Side-striped jackal

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Side-striped jackal
Temporal range: Pliocene - recent
Side-striped jackal in Kalabo, Zambia
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Canidae
Subfamily: Caninae
Tribe: Canini
Subtribe: Canina
Genus: Lupulella
L. adusta
Binomial name
Lupulella adusta
(Sundevall, 1847)[2]
Side-striped jackal range

Canis adustus[2]

The side-striped jackal (Lupulella adusta)[3][4][5][6] is a canine native to central and southern Africa.[1]

Unlike the smaller and related black-backed jackal (Lupulella mesomelas), which dwells in open plains, the side-striped jackal primarily dwells in woodland and scrub areas.[7]

Taxonomy and evolution[edit]

Phylogenetic tree of the wolf-like canids with timing in millions of years[a]
Caninae 3.5 Ma

Carl Jakob Sundevall named the species Canis adustus in 1847.[8] Fossil remains date to the Pliocene era.[9] A mitochondrial DNA sequence alignment for the wolf-like canids gave a phylogenetic tree with the side-striped jackal and the black-backed jackal being the most basal members of this clade, which means that this tree is indicating an African origin for the clade.[10][11]

In 2019, a workshop hosted by the IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group recommends that because DNA evidence shows the side-striped jackal (Canis adustus) and black-backed jackal (Canis mesomelas) to form a monophyletic lineage that sits outside of the Canis/Cuon/Lycaon clade, that they should be placed in a distinct genus, Lupulella Hilzheimer, 1906 with the names Lupulella adusta and Lupulella mesomelas.[3] Further investigation indicates that Lupulella is not monophyletic, and that this species should be moved to Schaeffia adusta.[12][13]


The side-striped jackal is a slender, medium-sized canid, which tends to be slightly larger on average than the black-backed jackal. Body mass ranges from 6.5 to 14 kg (14 to 31 lb), head-and-body length from 69 to 81 cm (27 to 32 in) and tail length from 30 to 41 cm (12 to 16 in).[14] Shoulder height can range from 35 to 50 cm (14 to 20 in).[15] Its pelt is coloured buff-grey. The back is darker grey than the underside, and the tail is black with a grey, almost silver tip. Indistinct white stripes are present on the flanks, running from elbow to hip. The boldness of the markings varies between individuals, with those of adults being better defined than those of juveniles.[7]

The side-striped jackal's skull is similar to that of the black-backed jackal's, but is flatter, with a longer and narrower rostrum. Its sagittal crest and zygomatic arches are also lighter in build. Due to its longer rostrum, its third upper premolar lies almost in line with the others, rather than at an angle. Its dentition is well suited to an omnivorous diet. The long, curved canines have a sharp ridge on the posterior surface, and the outer incisors are canine-like. Its carnassials are smaller than those of the more carnivorous black-backed jackal. Females have four inguinal teats.[7]

Dietary habits[edit]

The side-striped jackal tends to be less carnivorous than other jackal species, and is a highly adaptable omnivore whose dietary preferences change in accordance to seasonal and local variation.[16] It tends to forage solitarily, though family groups of up to 12 jackals have been observed to feed together in western Zimbabwe. In the wild, it feeds largely on invertebrates during the wet season and small mammals, such as the springhare, in the dry months. It frequently scavenges from campsites and the kills of larger predators. In the wild, fruit is taken exclusively in season, while in ruralised areas, it can account for 30% of their dietary intake. The side-striped jackal tends to be comparatively less predatory when compared to other jackal species. It typically does not target prey exceeding the size of neonatal antelopes, and one specimen was recorded to have entered a duck's pen to eat their feed, whilst ignoring the birds.[7]

A side-striped jackal from Angola was found to be a host of an intestinal acanthocephalan worm, Pachysentis angolensis.[17]

Social behaviour and reproduction[edit]

