05 June 2010

New Spots At The New Spot

I moved the Bushnell Trophy Cam to a new spot last week. When I checked the images today I saw I got my first Small-Spotted Genet! This means that both the Large-Spotted Genet and Small-Spotted Genet are found at Tygerberg. Everywhere I look people manage to confuse the Small-Spotted and Large-Spotted Genet with one another. They are actually not that difficult to tell apart. The Small-Spotted Genet is reasonably well defined in all field guides and can be distinguished from the other species found in South Africa. All experts and field guides do, however, not agree on whether the Large-Spotted Genet might be one or two species. While the scientists are busy making up their minds, I (and it seems most other people) continue to treat all Large-Spotted Genet as only one species.

Small-Spotted Genet (Kleinkolmuskeljaatkat - Genetta genetta) brightening up my day 

The above photo would have been a great shot if only I dimmed down the flash a little bit more. These trail cameras I use are made to be placed a good distance away from the animal/trail. They produce a bright flash at night to photograph large animals that might be some distance away, but I often use them very close to a small trail for smaller animals. Under these conditions I need to stick some electrical tape over the flash (or I use a few layers of plastic from white shopping bags) to dim it down for the closer shots. This usually helps a lot, but the flash is especially strong in the centre of the frame.

I put some scent out at this location today and I'm curious to see whether it changes the animals' behaviour or attracts some new visitors. I don't usually use bait/scent, and this is my first time doing so at Tygerberg (I think). I've heard rumors about a Black-Backed Jackal that might be around, and I'm also still hoping for some Canid action... If the canids over here are anything like the ones over in Amerika, then I'm hoping some strange scent might attract their attention.


  1. All the civets and mongooses should prove highly responsive to scents. I spent several years of my youth studying scent-marking in these critters. The large-spotted genet produces a rather pleasant scent (like that of refined civetone--which is commercially available for a reasonable price). You should be able to elicit a handstand scent-marking act if you place civetone on a vertical trunk or the underside of a diagonal sapling.

  2. Congratulations on the small-spotted genet! They're such lovely animals. I'm still recovering from my caracal-envy.

  3. Codger, a hand-standing genet sounds like quite a sight. I'll keep your idea in mind to try it out sometime.

    Lynda, I’ll trade you: two Caracal sightings for one Civet sighting, but I’m open for negotiations :)