African civet

The African civet (/ˈsɪvɪt/; Civettictis civetta) is a large viverrid native to sub-Saharan Africa, where it is considered common and widely distributed in woodlands and secondary forests. It is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2008. In some countries, it is threatened by hunting, and wild-caught individuals are kept for producing civetone for the perfume industry.[1]

The African civet is primarily nocturnal and spends the day sleeping in dense vegetation, but wakes up at sunset. It is a solitary mammal with a unique coloration: the black and white stripes and blotches covering its coarse pelage are an effective cryptic pattern. The black bands surrounding its eyes closely resemble those of the raccoon. Other distinguishing features are its disproportionately large hindquarters and its erectile dorsal crest. It is an omnivorous generalist, preying on small vertebrates, invertebrates, eggs, carrion, and vegetable matter. It is capable of killing venomous invertebrates and snakes. Prey is primarily detected by smell and sound rather than by sight. It is the sole member of its genus.[3]

African civet
Civettictis civetta 11
African civet
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Family:
Subfamily:
Genus:
Civettictis

Pocock, 1915
Species:
C. civetta
Binomial name
Civettictis civetta[2]
(Schreber, 1776)
Subspecies

C. c. civetta (Schreber, 1776)
C. c. congica Cabrera, 1929
C. c. schwarzi Cabrera, 1929
C. c. australis Lundholm, 1955
C. c. volkmanni Lundholm, 1955
C. c. pauli Kock, Künzel and Rayaleh, 2000

African Civet area
Range of the African civet
Synonyms[2]

Taxonomy and evolution

Viverra civetta was the scientific name introduced in 1776 by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber when he described African civets based on previous descriptions and accounts.[4] Schreber is therefore considered the binomial authority.[2] In 1915, Reginald Innes Pocock described the structural differences between feet of African and large Indian civet (Viverra zibetha) specimens in the zoological collection of the Natural History Museum, London. Because of marked differences, he proposed Civettictis as a new genus, with C. civetta as only species.[5] The following subspecies were proposed in the 20th century:

A 1969 study noted that this civet showed enough differences from the rest of the viverrines in terms of dentition to be classified under its own genus.[9]

Evolution

A 2006 phylogenetic study showed that the African civet is closely related to the genus Viverra. It was estimated that the Civettictis-Viverra clade diverged from Viverricula around 16.2 Mya; the African civet split from Viverra 12.3 Mya. The authors suggested that the subfamily Viverrinae should be bifurcated into Genettinae (Poiana and Genetta) and Viverrinae (Civettictis, Viverra and Viverricula). The following cladogram is based on this study.[10]

Small Indian civet (Viverricula indica)

African civet (Civettictis civetta)

Viverra

Large Indian civet (Viverra zibetha)

Large-spotted civet (V. megaspila)

Malayan civet (V. tangalunga)

Genetta

Poiana

Etymology

The generic name Civettictis is a fusion of the French word civette and the Greek word ictis, meaning "weasel". The specific name civetta and the common name "civet" come from the French civette or the Arabic zabād or sinnawr al-zabād ("civet cat").[11]

Characteristics

AfricanCivet
Drawing of an African civet
Die vergleichende Osteologie (1821) Civettictis civetta
Skeleton

The African civet is the largest viverrid in Africa.[12] Its head-and-body length is 67–84 cm (26–33 in), with a 34–47 cm (13–19 in) long tail and a weight range from 7 to 20 kg (15 to 44 lb). Females are smaller than males.[3] Its shoulder height averages 40 cm (16 in). It is a stocky animal with a long body and appears short-legged for its size although its hind limbs are noticeably larger and more powerful.[13]

