Small Spotted Genet (Genetta genetta)

Conservation Status

Least Concern (LC)

Physical Description

Elongated body with short legs; white ringed tail which is the same length as the head and body; spotted body with dark central dorsal band from shoulders to base of tail; pointed muzzle; round erect ears; body mostly white/grey with dark brown/black/rust coloured spots – depending on area.
Weight 1.5 - 2.6 kg
Size body length of 86 - 100 cm; tail length of 40 - 50 cm
Lifespan (wild) 8 years
Lifespan (captivity) +- 20 years


Mainly nocturnal; great climbers but hunts on the ground; Mostly solitary, pairs are mostly seen during mating; lies up in trees during daytime, but more common in holes in the ground and rocky refuges; Less arboreal than the Large Spotted Genet; Emit heavy musky odor when under stress.

Social and Reproduction

Mostly solitary

Mating System Monogamy
Breeding interval
Breeding season Warm, wet summer months from September to March; generally once a year.
Gestation 70 days
Number of offspring 2 - 4 young

Habitat and Food


Wide habitat tolerance, from desert margins to high rainfall areas; Woodland Savanna, Dry grassland, habitat requirements included shrubs, underbush, rocky outcrops which they use as shelters.


Omnivorous – feeding mostly on insects, mice, birds and small reptiles. Fruits sometimes play a secondary role. Can be problematic in areas where there is poultry.


Owls, leopards, pythons, humans

Conservation Challenges

Habitat loss, hunted by man for skin and medicinal values in some cultures

Naankuse Solutions

EDUCATION!! Rehabilitation; Reintroduction


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Small Spotted Genet at Naankuse sites