a mouse by It a simple neck-bite without the addition of any dog-like shaking of the prey. nm up sloping objects whether they be with its claws is not within its capability. found acuitv of vision to be remarkable even at long distances. crevices and holes of all kinds. indeed.i Ol WIS! MUICA a tennis. At the same time they double their size by The senses in die sky. climbers. information conveyed by the nose plays a big role in the life ot the kusimanse. turning objects over if they were at all moveable. may be Generallv. Naundorft indicates that other words. too. W. given fivourahle circumstances. Captive animals answer readily to their names. kusimanses utter a good deal of bird-like twittering when exploring tor food. were distinguished and elicited response. 111 north-east Congo. was or legs. Nautidorft foimd her kusimanse to use diem much as hands. Ewer records one stalking In the small bird. Others. during its periods of activity. Ewer (1968) says that they dig with their long claws and use the snout to assist in moving the soil aside. slinking attitude of approach. Haig's kusimanse could spot a hawk distant. and a party of them on the hunt in the torest can produce quite a volume ot sound. and diis. As tor their own voices. Two eventually got away but one attained about 12 metres before it was shot trying to hide by squeezing itselt between the stout stem of the epiphyte and the tree trunk a situation in which it in fact got lodged (personal communication). Atihix. have asserted that they can climb trees appears to the present writer that such statements Crossarclnis can. using Civss. too. if her pet animal lagged behind when out walking it found its way to her more by the sound of her voice than by her scent. page 298). to climb any but low upright obstructions offering no positive footholds or other means ot support seems a matter of difliculty. and Naundorft observed that the correct friendly smell was important in producing assured relaxation. a meal is not eaten straight from a dish in the manner of a dog or cat but individual pieces are flicked out with the paws onto the floor and taken from The forefeet. tree trmiks and readily but to scale will.2SS 1111 (AHNIVOIUS . endlessly explores 'S cracks. may be able to achieve considerable heights in trees. Naiiiidorft. bolt up a big tree enrwined by a Flciis up the stems of which the mongooses climbed. This observer saw three specimens of ahwaiidri. and there was no difliculty in ciistinguishiiig between persons. Nevertheless. appear to be very sensitive and much-used structures as in some other mongooses (cf. but it a wrong impression. Li the ordinary way. if R. no matter how . and also that they arc good dierc. spiders and similar creatures commonly hiding beneath stones or rotting wood. though possibly smell played a part in diis latter. using epiphytic figs and closely clinging lianes as aids to climbing. of both sight and smell are excellent. This animal ceaselessly handled evei"ything in its path. a vertical bole like a cat human — Haig's experience. In anger thev growl. not only figuratively by coming when called but sometimes literally. by means ot a griuU. Without doubt.iiihtis is cat-like crouching. too. may well give when alarmed. Hearing. indeed. Nevertheless. too. An intense curiosity is. also. noted here that these animals drink readily in captivity. including all manner ot things m the house. is well developed.

Naundorff" never observed hers to take any steps to clean its fur yet it was always free of vermin. Li nature these glands are used for the demarcation of territory.CHOSSARCHUS erecting the 289 whole of the pelage until they take on the appearance of a very angry are for the most part very courageous and will attack strange dogs without hesitation if they deem it necessary. on nth April i960. but the very young are clothed with imderfur alone. This mongoose is a clean animal. either fluffy ball. they arc very friendly little creatures and delight ni play. at least 3 a year being possible. the female gave birth to 4 young. in the female. It is only at the age of about 6 weeks (Haig. The following information supplied by T. No one has ever described the natural nocturnal captivity the species always likes. she was accidentally This shows that in the kusimanse breeding can start at a prett)' early age. 10 months later. Ewer also mentions a simple dragging of the anus. across the floor. In cloth or to hide itself in straw. that the period of gestation may be about 10 weeks. she again produced 4 young. They beings or such other animals as will tolerate them. to breeding in this species. latter when this to with the be Both Ewer and Haig refer to this. a single published record relates to a kusimanse known to have lived in the London Zoo for about 3 killed. despite the vast discrepancy of size. and that 4 yoimg at a birth seems a likely average. shown itself to be to be covered with a intensely interested in . Haig also observed his kusimansc to react in alarm to any overhead shadow which caused it to think that a hawk was hovering in the sky. Normally. A very young pair was taken into