The African civet has a short broad neck, a pointed muzzle, small rounded ears, small eyes and a long bushy tail. It has five digits per manus in which the first toe is slightly set back from the others.[3] It has long, curved, semi-retractile claws. Its feet are compact and unsuitable for digging or climbing and the soles of the feet are hairless. It has a modified synapsid skull which is heavy-built and is the longest of any viverrid. The zygomatic arch is robust and provides a large area for attachment of the masseter muscle. The skull also has a well-developed sagittal crest which provides a large area for attachment of the temporalis muscle. This musculature and the African civet's strong mandible give it a powerful bite oriented to its omnivorous diet. It has 40 teeth and a dental formula of 3.1.4.23.1.4.2[3]

Like many mammals, the African civet has two types of fur - under fur and guard hairs. The pelage of the African civet is coarse and wiry. The coat is unique to each individual, just like a human fingerprint. The dorsal base color of the fur varies from white to creamy yellow to reddish. The stripes, spots, and blotches which cover the animal are deep brown to black in coloration.[3] Horizontal lines are prominent on the hind limbs, spots are normally present on the midsection of the animal and fade anteriorly into vertical stripes above the forelimbs. The tail of the African civet is black with a few white bands and the paws are completely black. The head, neck and ears are clearly marked. A black band stretches across its eyes like that of a raccoon and the coloration of its neck is referred to as a double collar because of the two black neck bands.[3]

Following the spine of the animal extending from the neck to the base of the tail is the erectile dorsal crest. The hairs of the erectile crest are longer than those of the rest of the pelage. If an African civet feels threatened, it raises its dorsal crest to make itself look larger and thus more formidable and dangerous to attack. This behavior is a predatory defense.[14]

The perineal gland is what this civet has historically been most often harvested for. This gland secretes a white or yellow waxy substance called civet, which is used by civets for marking territory and by humans as a perfume base. Perineal and anal glands are found in both male and female African civets, however, the glands are bigger in males, which can produce a stronger secretion.[3] The perineal glands are located between the scrotum and the prepuce in males and between the anus and the vulva in females.

Distribution and habitat

African civet
Head of African civet

In 2014 and 2015, it was recorded in Benin’s Pendjari National Park by camera-traps.[15] In Gabon’s Moukalaba-Doudou National Park, it was photographed close to forested areas during a survey in 2012.[16] In Batéké Plateau National Park, it was recorded in gallery forest along the Mpassa River during surveys conducted between June 2014 and May 2015.[17]

In the Republic of Congo, it was recorded in the Western Congolian forest–savanna mosaic of Odzala-Kokoua National Park during surveys in 2007.[18]

In the transboundary DinderAlatash protected area complex it was recorded during surveys between 2015 and 2018.[19]

Behaviour and ecology

Research in southeastern Nigeria revealed that the African civet has an omnivorous diet. It feeds on rodents like giant pouched rats (Cricetomys), Temminck's mouse (Mus musculoides), Tullberg's soft-furred mouse (Praomys tulbergi), greater cane rat (Thryonomys swinderianus), typical striped grass mouse (Lemniscomys striatus), amphibians and small reptiles like Hallowell's toad (Amietophrynus maculatus), herald snake (Crotaphopeltis hotamboeia), black-necked spitting cobra (Naja nigricollis), common agama (Agama agama), Mabuya skinks, insects such as Orthoptera, Coleoptera as well as eggs, fruits, berries and seeds.[20] Stomach content of three African civets in Botswana included foremost husks of fan palm (Hyphaene petersiana) and jackalberry (Diospyros mespiliformis), and some remains of African red toad (Schismaderma carens), Acrididae grasshoppers and larvae of Dytiscidae beetles.[21]

Green grass is also frequently found in faeces, and this seems to be linked to the eating of snakes and amphibians.[22]

Reproduction

Captive females are polyestrous.[23] Mating lasts 40 to 70 seconds.[24] In Southern Africa, African civets probably mate from October to November, and females give birth in the rainy season between January and February.[21]

The average lifespan of a captive African civets is 15 to 20 years. Females create a nest which is normally in dense vegetation and commonly in a hole dug by another animal. Female African civets normally give birth to one to four young. The young are born in advanced stages compared to most carnivores. They are covered in a dark, short fur and can crawl at birth. The young leave the nest after 18 days but are still dependent on the mother for milk and protection for another two months.[25]