In Kidepo National Park, Uganda
In Kruger National Park, South Africa

The side-striped jackal lives both solitarily and in family groups of up to seven individuals. The family unit is dominated by a breeding pair, which remains monogamous for a number of years.[7][failed verification]

The breeding season for this species depends on where they live; in Southern Africa, breeding starts in June and ends in November. The side-striped jackal has a gestation period of 57 to 70 days, with average litter of three to six young. The young reach sexual maturity at six to eight months of age, and typically begin to leave when 11 months old. The side-striped jackal is among the few mammal species that mate for life, forming monogamous pairs.[citation needed]


There are seven recognized subspecies of the side-striped jackal:[2]

  • L. a. adusta (West Africa to most of Angola) – Sundevall's side-striped jackal
  • L. a. bweha (East Africa; Kisumu, Kenya) – Elgon side-striped jackal[18]
  • L. a. centralis (Central Africa; Cameroon, near the Uham River)
  • L. a. grayi (North Africa; Morocco and Tunisia)
  • L. a. kaffensis (Kaffa, southwestern Ethiopia) – Kaffa side-striped jackal
  • L. a. lateralis (East Africa; Kenya, Uasin Gishu Plateau, south of Gabon)
  • L. a. notatus (East Africa; Kenya, Loita Plains, Rift Valley Province) – Loita side-striped jackal[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ For a full set of supporting references refer to the note (a) in the phylotree at Evolution of the wolf#Wolf-like canids