captivity in June 1959. when 48 days later. Certainly. and their faces are not particularly long. that litters follow in rapid succession. They often invite of the head. they become extremely alarmed at any loud rustling or friendly scratcliing with human crackling soimd and at once retreat to cover. and as it has when resting. As regards length of life. according to Haig readily house-trained. and she was once more pregnant. shelter or the breeding home of CrosSiirchiis. The found it to be comiectcd soimd and smell of grassland bushiires. Crossimhiis being one of several mongooses that for some unknown reason scent-mark objects well above normal nose level by standing on their hands and pressing the anal pouch against objects thus brought within reach. and quite young specimens in December and January. 73 days after this. legs. 193 1) that the nose starts to assume its fmal remarkable length and that the bristlehairs lengthen and begin to dominate the pelage. If breeding in the wild is as continuous as it would seem to be in captivity' there can be little choice of season. There is a curious exception to their normal fearlessness. in nature. however. 4i years. a rain-forest dweller where no such occur. armpits or belly. British Museum specimens give no clear indication of a preferred time of the year: juveniles have been taken in West Africa during April and August. From time to time it suffered from an inconvenient smell owing to exudation from the anal glands. on loth August i960. There appear to be no published records relatmg S. Of the state at birth nothing is known. Jones is therefore of considerable interest. and estimated at about weeks from term. and one might reasonably suppose travelhng with his mongoose in relevant zones a logical general explanation but for the fact that Crossarchiis fires is. on 23rd June i960.

290 THE CARNIVORES OF WEST AIRICA Tjblc i6: Numerical data tor Crosiarilim oh.vurus .

Atilax is widely spread in Africa south of the Sahara. Durrell's lone crab-fisher. of course. however. of course. must surely by now have attracted her time arrives. been recorded. but in a fast and frequently breeding society the wastage must necessarily. and. in fact. states it to be the only viverrid known to be a good swimmer. indeed. ATILAX Aliltix F. The drawing of racial distinction is therefore considered neither possible nor desirable upon present evidence. with the prefix a denoting without. Cuvier. Cuvier Marsh Mongooses Cuvier. but it is almost certainly to be fomid where there is adequate permanent water and vegetation of sufficient density to afford secure cover. southwards to the Cape. Gcoffroy & F. Distribution and general. form the nucleus of a new party by the interbreeding of her yoimg or the crossing of the mother again by one Alternatively. and in Asia the otter-civet (Cyijoijiilc). though such a congregation attention to itself. be high. The marsh mongoose. in E. Aniils Sci. constitutes an infallible external means of recognition. but there are. dealt with below in the taxonomic section. and in localities in which these conditions arc well met it may even be regarded correct — as common. Type species the "Vansirc" of F. 1826. may well have been such a mother whose litter had fallen victims to predators. possibly more closely associated with water than is any other species. Histoire Naturelle des Mammifcrcs . Taylor (1970). given in the mistaken supposition that this mongoose lacked the usual anal pocket enclosing scent glands. 1S37.ATILAX or 291 community has. from Senegal or Portuguese Guinea in the west.. a gravid female. from present material. might be left by a nomadic pack to fend for herself and. and this is so for the region covered by this present work. Atilax is today one of the few mongooses about whose generic independence and identit)' there is no dispute. thus. The name is derived from the Greek thyhx a pouch. when of her offspring. if successful. text on the "Vansire": 2. . in point of fact. F. but such distinctions do not. as these names imply. Taxonomy. nat. very considerable variation exists within a single region as may be seen amongst skins from Cameromi. The position is complex and is referred to below in the taxononiic section. elsewhere in Africa the aquatic civet [Oshoniictis). Correction of the spelling of the above in accordance with its etymology. Cuvier Hcrpcstcs palndinosns G. and Ethiopia in the east. mentioned earlier. Athylax Blainville. hi spite of early confusion and doubt regarding its naming and identity. as it has in the case o( Alnni^os and Lyaion (pages 256 and 88). part 54. It is. frequently also called the water mongoose is. Such a system might well lead more often to failure than to success. seem to be in any settled way connected with localities or other factors. not of equal distribution throughout this extensive range. . Yet it belies all expectation that might logically arise from this fact in being the only one of its kind to lack any sign of webbing between the toes a character which. There arc very clear differences of colour and of the degree of speckling between specimens. Cuvier. . 8: 272.