Threats

In 2006, it was estimated that about 9,400 African civets are hunted yearly in the Nigerian part and more than 5,800 in the Cameroon part of the Cross-Sanaga-Bioko coastal forests.[26] Skins and skulls of African civets were found in 2007 at the Dantokpa Market in southern Benin, where it was among the most expensive small carnivores. Local hunters considered it a rare species, indicating that the population declined due to hunting for trade as bushmeat.[27]

The perineal gland secretion, civet, has been the basic ingredient for many perfumes for hundreds of years and is still being used today although this has changed since the creation of synthetic musk.[3] African civets have been kept in captivity and milked for their civet which is diluted into perfumes. They can secrete three to four grams of civet per week and it can be sold for just under five hundred dollars per kilogram.[25]

References

  1. ^ a b Do Linh San, E.; Gaubert, P.; Wondmagegne, D. & Ray, J. (2015). "Civettictis civetta": e.T41695A45218199. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T41695A45218199.en.
  2. ^ a b c Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Civettictis civetta". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 554. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Ray, J. C. (1995). "Civettictis civetta" (PDF). Mammalian Species (488): 1–7.
  4. ^ Schreber, J. C. D. (1778). "Die Civette Viverra civetta". Die Säugethiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur, mit Beschreibungen. Erlangen: Wolfgang Walther. pp. 418–420.
  5. ^ Pocock, R. I. (1915). "On the Feet and Glands and other External Characters of the Viverrinae, with the description of a New Genus". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 131−149.
  6. ^ a b Cabrera, A. (1929). "Catálogo descriptivo de las mamíferos de la Guinea Española". Memorias de la Real Sociedad Española de Historia Natural. 16: 31−32.
  7. ^ a b Lundholm, B. G. (1955). "Descriptions of new mammals" (PDF). Annals of the Transvaal Museum. 22 (3): 279−303.
  8. ^ Kock, D.; Künzel, T.; Rayaleh, H. A. (2000). "The African civet, Civettictis civetta (Schreber 1776), of Djibouti representing a new subspecies (Mammalia, Carnivora, Viverridae)". Senckenbergiana Biologica. 80 (1/2): 241−246.
  9. ^ Petter, G. (1969). "Interpretive Evolution des charactères de la dentures des Viverrides africaines" [interpretive evolution of characters of the teeth in African Viverridae]. Mammalia (in French). 33 (4): 607–625. doi:10.1515/mamm.1969.33.4.607.
  10. ^ Gaubert, P.; Cordeiro-Estrela, P. (2006). "Phylogenetic systematics and tempo of evolution of the Viverrinae (Mammalia, Carnivora, Viverridae) within feliformians: implications for faunal exchanges between Asia and Africa" (PDF). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 41 (2): 266–78. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.05.034. PMID 16837215. open access
  11. ^ Gibb, H.A.R.; Lewis, B.; Ménage, V.L.; Pellat, C.; Schacht, J., eds. (2009). Encyclopaedia of Islam (H-Iram) (2nd ed.). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill. p. 809a. ISBN 978-90-04-08118-5.
  12. ^ Estes, R.D. (2004). The Behavior Guide to African Mammals: Including Hoofed Mammals, Carnivores, Primates (4th ed.). Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 289–292. ISBN 978-0-520-08085-0.
  13. ^ "African Civet." Zimbabwe Seven. 8 Jan. 2008. Web. 12 Mar. 2010.<http://zimbabwe7.wildlifedirect.org/category/african-civet/>.
  14. ^ Enos, Zach H. "African Civet." PJC Instructional Technology. 2001. Web. 12 Mar. 2010. <http://itech.pjc.edu/sctag/civet/african_civet%20page.htm> Archived July 9, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  15. ^ Sogbohossou, E., Aglissi, J. (2017). "Diversity of small carnivores in Pendjari biosphere reserve, Benin" (PDF). Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies. 5 (6): 1429–1433. doi:10.22271/j.ento.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  16. ^ Nakashima, Y. (2015). "Inventorying medium-and large-sized mammals in the African lowland rainforest using camera trapping". Tropics. 23 (4): 151–164.
