Unusual features/differences from similar
There are large dark brown to black
spots on the back. The small-spotted genet
has small spots. The tip of the tail is black whereas the
small-spotted genet has a
white-tipped tail. The chin is white but is dark brown to black in small-spotted genet. The legs are white or
cream whereas the small-spotted
genet has black legs. The middle of the back has a strip of long, black hair
that the genet can erect when alarmed, smaller that the crest of of a
small-spotted genet. The shape
and locations of the spots are like fingerprints, uniquely identifying each
Visible Male/Female Differences
Males are slightly larger than females. Females have two pairs of
nipples on the belly.
Habitat and Distribution
The large-spotted genet prefers dense forest close to water.
Eats insects, small mammals, birds, frogs and fruit. Often raids
poultry pens at night.
Up to 5 kittens are born
in a hole or
leaf nest during August-March after a gestation of 70
eyes open at 10 days. Kittens take solid food at 6 weeks and hunts at 11-18
weeks. At 6 months they catch and kill for themselves. They are fully-grown with adult teeth at 1 year.
Behavior and Habits
It is active only at night and hides in a shelter during
the day. The large-spotted genet is most active about two hours after sunset to
1am. It is an accomplished climber but will forage and hunt on the ground.
Territory is scent-marked with anal gland secretion which remains smelly for a
long time. When hunting, it uses a typical cat-like stalk with a pounce and kill-bite
to the neck. Forages on the ground
but is a very agile climber and climbs into trees when threatened. Hunts
employing classical feline stalk, rushing and
pouncing. Home ranges are 50-100 ha. Scent marks with urine and anal gland
secretion, which has a musky odour.
Seven vocal signals are used including coughs, hisses purrs and growls.
Dung and Field sign
Droppings are normally cylindrical and can be up to 5 cm long and 1 cm
thick and contains insect fragments and small mammal remains. Droppings are deposited at conspicuous latrine sites. Scent-marks emit a musky odor.