Fortunately. 1777. Reference has already been made above to the fact that the early history of the name . Deriva- . Madag. in reference to the animal's habit while foraging in the water. arc of no particular concern to this work.\//c. J. of species no serious challenge has been made. Ri}<iic tion of the reputed vernacular HirpeitespaluJinosHsG. text 3: is 493.iscar. Li'iii/. etc. Zimmermann. Atihix. the two Cuviers. iHWi^-shin-. m Schreber. to the monospecific nature of the genus though Gray (1865a) proposed rohnstus from the White Nile and was followed in this by J. Regarded probably given with leferencc to the A/iii(i/a voaii(. has been ruled an unavailable Zimmennann. and refers to the habitat. Allen's conclusions can be thankfully accepted and i5\' there seems no virtue in ever raking over this troubled soil again. S/'hi/hcii zoolc^iac uath lia 135. Cuvier. skull. Mustchi. . . Allen (1924) who at the same time described maavdoii from the eastern Congo. . ra». generic description. Schreber. Mongoose Die Sini^ciliicrc in AblnldHn(. Allen. the uniquely unwcbbed toes. ch\^ai:s. cither of morphology or habits. if all early classic It would be a fortunate thing for mammalian taxonomy genera and species could be so satisfactorily and conclusively pin-pointed. paludiiiosiis. :ivl.-lf/7. The specific derived trom the Latin pains.: 487. The name jjn/tm Latin for helmet.J. .v and the precise animal to which it was intended to refer was subject to some doubt. Maii(. as to render its identit)' quite luimistakable. 305. Supplement. A. 1: 15S.-shire as unidentifiable (J. It was part and parcel of the vexed question of the identity of an animal known in early literature as the "Vansire" and variously described and referred to a complex mixture of different teclmical names by a number of early naturalists. and that the Vansire of Button in the process of describing that animal the last audior proposed the genus Aiilix which. 1777.usta urinatri. though in point of fact ineptly named from a supposed character that had no validity. Ciilidiais. or long sustained. 1950. being extralimital. and possibly more. including Bufton. . is luicalled for. Hanii^alidia.\ A. Cape of Good Hope. Daubenton. Taxonomy. South Africa. A. Galidia.. ATILAX PALUDINOSUS Miistcia \. Smith. Allen boiled all this down to die virtual certainty that Daubenton (1765) was not that of F. 4: 437.292 THE CARNIVORES OE WEST AfRICA named. 1776. Flacourt.. name is Hcrpeshs atilax Wagner. This specific name is the teminine form of the Latin uriiiator a diver. AJlen (1924) cleared the matter up and going over the whole ground again and making more than a there is no point passing reference to it here. . but today the genus is Dirtcrcnt species have troni time to time been sally luuver- held to be monospecific. 4: 547).aleia SchrcLicr. This being the case. 1924). 1829. (G. Zocl. work {Bull. A. cd. Cuvier) Wilin . Die Saugetliiere tion ot this name is given under the genus. was sufficiently described m another.'. Noiii. but they are today usually regarded as nothing more Li the matter than two of the ten local races so far described. uriiiairix sjiilcri. the two Gcolfroys and others. South Africa. Erxlebcn. These. Cuvier (1826). pahidis a marsh. 1829. Le Animal . 1841.. 2. This specific name is a transliteraname. JMarsh pi. Hcrpcslcs.i. three or four pages SdhiHoia. 2. MdWiiiistci. The animal was alternatively held to inhabit Madagascar or various parts of the African continent: the names involved were I'lVcrw. all matters relevant to these being contained in the account o( piilniiinosiis which follows. The question was of sufficient complexity to take Allen m of closely packed fact and reasoned argument. 1778.