  1. ^ a b Atkinson RPD, Loveridge AJ (2008). "Canis adustus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-12.
  2. ^ a b c Wozencraft, C. W. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D. E.; Reader, D. M. (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Vol. 1 (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 573. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0.
  3. ^ a b Alvares, Francisco; Bogdanowicz, Wieslaw; Campbell, Liz A.D.; Godinho, Rachel; Hatlauf, Jennifer; Jhala, Yadvendradev V.; Kitchener, Andrew C.; Koepfli, Klaus-Peter; Krofel, Miha; Moehlman, Patricia D.; Senn, Helen; Sillero-Zubiri, Claudio; Viranta, Suvi; Werhahn, Geraldine (2019). "Old World Canis spp. with taxonomic ambiguity: Workshop conclusions and recommendations. CIBIO. Vairão, Portugal, 28th - 30th May 2019" (PDF). IUCN/SSC Canid Specialist Group. Retrieved 6 March 2020.
  4. ^ Castelló, José R. (2018). "Ch2-Wolf-like Canids". Canids of the World: Wolves, Wild Dogs, Foxes, Jackals, Coyotes, and Their Relatives (Princeton Field Guides). Princeton University Press. pp. 160–165. ISBN 978-0691176857.
  5. ^ Perri, Angela R.; Mitchell, Kieren J.; Mouton, Alice; Álvarez-Carretero, Sandra; Hulme-Beaman, Ardern; Haile, James; Jamieson, Alexandra; Meachen, Julie; Lin, Audrey T.; Schubert, Blaine W.; Ameen, Carly; Antipina, Ekaterina E.; Bover, Pere; Brace, Selina; Carmagnini, Alberto; Carøe, Christian; Samaniego Castruita, Jose A.; Chatters, James C.; Dobney, Keith; Dos Reis, Mario; Evin, Allowen; Gaubert, Philippe; Gopalakrishnan, Shyam; Gower, Graham; Heiniger, Holly; Helgen, Kristofer M.; Kapp, Josh; Kosintsev, Pavel A.; Linderholm, Anna; Ozga, Andrew T.; Presslee, Samantha; Salis, Alexander T.; Saremi, Nedda F.; Shew, Colin; Skerry, Katherine; Taranenko, Dmitry E.; Thompson, Mary; Sablin, Mikhail V.; Kuzmin, Yaroslav V.; Collins, Matthew J.; Sinding, Mikkel-Holger S.; Gilbert, M. Thomas P.; Stone, Anne C.; Shapiro, Beth; Van Valkenburgh, Blaire; Wayne, Robert K.; Larson, Greger; Cooper, Alan; Frantz, Laurent A. F. (2021). "Dire wolves were the last of an ancient New World canid lineage". Nature. 591 (7848): 87–91. Bibcode:2021Natur.591...87P. doi:10.1038/s41586-020-03082-x. PMID 33442059. S2CID 231604957. This finding is consistent with previously proposed designations of the genera Lupulella for the African jackals
  6. ^ "Mammal Diversity Database". American Society of Mammalogists. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  7. ^ a b c d e IUCN SSC Canid Specialist Group. "Side-Striped Jackal". Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. Retrieved 2016-07-11.
  8. ^ Sundevall, 1847. "Nya Mammalia från Sydafrika" Ofv. K. Svenska Vet.-Akad. Forhandl. Stockholm 1846, 3: 121 [1847]
  9. ^ Garrido, Guiomar; Arribas, Alfonso (2008). "Canis accitanus nov. sp., a new small dog (Canidae, Carnivora, Mammalia) from the Fonelas P-1 Plio-Pleistocene site (Guadix basin, Granada, Spain)". Geobios. 41 (6): 751. Bibcode:2008Geobi..41..751G. doi:10.1016/j.geobios.2008.05.002.
  10. ^ Lindblad-Toh, Kerstin; Wade, Claire M.; Mikkelsen, Tarjei S.; Karlsson, Elinor K.; Jaffe, David B.; Kamal, Michael; et al. (2005). "Genome sequence, comparative analysis and haplotype structure of the domestic dog". Nature. 438 (7069): 803–819. Bibcode:2005Natur.438..803L. doi:10.1038/nature04338. PMID 16341006.
  11. ^ Juliane Kaminski & Sarah Marshall-Pescini (2014). "Chapter 1 - The Social Dog:History and Evolution". The Social Dog:Behavior and Cognition. Elsevier. p. 4. ISBN 9780124079311.
  12. ^ Valenciano, Alberto; Morales, Jorge; Govender, Romala (February 2022). "Eucyon khoikhoi sp. nov. (Carnivora: Canidae) from Langebaanweg 'E' Quarry (early Pliocene, South Africa): the most complete African canini from the Mio-Pliocene". Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. 194 (2): 366–394. doi:10.1093/zoolinnean/zlab022.
  13. ^ "Schaeffia adusta (side-striped jackal)". The Paleobiology Database. Retrieved 8 January 2024.
  14. ^ Burnie, D; Wilson, DE, eds. (2005). Animal: The Definitive Visual Guide to the World's Wildlife. DK Adult. ISBN 0789477645.
  15. ^ "Side-Striped Jackal". Botswana Travel Guide. Retrieved 2013-07-10.
  16. ^ "Side-Striped Jackal in the Kruger Park". Retrieved 2013-07-10.
  17. ^ Golvan, Y. J. (1957). "Acanthocephales de l'Angola. I. Oncicola angolensis n. sp.(Archiacanthocephala-Pachysentidae), parasite du Chacal, Canis adustus Sundevall" [Acanthocephala from Angola. I. Oncicola angolensis n. sp.(Archiacanthocephala-Pachysentidae), parasite of the Jackal, Canis adustus Sundevall]. Publicacion Servicos Culturais de la Companhia de Diamantes de Angola. Meseu Dundo Lunda. (in French). 34: 39–50.
  18. ^ a b Heller, E. (1914). New subspecies of mammals from equatorial Africa. Smithsonian Miscellaneous Collections, 63, No. 7. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution

Further reading[edit]

  • MacDonald, David, ed. (2001). The New Encyclopedia of Mammals. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850823-9.
  • Owens, Mark & Owens, Delia (1992). Cry of the Kalahari. Mariner Books.
  • MacDonald, David (1992). The Velvet Claw: A natural history of the carnivores. BBC Books.
  • Alderton, David (2004). Foxes, Wolves, and Wild Dogs of the World. Facts on File.

External links[edit]