It’s your favorite game: Name That Species

See? You liked the title.. and who doesn’t like to help a fellow mammal watcher identify species

So here are a few species I saw in South Africa that I would like to ID before I complete the trip report.

The first mammal is a gennet seen in the first night drive in Satara. Is it the “regular”, small-spotted genet, or the “less common” large-spotted? Can you even tell from this terrible picture? It’s the only one I got of this individual:

The second one is a mouse at Marrick. Johnny called it a “big-eared gerbil-mouse”. But there’s no such species that I can find. It’s obviously not a “big-eared hopping mouse”, but is it the Gerbil Mouse (Malacothrix typica)?img_7547

Next is a bat.. This was a common bat inside the Cango Caves outside of Oudtshoorn. There may have been more species there, but this is the only I took clear pictures of. Anyone knows?


And last but not least, I didn’t think this one was identifiable by pictures, so I uploaded videos onto YouTube (I’ll delete them after the identification because they’re not really that interesting). This whale (these whales?) were seen from Cape Point, which is a part of Table Mountain National Park. Maybe someone who really knows their cetaneans can tell me from these short videos of flukes and splashings what species of whale this is.

Thanks in advance!!! I’m going to finish up the report by the end of this weekend.


  • Jon Hall

    Hi Tomer, yes the mouse looks like Malacothrix typica. And the bat is a horseshoe species but I don’t know which one… try googling the name of the cave plus Rhinolophus and see if any records come up. The cetaceans behaviour is consistent with Humpbacks and they are most likely I would have thought. No idea on the Genet!



  • kittykat23uk

    Don’t think you can tell the two genets apart except by the tail tip.

    The whales look like humpback – mother and calf? At least I shot some very similar footage of pairs like this in Mozambique.

  • Morten

    Me thinks it’s a mother-calf pair of humpbacks 🙂

  • Charles Foley

    Agree with Jon on his suggestions. You’re on your own with the genet!

  • Vladimir Dinets

    You can actually see the long pectoral fin with white underside, so it’s 100% humpback. The bat looks like Rhinolophus capensis, but I don’t remember if that area is within range. I agree with Jon about the rat. I think the genet is hopeless.

  • Charles Foley

    The bat is either Cape or Geoffrey’s, but they’re impossible to tell apart without looking at the teeth.

  • tomeslice

    Thanks everyone!
    I thought these were humpbacks, but I didn’t want to “sway” the voting so I left the question open.
    Great, so gerbil mouse, Cape Horshoe Bat (I googled the name of the cave with the bat as you suggested, Jon), and I won’t add the gennet species since it’s un-ID-able.

    I should have the report finished today 🙂

  • kittykat23uk

    Looking forward to reading it! 🙂

  • mattinidaho

    The only bat species found in the Cango Caves is the Cape horseshoe bat. There was actually a decent poster at the visitor center about this species and its use of the caves. This is also consistent with Jon’s ID.

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