Lond. The most commonly used English name. A. 1940. without any specified place. gencrale. not uncommon at that period. and this may possibly be correct or it may be nothing more than a loose gencrahzation. Cuvier. and from a wider range of locahries. It does not matter whether that vegetation is of the forest. the animal Table name of whose exact identity gave rise to so much confusion as explained above. There seems basically little reason why this animal should not be encountered over a much wider range of countr)' than that from which it is at present recorded since rivers or lakes with bordering vegetation are common features of all but the most arid zones and even here sometimes there are dense marshes. Atilax paludinosus giiitieeiis i s Monard. in which forest river fringes commonly exist. in fact. the marsh mongoose is known to be common. in the rain-forest and Guinea woodland. however. Proc. There are more West African specimens of this mongoose in the Museum than of almost any other species. Dabocrom and River was the Greek god of the underworld. II: 198-201. for somewhere on the western coast of Africa. an interested observer. but this is not to say that this mongoose does not occur in the drier zones of vegetation. However. blackish appearance of the animal. Pluto siir la cote de Giii'ik': 95-96. Li so far as the tcrntory covered by this book is concerned there is an early specimen (1863) labelled as coming from Senegal. This Cuvier. The Latin adjective pahidosiis means marshy and refers to the annnal's habitat. fishing. botli Ghana. Hopson. the name was thus intended to indicate the entirely sombre. Esqiiissfs zoologiqiies Boutr)'. commonly inhabits Acacia country-. marsh mongoose. Riverine vegetation is. British for extralimitall)' the species for the habitat for di\Tng. There are in the former zone also extensive areas of freshwater swamp and of mangrove swamp. shrub and herb. The basic criterion suitable would seem to be the existence of adequate permanent water bordered by sufEciently dense vegetation to afford safe cover. a well-kiiown species from a wide variety of locahties from 12 or 14 degrees north southwards to the Cape. 3. 1865. one important factor that has had a great influence on the actual present day distribution of this mongoose. All in the British Museum are from the closed-forest belt or the contiguous Guinea woodland. zool. Portuguese Guinea Distribution. Thence it is known from ever). and there seems httle point in recording all the names of the many places at which it has been taken. 1842. J. Hisloire NauireUc dcs Mannniferes. There is. in the latter of which. for 1864: 557. Geoffroy is the reputed vernacular & F. type or close grass and reeds with no backing but fairly open country behind it. for one reason or another.ATILAX Alilax vaiisire F. The requisite conditions are undoubtedly of most frequent occurrence. 293 etc. swimming and — u . However. Bocage. in West Africa. Catio.West African country to Cameroon. must not be taken too literally but only as implying the sort of waterside habitat that may or may not be subject to some degree of inimdation. The Marsh Mongoose is. Soc. in E. states (in a private communication) that in 7 years on Lake Chad he neither saw it nor heard of any record of its occurrence there. despite the impromising brackish nature of the water. This is probably a good measure of its relative abundance on the ground not only in West Africa but as regards the continent as a whole. Aihylax paluJosiis Gray. Hcrpesh's pliito Temminck. Arches Mus. Cape of Good Hope. 1853. the species is defmitely recorded from as far west as Portuguese Guinea.

v. but any banding on them is irregular m situation and often obscure. with strong but not exceptionally long claws. arc by contrast notable for a series of three very clear. not clearly differentiated from die body. The underfur is similar in colouring to die . . rounded mongoose form. tapering to a narrow base and of flat oval section. die rhinarium broad and black with a furrow down its front face that is continued below as a naked strip parting the upper lips. the hairs on die throat are directed forwards. The tail. The pelage ot AtiLix is long. almost black. a little less in size than any ot them. but this is not so. especially the last. on the other hand. The ears are of the usual low. well developed.1 mm mm back but a shade paler. It will 2 be seen. set well on the side of the head below the crown and rather obscured by a thick growth ot hair in tront of diem.294 pi'culi. moderately long (about 15 mm) miderfur and bristle-hairs.-liile 111 others there are indistinct wliite rings. the feet themselves all s-toed. pioiic to dL'structioii. in point of fict. though abiuidant. It is usually described as wholly "black" mongoose. ranking with Ilciihiiti. sinuous. narrow and inconspicuous. and there is mostly a relatively bare area around the eye. dien. in West Africa. These. a ditiiculty dealt wuh under that species. diat it is not practicable to give any general description that might not be misleading ot a coat that shows so many degrees of variation.irly '"' cAi!Nivoiu. and it is long-haired throughout but there is no terminal tuft. at least 111 West Africa. Atilax (l*late 7) is one of the group of larger mongooses. \n luinian and especially The enonnoiis increase population and the concomitant agriculture that has taken place in the past three-quarters ot a century has resulted. in the complete disappearance