Bat-eared Fox - Otocyon megalotis

• Hedgehog - Atelerix frontalis • Bushbabies - Lorisidae • Greater cane rat - Thryonomys swinderianus • Baboons and Monkeys - Cercopithecidae • Pangolin - Manis temminckii • Antbear - Orycteropus afer • Hares - Leporidae • Squirrels - Sciuridae • Spring Hare - Pedietes capensis • Porcupine - Hystrix africaeausralis • Jackals and Foxes - Canidae • Weasels, Polecats, Badgers and Otters - Mustelidae • Civets, Suricates, Genets and Mongooses - Viveridae • Haenas - Hayenidae • Cats - Felidae • Hyraxes - Procaviidae • Pigs - Suidae • Antelope - Bovidae • Rhinocerus - Rhinocerotidae • Zebras - Equidae • Hippopotamus - Hippopotamus amphibius • Giraffe - Giraffa cameloperdalis • Elephant - Loxodonata africana •

Wild Dog - Lycaon Pictus | Cape Fox - Vulpes chama | Black-backed Jackal - Canis mesomelas | Bat-eared Fox - Otocyon megalotis | Side-striped Jackal - Canis adustus


File:Bat eared fox Kenya crop.jpg
Afrikaans Bakoorvos Tswana Thlose Shona Gava 



Contains insect exoskeletons.
Deposited in middens

Unusual features/differences from similar animals

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 other.


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.


Safari Media Africa/C.A. Mitchell 2000-2012

Developed by