Bushpig (Potamochoerus larvatus)

Bushpig (Potamochoerus larvatus) Silhouette

Quick stats of the Bushpig

  • Diet: - Omnivore
  • Overall Length: - 1.35m
  • Weight: - Male - 38 kg
  • Weight: - Female - 17 kg
  • Lifespan - 31 years

Description

Bushpig (Potamochoerus larvatus) © Toursa

The Bushpig occurs in forests, underbrush, thickets, reed beds or stands of tall grass where there is water. They are good swimmers and like to wallow in cooling mud.

Bushpigs live in groups of 6-12 animals and occasionally in groups of up to 30. They are mainly nocturnal, but in areas where they are not disturbed they may be seen during the day.

Their bodies are covered with long bristle-like hair. The colour varies from reddish-brown to dark brown, becoming darker with age with a mane of longer and paler hair extending from the back of the neck to the shoulders. The facial hair is usually grey-white. The elongated head is longer than that of the warthog with ears that are pointed with a tuff of longish hair on the tip. The tusks are short and knife-like and the tail is carried hanging down when running.

They forage with their snouts for various food items which they locate with their keen sense of smell. The Bushpig is omnivorous and its diet includes insects, small animals, reptiles, bulbs and fruit. They are a pest in agricultural lands, and have been reported to kill chickens and lambs.

Three to eight young are born in summer after a gestation period of around 4 months. The sow constructs a nest in a remote, well-hidden spot where she is unlikely to be disturbed. The young have distinct white horizontal stripes on the body. The sow is capable of breeding every 18 months. When the juveniles in the group reach an age of about 6 months, they are driven off by their parents.

Other Names for the Bushpig

  • Bosvark

Distribution

Distribution map of the Bushpig
Distribution map of the Bushpig

Taxonomy of the Bushpig

  • Order - Artiodactyla
  • Family - Suidae
  • Genus - Potamochoerus
  • Species - Potamochoerus larvatus

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