Unusual features/differences from similar
The ears are
very large and brown on the back.
Visible Male/Female Differences
Females are slightly heavier than the males.
Habitat and Distribution
The main habitat requirement is the presence of harvester termites, which make
up a large part of the diet. Short grassland, grassland with bare ground, open woodland
with sparse ground cover. Overgrazing improves the habitat for bat-eared
foxes by increasing the number of termites
Termites, small rodents, insects, scorpions, sun spiders, reptiles, small birds and fruit. Frequently eats small amounts of green
grass aid digestion. Does not kill farm stock.
Litters of 4-6 are produced after a gestation of 60 days in October and November. Birth weight 1-1,5 kg.
Pups are weaned at four weeks and are
full-grown at four months. Bat-eared foxes are killed by leopards, brown hyenas and large raptors.
Behavior and Habits
Bat-eared foxes feed in groups and are active during the day in winter and at
during night in summer. They rest during the heat of the day in summer and at night in winter.
Own dens are dug or abandoned aardvark or
springhare holes are used.
They cast around in a circular fashion
and pinpoint prey with their superb sense of hearing and smell. Underground prey is located by holding the
ears close to the ground and is then is dug up with the front paws. Large insects are
crushed with rapid bites. Small rodents are bitten in the
head and swallowed in large chunks. Bat-eared foxes mate for life. They forage individually for scattered prey and in pairs or threes for concentrated prey
but family groups of a pair with up to four pups can be seen. Both take
responsibility for the pups' welfare. Bat-eared
foxes are very playful, often playing with stones, sticks, feathers or with each
The alarm signal is a soft
growl. Cubs in distress call their parents with a loud, shrill chattering.
Dung and Field sign
Narrow holes dug for underground larvae.
Droppings are 2 cm thick, tapered at the ends, deposited in middens and nearly
always contain insect fragments and sometimes fruit pips or vertebrate remains.