  17. ^ Hedwig, D., Kienast, I., Bonnet, M., Curran, B. K., Courage, A., Boesch, C., Kühl, H. S. and King, T. (2018). "A camera trap assessment of the forest mammal community within the transitional savannah‐forest mosaic of the Batéké Plateau National Park, Gabon". African Journal of Ecology. 56 (4): 777–790. doi:10.1111/aje.12497.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  18. ^ Henschel, P., Malanda, G.A. and Hunter, L. (2014). "The status of savanna carnivores in the Odzala-Kokoua National Park, northern Republic of Congo". Journal of Mammalogy. 95 (4): 882–892. doi:10.1644/13-MAMM-A-306.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  19. ^ Bauer, H., Mohammed, A.A., El Faki, A., Hiwytalla, K.O., Bedin, E., Rskay, G., Sitotaw, E. and Sillero-Zubiri, C. (2018). "Antelopes of the Dinder-Alatash transboundary Protected Area, Sudan and Ethiopia" (PDF). Gnusletter. 35 (1): 26–30.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  20. ^ Angelici, F. M. (2000). "Food habits and resource partitioning of carnivores (Herpestidae, Viverridae) in the rainforests of southeastern Nigeria: preliminary results" (PDF). Revue d'Écologie (La Terre et La Vie). 55: 67–76.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  21. ^ a b Smithers, R. H. N. (1971). "Viverra civetta". The Mammals of Botswana. Pretoria: University of Pretoria. pp. 162−163.
  22. ^ Skinner, J. D.; Smithers, R. H. N. (1990). The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion. University of Pretoria. pp. 470–471. ISBN 978-0869798027.
  23. ^ Mallinson, J. J. (1969). "Notes on breeding the African civet Viverra civetta at Jersey Zoo". International Zoo Yearbook. 9 (1): 92−93. doi:10.1111/j.1748-1090.1969.tb02635.x.
  24. ^ Ewer, R. F.; Wemmer, C. (1974). "The behaviour in captivity of the African civet, Civettictis civetta (Schreber)". Zeitschrift für Tierpsychologie. 34 (4): 359−394. doi:10.1111/j.1439-0310.1974.tb01809.x.
  25. ^ a b Shalu, Tuteja. "Civettictis Civetta African Civet." Animal Diversity Web, 2000. Web. 2010. <http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Civettictis_civetta.html>.
  26. ^ Fa, J.E., Seymour, S., Dupain, J.E.F., Amin, R., Albrechtsen, L. and Macdonald, D. (2006). "Getting to grips with the magnitude of exploitation: bushmeat in the Cross–Sanaga rivers region, Nigeria and Cameroon" (PDF). Biological Conservation. 129 (4): 497–510.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  27. ^ Djagoun, C. A. M. S. and Gaubert, P. (2009). "Small carnivorans from southern Benin: a preliminary assessment of diversity and hunting pressure" (PDF). Small Carnivore Conservation (40): 1–10.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
Aardwolf

The aardwolf (Proteles cristata) is a small, insectivorous mammal, native to East and Southern Africa. Its name means "earth-wolf" in Afrikaans and Dutch. It is also called "maanhaar-jackal" (Afrikaans for "mane-jackal") or civet hyena, based on its habit of secreting substances from its anal gland, a characteristic shared with the African civet. The aardwolf is in the same family as the hyena. Unlike many of its relatives in the order Carnivora, the aardwolf does not hunt large animals. It eats insects and their larvae, mainly termites; one aardwolf can lap up as many as 250,000 termites during a single night using its long, sticky tongue.The aardwolf lives in the shrublands of eastern and southern Africa – open lands covered with stunted trees and shrubs. It is nocturnal, resting in burrows during the day and emerging at night to seek food.

