Lesser Bushbaby

© Shem Compion

Name

Lesser bushbaby or lesser galagos (Galago moholi)

Introduction

The lesser bushbaby is a small nocturnal primate that lives in trees, between which they can jump great distances. They venture on the ground, at times, and walk either on their hind legs or all fours. The lesser bushbaby is known to scientists as galago moholi.

Lesser Bushbaby Diet

The lesser bushbaby primarily feeds on insects and tree gum. It is probable that they eat fruits as well, but this has not been recorded.

Lesser Bushbaby Breeding

After a gestation period of 125 days, the female gives birth to twins. Immediately she enters her next oestrus cycle, and can mate with as many as six males in the peak of her oestrus. Females have a short oestrus cycle during winter and usually gives birth before the start of the rainy season. Before the onset of the following dry season, her second set of twins will be born.

Lesser Bushbaby Behaviour

Adult males are territorial of their individual areas of land in order to avoid conflict with other males. The social systems of the lesser bushbaby and the thick-tailed bushbaby are very alike, apart from this behavioural characteristic. Companions gather at night to interact, while during the day they sleep in groups of as many as six individuals, but adult lesser bushbabies forage unaccompanied.

More species of the lesser bushbaby are likely to be discovered through the extended scientific exploration of African forests and the improvement of technology. Before 1974 only six species were recognised, and by 1995 seventeen species of bushbabies in Africa warranted recognition.

Where they are found

The lesser bushbaby occurs in South Africa in Limpopo and Mpumalanga, as well as in Botswana. As they are reliant on trees, their habitats are restricted to savannah woodlands, particularly woodlands of acacia trees, Rhodesian teak and brachystegia.

Field Notes

Because of the bushbaby’s nervous appearance and disposition when moving about at night, scientists developed a theory that they are one of few animals which are inherently afraid of the dark. This theory has not been supported or proven, however. Researchers highlight the fact that all creatures are cautious when moving around, and it is not to be confused for nervousness.