Scientifically referred to as Canis adustus, the side striped jackal is a notable Jackal Species that thrives in the South of Saharan countries including Uganda where it is always explored on Uganda safaris. It can be noted that unlike its colleague the black backed jackal that thrives in the open plains, the side stripped jackal greatly thrives in scrub and woodland areas.
Regarding description, the side striped jackal is known as a medium sized canid that appears averagely larger than the black-backed jackal with a body mass that stretch from 6.5 – 14kg, the body length of 69 -81cm along with a tail length that stretch from 30 – 41cm. The Side Striped jackal is 35 – 50cm at shoulder height. The animal features a colored buff-grey where the back is dark grey more than the underside while the tail is dark featuring a white tip. The animal features white stripes on the flanks that run from elbow to hip and the marking boldness differ among individuals where the adult ones are more defined than those of juveniles as viewed on safaris in Uganda.
The skull of side striped jackal resembles that of the black backed jackal but it appears flatter along with a narrower and longer rostrum. The sagittal crest along with the zygomatic arches is light in the build. As a result of its long rostrum, its third upper premolar lies almost in line with the others other than at the angle. The dentition of the side striped jackal is clearly set for the omnivorous diet. It features long canines that are curved with a sharp ridge on the posterior surface while the outer incisors resemble canines. The carnassials of the side stripped jackal tend to be smaller than that of black backed jackal which is more carnivores. The females feature four (4) inguinal teats.
Regarding the dietary habits, the side stripped jackals is less carnivores than other Species of Jackals and is a notable adaptable omnivore whose dietary preferences change in line with seasonal and local variation. The Side striped jackal tend to forage solitary though the family groupings of twelve (12) jackals were encountered feeding together in the west of Zimbabwe. The side striped jackals feed majorly on invertebrates in the wet seasons and then small mammals like the springhare in the dry seasons. The side striped jackal usually scavenges from the large predator kills and campsites.
Regarding the reproduction and social behavior, the Side striped Jackal thrives both as solitary animal and as a member of a given family. The family unit features a breeding pair that is dominant that keeps monogamous for a range of years. The gestation period of side striped jackal range from 50 – 70 days and 3 – 5 young ones are produced. The young side striped jackal attains maturity in terms of sex at 6 – 8 months of age and then begin to leave when they are eleven (11) months old. The Side striped jackal is among the few Species of mammals that do life mating thus creating monogamous pairs.