The Cape genet (Genetta tigrina ), also known as the South African large-spotted genet, is a genet species endemic to South Africa. As it is common and not threatened, it is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List.Like other genets, it is nocturnal and arboreal, preferring to live in the riparian zones of forests, as long as these are not marshy areas.
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal",...
An omnivore is an animal that has the ability to eat and survive on both plant and animal matter. Obtaining energy and nutrients from plant and ani...
Terrestrial animals are animals that live predominantly or entirely on land (e.g., cats, ants, snails), as compared with aquatic animals, which liv...
Arboreal locomotion is the locomotion of animals in trees. In habitats in which trees are present, animals have evolved to move in them. Some anima...
Altricial animals are those species whose newly hatched or born young are relatively immobile. They lack hair or down, are not able to obtain food ...
A territory is a sociographical area that which an animal consistently defends against the conspecific competition (or, occasionally, against anima...
Among animals, viviparity is the development of the embryo inside the body of the parent. The term 'viviparity' and its adjective form 'viviparous'...
NoNot a migrant
Animals that do not make seasonal movements and stay in their native home ranges all year round are called not migrants or residents.
The Cape genet is a nocturnal cat-like carnivore native to South Africa. It is ash grey in color with brown irregular spots and a black stripe along the spine. Its muzzle is white, and it has white spots below the eye. Its ears are grey. Its tail is black and white banded with a black tip. Some individuals living in moist areas are darker than individuals from drier areas. Cape genets differ from other genets by a short dorsal crest and poorly spotted hind legs, which are dark at the back.
Cape genets occur in South Africa and Lesotho border. They live in moist environments near streams, rivers, and standing water, in lowland and mountain fynbos, where vegetation cover is high. In some areas of their range, they can be found in shrubland, open grasslands, pine plantations, and urban areas.
Cape genets are solitary, and active mostly at night. During the day, they rest in large trees high above the ground, rock overhangs, and caves. They are both terrestrial and arboreal, but hunt and feed on the ground. Cape genets are not territorial animals but they have home ranges that are often defended by males. They communicate with each other by depositing a secretion from their scent gland and regularly mark areas in this way. If disturbed Cape genets may arch their back and erect their fur but if feeling threatened, they will run to the nearest cover.
Cape genets are omnivores. They feed mostly on rodents but also seeds, fruits, leaves, and grass, as well as beetles, grasshoppers, crickets, locusts, termites, and occasionally birds. They also catch and feed on insects, spiders, scorpions, and scavenge fish on the beach.
Cape genets breed during the warm summer months. Females usually make nests in hollow trees, in holes, or among boulders. After the gestation period of 70-77 days, they give birth to 2-3 young which weigh around 70 g at birth. Baby genets open their eyes 10 days after birth and their canine teeth breakthrough at the age of 4 weeks. They are weaned at about 2.5 months and start to hunt on their own when they are 7 months old. Female Cape genets become reproductively mature and start to reproduce at the age of 2 years.
Cape genets face no major threats at present. However, as they sometimes kill poultry, they are killed in retaliation by farmers and sometimes become victims of collisions with motor vehicles.
The IUCN Red List and other sources don’t provide the number of the Cape genet total population size. Currently, this species is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List and its numbers today are stable.
Cape genets help control populations of various invertebrates they feed on, and may also disperse seeds throughout their ecosystem.
The Cape genet is one of the mammalian species kept as an exotic pet.