Bat eared fox (Otocyon megalotis)

Conservation Status

Least Concern (LC)

Physical Description

The bat-eared fox’s name comes from its enormous ears which can be 115-135 mm long. The body is generally yellow-brown, the throat and underparts pale, the ears, face-mask, lower legs, feet and tail tip are black. The legs are relatively short.
Weight 3 - 5kg
Size 460 - 660mm
Lifespan (wild) Unknown
Lifespan (captivity) 14 years


Social and Reproduction

Highly social animals they often live in family groups consisting of an adult mated pair and their young. In southern Africa home ranges can overlap extensively with very little territorial marking.

They are mainly nocturnal during hot summer months but during cooler winter time are often active during the day.

Mating System Monogamy
Breeding interval annual/once per year
Breeding season September to November
Gestation 60 - 70 days
Number of offspring 2 - 6; young are weaned after 3-4 months after which they begin to forage with parents.

Habitat and Food


Found in arid grasslands and savannas, preferring areas where the grass is short. Capable diggers they live in dens dug either by themselves or left by other animals such as aardvarks. Dens have multiple entrances and chambers and several metres of tunnels. A family may have several dens in its home range.


Primarily consists of insects and other arthropods, occasionally small rodents, lizards, eggs and chicks of birds and plant matter. The Harvester termite and dung beetles can make up 80% of its diet. They obtain much of their water from the body fluids of their insect prey.


Any carnivore jackal or larger and birds of prey such as eagles. Diurnal birds of prey represent the greatest threat for the young.

Conservation Challenges

Have been hunted for their fur. Drought and use of pesticides which can harm prey populations.

However no major threats to bat-eared fox populations.

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Bat eared fox at Naankuse sites