The Lesser Bushbaby, or South African Bushbaby, is by far the tiniest primate occurring in South Africa. These cute little furballs weigh only about 150g and grow to a length of around 35cm, including their tail.
Lesser Bushbabies inhabit savanna habitats, especially those dominated by thorn trees and mopane. They feed on tree gum, fruit, berries, blossoms, insects and even small vertebrates from time to time.
Being exclusively nocturnal, Lesser Bushbabies spend the day in nests constructed of leaves, in hollow tree trunks, in abandoned bird nests or the roofs of buildings. These nests are shared by groups numbering 2-8, though they mostly forage alone. These groups are territorial and mark their home ranges by urinating on their hands and feet. They are almost exclusively arboreal and amazingly agile, being capable of jumps over 2m high and over 5m long!
Litters of two tiny 9g babies (1 or 3 in a litter is most unusual) are born in summer. The babies grow very quickly and become independent when they’re only 2 months old. Lesser Bushbabies have a life expectancy of around 10 years in the wild, and are a favoured prey of owls, genets, pythons and other carnivores.
The IUCN lists the Lesser Bushbaby as being of least concern. They occur widely in the savanna areas of Africa south of the equator, and in South Africa specifically can be found in the provinces of North West, Gauteng, Limpopo and Mpumalanga.