Bijilo Forest Park

Bijilo Forest Park is a forest park in the Gambia, lying in the coastal zone about 11 km west of Banjul the Kombo Saint Mary District.

Binturong

The binturong ( bin-TOO-rong) (Arctictis binturong), also known as bearcat, is a viverrid native to South and Southeast Asia. It is uncommon in much of its range, and has been assessed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because of a declining population trend that is estimated at more than 30% over the last three decades.Although called 'bearcat', this omnivorous mammal is not closely related to either bears or cats but to the palm civets of Asia. It is a monotypic genus. Its genus name Arctictis means 'bear-weasel', from Greek arkt- 'bear' + iktis 'weasel'.In 1822, Thomas Stamford Raffles first described a specimen from Malacca. In Riau, Indonesia it was known as tenturun.

Civet

A civet is a small, lithe-bodied, mostly nocturnal mammal native to tropical Asia and Africa, especially the tropical forests. The term civet applies to over a dozen different mammal species. Most of the species diversity is found in southeast Asia. The best-known civet species is the African civet, Civettictis civetta, which historically has been the main species from which was obtained a musky scent used in perfumery. The word civet may also refer to the distinctive musky scent produced by the animals.

A minority of writers use "civet" to refer only to Civettictis, Viverra and Viverricula civets. But in more common usage in English, the name also covers Chrotogale, Cynogale, Diplogale, Hemigalus, Arctogalidia, Macrogalidia, Paguma, and Paradoxurus civets.

Civet (perfumery)

Civet (Zibeth; Zibet; Zibetum), also known as civet musk, is the glandular secretion produced by both sexes of Viverridae species.

Civetone

Civetone is a macrocyclic ketone and the main odorous constituent of civet oil. It is a pheromone sourced from the African civet. It has a strong musky odor that becomes pleasant at extreme dilutions. Civetone is closely related to muscone, the principal odoriferous compound found in musk; the structure of both compounds was elucidated by Leopold Ružička. Today, civetone can be synthesized from precursor chemicals found in palm oil.

Deer musk

Deer musk is a substance with a persistent odor, obtained from the caudal glands of the male musk deer.

Although more commonly referred to as "musk", the term itself is often used to describe a wide variety of "musky" substances from other animals such as the African civet ("civet musk") or various synthetic musks whose compound exhibits some character of deer musk.

The demand for deer musk has led to a severe decrease in musk deer populations.

Six of the seven musk producing species are listed as Endangered.

Ferret-badger

Ferret-badgers are the five species of the genus Melogale, which is the only genus of the monotypic mustelid subfamily Helictidinae.

Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti)

Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)

Javan ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis)

Burmese ferret-badger (Melogale personata)

Vietnam ferret-badger (Melogale cucphuongensis)

List of fauna of Sudan and South Sudan

Fauna of Sudan and South Sudan include:

Aardvark

Aardwolf

African buffalo

African bush elephant

African civet

African golden wolf

African leopard

Ball Python

Banded mongoose

Lion

Barbary sheep

Black-backed jackal

Blue duiker

Bohor reedbuck

Bongo

Bushbuck

Cape hyrax

Common duiker

Common genet

Congo lion

Dama gazelle

Dorcas gazelle

Dugong

Gemsbok

Giant eland

Giant forest hog

Grant's gazelle

Grant's zebra

Greater kudu

Grevy's zebra

Hartebeest

Hippopotamus

Klipspringer

Kob

Maneless zebra

Marsh mongoose

Nile lechwe

North African ostrich

Northern white rhinoceros

Nubian giraffe

Nubian wild ass

Okapi

Oribi

Pale fox

Plains zebra

Red fox

Red river hog

Roan antelope

Rothschild's giraffe

Rueppell's fox

Side-striped jackal

Sitatunga

Somali wild ass

Somali wild dog

Spotted hyena

Striped hyena

Sudan cheetah

Temminck's pangolin

Thomson's gazelle

Warthog

Waterbuck

Yellow-backed duiker

Lutrogale

Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Mabula Game Reserve

Mabula Game Reserve is a private game reserve situated in the Limpopo province of South Africa. It is about 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres) in area and is about 47 km from Bela Bela (Warmbaths). The current owner of Mabula Game Reserve is the Indian businessman baron Vijay Mallya.

