Bat-eared Fox (Otocyon megalotis)


Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family:    Canidae
Size:    Length: 18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm)  Tail: 9 to 13 inches (22 to 33 cm)
Weight: 6 to 11 pounds (2.72 to 4.9 kg)
Diet: Insects, small rodents and reptiles, fruit, plants
Distribution: Africa
Young:  Two to five pups
Animal Predators:  Jackals, leopards, hyenas, birds of prey and domestic dogs
IUCN Status: No special status
Terms: Young: Cub
Lifespan: Up to 14 years 



·       The bat-eared fox is also called the big-eared fox, black-eared fox or Delalande's fox.

·       With 48 teeth, the bated-eared fox has six more than any other member of the dog family.

·       Their large ears help heat to escape their bodies during extremely warm weather.

·       Bat-eared foxes are curious animals that are drawn to humans to watch their activities.



Bat-eared foxes have extremely large, pointed ears and a short, narrow mouth, making their faces seem similar to that of a bat. They have yellowish-brown fur and a black face with a grey forehead. 



Because bat-eared foxes are so small, they are very vulnerable to predators and have underground dens where they live and into which they can escape if needed. Bat-eared foxes live in two separate regions of Africa. One is the southwestern tip of Africa, including South Africa, Namibia, southern Angola and western Botswana. The other runs from Ethiopia through Kenya to Tanzania. They live in arid and open ground and it is believed that they once extended much farther eastward, even into India.


Feeding Habits

These foxes are unique—rather than hunt mammals like other members of the dog family, their diets are mostly made up of insects. Their large ears provide them with excellent hearing and they can detect insects beneath the soil and dig them up. The main diet of bat-eared foxes consists of termites, beetles and grasshoppers, but also includes small rodents and reptiles, as well as fruit and various plants. They are able to go for long periods without drinking, but will drink regularly if a water source is available.



Males and females form lifelong bonds. The female gives birth to her cubs in the den 60 to 75 days after mating. Both parents take care of the cubs. The youngsters nurse for up to 15 weeks, but may be weaned in as few as five weeks. They begin to eat insects when they are one month old. By the time they are four to six months old, they have grown to full adult size, but remain with their parents for approximately a year. 



Bat-eared foxes live in small family groups of three to six foxes (a couple and their offspring). They are nocturnal, usually hunting at night when the air is cooler, but are occasionally seen during the day. 



Bat-eared foxes are not a conservation concern at this time. 



Bat-eared Fox Wildlife Fact File, IM Pub, US