|Male Common warthog|
Tswalu Kalahari Reserve, South Africa
F. Cuvier, 1826
Phacochoerus is a genus in the family Suidae, commonly known as warthogs (pronounced wart-hog). It is the sole genus of subfamily Phacochoerinae. They are pigs who live in open and semi-open habitats, even in quite arid regions, in sub-Saharan Africa. The two species were formerly considered conspecific under the scientific name Phacochoerus aethiopicus, but today this is limited to the desert warthog, while the best-known and most widespread species, the common warthog (or simply warthog) is Phacochoerus africanus.
Although covered in bristly hairs, their bodies and heads appear largely naked from a distance, with only the crest along the back, and the tufts on their cheeks and tails being obviously haired. The English name refers to their facial wattles, which are particularly distinct in males. They also have very distinct tusks, which reach a length of 10 to 25 inches (25 to 64 centimetres) in the males, but are always smaller in the females. They are largely herbivorous, but occasionally also eat small animals. While both species remain fairly common and widespread, and therefore are considered to be of Least Concern by the IUCN, the nominate subspecies of the desert warthog, commonly known as the Cape warthog, became extinct around 1865.
Species in taxonomic order
The genus Phacochoerus contains two species.
|Image||Scientific name||Common Name||Distribution|
|Phacochoerus africanus||Common warthog||Widespread in the savannah of Sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal to Ethiopia down to South Africa, absent from heavily forested or desert areas.|
|Phacochoerus aethiopicus||Desert warthog||Northern Kenya and Somalia, and possibly Djibouti, Eritrea, and Ethiopia.|
In popular culture
In the 1987 science fiction action film Predator, character Mac accidentally kills a Warthog with his knife after mistaking it for the eponymous alien creature when the Warthog unexpectedly sets off one of his unit's tripwires.
- Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
- Novak, R. M. (editor) (1999). Walker's Mammals of the World. Vol. 2. 6th edition. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore. ISBN 0-8018-5789-9
- Kingdon, J. (1997). The Kingdon Guide to African Mammals. Academic Press Limited, London. ISBN 0-12-408355-2
- d'Huart, J.P.; Butynski, T.M.M. & De Jong, Y. (2008). "Phacochoerus aethiopicus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2008. Retrieved 20 April 2010.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)old-form url
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- d'Huart, J.P. & Grubb, P. (2005). A photographic guide to the differences between the Common Warthog (Phacochoerus africanus) and the Desert Warthog (Ph. aethiopicus).[permanent dead link] Suiform Soundings 5(2): 4–8.