of vast areas ot potential shelter for AliLix. though. completely unwebbed. or it may be a medium-brown and heavily speckled. and it can be said with considerable certainty that the occurrence of this genus in the drier woodland 7cines is today very much more restricted than it was tifty years ago. the folds of skin surrounding and enclosing the scent glands and anus being. broad. the two lower ones v/hitish-yellow. that is to say of a very intense brown. The soles are wholly naked around the pads. pale. the muzzle not very long. 32 to 40 long. do not always conceal the imderfur. to a narrow tip. diat is not more than about broad. except to say that the impression is mostly of a very dark animal. alone of all mongooses. widely separated rings. Ithnciiiiiiii. Description. in fact. a considerable degree ot colour variation and die pelage sometimes assumes a rich reddish-brown. which is roughly two-thirds of the jiead & body length.s or wist aiuica tor die pturpose ot cultivation. Some. The glands are situated one cMi each side of the rectal orifice. It is composed ot dense. but though this is its most connnon appearance dicre is. the name Alilax was given 111 the belief that this genus was imfurnished with any glandular anal sac. The crov/11 and clieeks arc usually fuiely speckled. Xfiioi^iilv and Galcrifciis. the subterminal one orange. These are all narrow. tapers evenly from a broad base. The head o( Atihix is wide. tine. hi some specimens the bristle-hairs may be wholly dark. In its normal dark form the animal can verv easily be confused with AV»(\'ii/c' ihiso. which impart a "ticked" etfect to die whole dorsal pelage. and notable as being. As explained previously. and in die hindfoot this nakedness is continued posteriorly to the heel. glossy and tairly harsh. The short legs and feet are of much the same tone as the back or a little darker. They have a longish pale-brown basal region.

The anterior chamber of the bulla is small and flat. from about Both upper and lower incisors arc set in compact. the posterior chamber very much larger. flange-like supraoccipital There is always a short posterior section of sagittal crest joining this a T. but they are little or no smaller than the corresponding teeth in genera characterised as habitually possessing 4.It is true that the "extra" pre- molars arc always very small. It is mostly better in the males than females: in existing British Museum material it is crest. and occasionally completely. m^ is. their posterior faces. in its anterior half. sometimes not. The zygomata are strong. but they are neither so large nor so straight as those o{ Giilcrisciis. j^j. The braincase is narrow ovoid with a well-developed. hi the mandible the caiuncs are much more curved than in the upper jaw. --. iii- is small but not ver\- the lingual section of »|i and is however. jj2. and in consequence the whole of i»i lies behind this point. a very occasional exception to this. three pyramidal cusps. cuspcd on canines are rather compressed from side to side and and posteriorly with sharp knife edges. the exceptions being. The upper are furnished anteriorly One of arc y. sometimes broadened in the middle section. but development of die former over the main body of the cranium is variable. There as in several other genera. that the rule. and in fully mature skulls the nasal sutures almost entirely disappear by fusion. The posterior outer corner of/)'* is situated very close to the point where the posterior outer corner of the maxillary root of the zygoma arises. in 5 they are j. seemingly. But in 26 it is Museum West African. the rostrum short. the tooth being of reduced size. the outer ones. meet the jugal processes to form an orbital ring. varying in extent 5 to 50 per cent more. in unworn teeth. mostly fully adult. in one other and in a juvenile 5. Wliile it is clear that the anterior premolars in Aiilax are on the way out it is obviously misleading in West Africa to state that the cheekteeth are j^. The postdental palate is obviously longer than it is broad mostly from about 30 to 50 per cent but occasionally rather less. hi only one case out of 21 measurements is the interorbital breadth very slightly less than the postorbital constriction. 38). rather pear-shaped. especially in the upper series. mi has. blunt and broad. not with the external one clearly the highest it is transversely somewhat wider than is. British the standard characters generally given for Atilax this is is that the premolars and so in nearly all southern and eastern African specimens. the zygo- matic breadth amounting on the average to some 58 per cent of the condylobasal length. The postorbital processes are long and sharp. m pronoiuiced in 3 and low in 6 males. a large tooth. being appreciably larger than the inner. 295 This is amongst the broadest of West African mongooses. and not infrequently nearly. though mmutely. are clearly. well inflated. The frontal region is broad and slightly inflated. it is mostly markedly greater. equilaterally set and all very nearly the same height. All the upper ones. appreciably is com- moner than small. practically straight transverse rows. . The remaining 4 cases arc more complex. subequal to this in bulk. the lower jn jaw having a differing number of premolars on either side: they arc 'I'^d jij. slight or very slight in 5 fenialcs and rudimentarv' 111 4. in 6 other skulls these teeth arc 4. skulls true in only 9 cases.ATILAX Skull (tig.. nearly as large as /)''.

