The Side-striped Jackal (Canis adustus) is wood and srub-dwelling jackal of central and southern Africa, and also the last jackal featured in the Wednesday Woof series. We've only got a few foxes left, actually, before the Wednesday Woof series is complete.
Side-striped Jackals are slightly larger, on average, than their Black-backed Jackal cousins. They measure up to 32 inches (81 cm) in body length, with a 16-inch (41 cm) tail. They weigh about 31 pounds (14 Kg) at most. They're called Side-striped because of the distinct black and white stripes that show on its sides.
The Side-striped Jackal is omnivorous - moreso than other kinds of jackals. Their diet changes by what's seasonally and locally available, feeding mostly on insects and other invertebrates during the wet season, and hares and other small mammals during the dry season. It will also scavenge from humans and the kills of large predators. They also eat fruit when it's in season, which can make up about 30% of their diet during that time.
There are currently seven recognized subspecies of Side-striped Jackal:
- Canis adustus adustus (also called the Sundevall Jackal, found in Angola and western Africa)
- Canis adustus bweha (eastern Africa, Kenya, Kisumu)
- Canis adustus centralis (central Africa, Cameroon)
- Canis adustus grayi (Tunisia and Morocco)
- Canis adustus kaffensis (also called the Kafue Jackal, found in southwestern Ethiopia and Kaffa)
- Canis adustus lateralis (Kenya, Uasin Gishu Plateau)
- Canis adustus notatus (also called the East African Jackal, found in Kenya, the Rift Valley and the Loita Plains)
Side-striped Jackals often forage alone, but also travel in family groups - some as large as twelve individuals. The group is lead by a monogamous breeding pair, which usually stays together for life. Female Side-striped Jackals will give birth to a litter of three to six pups after a 70-day gestation period. The pups will reach sexual maturity at around six to eight months, but won't leave the family group until they are about one year of age.