Mafdet

In early Egyptian mythology, Mafdet (also spelled Maftet) was a goddess who protected against snakes and scorpions and was often represented as either some sort of felid or mongoose. She is present in the Egyptian pantheon as early as the First Dynasty. Mafdet was the deification of legal justice, or possibly of capital punishment. She was also associated with the protection of the king's chambers and other sacred places, and with protection against venomous animals, which were seen as transgressors against Maat.

Since venomous animals such as scorpions and snakes are killed by felines, Mafdet was seen as a feline goddess, although it is uncertain whether alternately, she also was meant to be a cat, African civet, or a mongoose. In reflection of the manner in which these animals kill snakes and she was given titles such as "slayer of serpents".

Mafdet was prominent during the reign of the First Dynasty pharaoh Den, whose image appears on stone vessel fragments from his tomb and is mentioned in a dedicatory entry in the Palermo Stone. She is also mentioned in the Pyramid Texts of the Old Kingdom as protecting the sun god Ra from poisonous snakes.

Musk

Musk is a class of aromatic substances commonly used as base notes in perfumery. They include glandular secretions from animals such as the musk deer, numerous plants emitting similar fragrances, and artificial substances with similar odors. Musk was a name originally given to a substance with a strong odor obtained from a gland of the musk deer. The substance has been used as a popular perfume fixative since ancient times and is one of the most expensive animal products in the world. The name originates from the Late Greek μόσχος 'moskhos', from Persian 'mushk', ultimately from Sanskrit मुष्क muṣka meaning "a testicle", from a diminutive of मूष् mūṣ ("mouse"). The deer gland was thought to resemble a scrotum. It is applied to various plants and animals of similar smell (e.g. musk-ox, 1744) and has come to encompass a wide variety of aromatic substances with similar odors, despite their often differing chemical structures and molecular shapes.

Natural musk was used extensively in perfumery until the late 19th century when economic and ethical motives led to the adoption of synthetic musk, which is now used almost exclusively. The organic compound primarily responsible for the characteristic odor of musk is muscone.

Modern use of natural musk pods occurs in traditional Chinese medicine.

Nyctereutes

Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.

Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.

Paradoxurus

Paradoxurus is a genus within the viverrid family that was denominated and first described by Frédéric Cuvier in 1822. As of 2005, this genus was defined as comprising three species native to Southeast Asia:

the Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)

the golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)

the brown palm civet (P. jerdoni)In 2009, it was proposed to also include the golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus), the Sri Lankan brown palm civet (P. montanus) and the golden dry-zone palm civet (P. stenocephalus), which are endemic to Sri Lanka.

Viverridae

Viverridae is a family of small to medium-sized mammals, the viverrids (), comprising 15 genera, which are subdivided into 38 species. This family was named and first described by John Edward Gray in 1821. Members of this family are commonly called civets or genets. Viverrids are found in South and Southeast Asia, across the Wallace Line, all over Africa, and into southern Europe. Their occurrence in Sulawesi and in some of the adjoining islands shows them to be ancient inhabitants of the Old World tropics.

Viverrinae

The Viverrinae represent the largest subfamily within the Viverridae comprising five genera, which are subdivided into 22 species native to Africa and Southeast Asia. This subfamily was denominated and first described by John Edward Gray in 1864.

Wildlife of Ivory Coast

The wildlife of the Ivory Coast is composed of its flora and fauna.

Extant Carnivora species

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