B. CARNIVOIUS or WEST AIRICA Fig.1. No. T3. Anla\ paliuihnmir.1. •kiill.296 Tlir.4.M. 3S. ^^ x .

Taylor (1970) describes it as swimming by lateral undulations of the body with the back partly exposed. too. diggmg out and avidly consuming its eggs. Lombard (1958) observed AtiLix to break mussels open deadliest enemies Several kinds . Certainly when disturbed on land it makes off towards the nearest water and. it IS for the most part. softer-shelled varieties does not appear to but whether Atilax can satisfactorily deal with any but the have been adequately shown. hi actual fact. the one with nuts. and because it is so little seen it has the reputation of being entirely nocturnal. goose for : 297 Somcthmg has already been said of the water-hauiiting habits ot this as well as mon- it dives and swims almost it is some distance. reptiles such as lizards. although it may be active on bright moonlit nights. It is of interest to note that nuts meant nothing to this second mongoose which made no attempt to open them as the other specimen had. the other with snails that had withdrawn into their shells. plunges in. crepuscular rather than nocturnal and almost certainly carries out the majority of its foraging and feeding in the early morning and late evening. smaller. others that it raises a family in a burrow in the banks of a stream. small rodents. Whether Atihx is one of these docs not seem to have been recorded. Because of the hidden life it leads amongst dense waterside vegetation htde is knowm of its daOy habits. Except when actually bringmg up a family the marsh mongoose lives smgly or sometimes in pairs. Crabs. Stevenson-Hamilton (1947) rates this mongoose with the monitor lizard as the of the crocodile. Steinbacher (1939 and 1951) describes how two separate captive specimens dealt with food problems in this \\-ay. It is sometimes to be seen trotting along a path or a motor road at midday. some say that it makes a nest amongst the reeds. as Lombard (1958) has pointed out. Yet. There is nothing from which any particular breeding season can be inferred in West Africa. of mongoose have been observed to crack eggs or similar shelled objects by hurtling them with the forefeet forcibly backwards between the arched hindlegs against a rock or other resistcnt body. in spite of all this. stretches up and then flings them to the ground with great force is well authenticated. Little or nothing that is defmite is known of the breeding habits of this mongoose. To all this can be added an at least occasional diet of small birds and eggs. but hunters in the Cross River forests insisted to Gerald Durrell that it consisted of only a single baby (personal communication). a large number of insects of various though Lombard doubts whether it has the specimens of these last and thinks it probably confines its attention to smaller fry in shallow water. but that it takes objects in its forepaws. are always cited as one of the kinds. The food consists of frogs (these have been taken from the stomach of a Nigerian specimen). if still pursued. observers have from time to time reported Atihix from dry^ country at some distance from the nearest river. He observed a specimen to remain submerged for 15 seconds. Snails that were fully exposed were bitten into directly. an otter and will travel below the surface said that when alarmed it will remain for a long period completely submerged except for its nostrils. fresh-water mussels and fish — ability to capture large staple articles of diet. and states that the fur becomes completely wet.ATILAX Habits. There are said to be two in a litter. Indeed. the nests of reedhaunting species such as rails and others must almost certainly be raided as opportunity offers.

it is the subject of a widely spread fable that must be mentioned here. he provides a rare record of a pet marsh mongoose having of its own free will on two separate occasions attacked and killed snakes. h may take eggs it they are readily available. in a water-haunting animal which lives mostly on small prey. affords positive footholds difficult to equal in nature. at least occasionally. The normal on land of the marsh mongoose is a . When pleased it makes a purring sound. when alarmed or displeased it growls. The story is the more intriguing in the light of the literal implication of the generic name AtiLix and offers an amusing comparison between the powers of observation of African field naturalists and European study mammalogists. and being used more dehberately for demarcation purposes by being pressed against key boundary marks. trusting enougli to invite head scratching from complete strangers. Having scent glands it has. as they so often are