red potamoquero

Potamochoerus porcus

Common name

red potamoquero


It mainly occupies forested areas and swampy shores of equatorial rainforests where there is significant vegetation cover. In the transition zones with the savanna, it frequently visits areas of dry savanna, wooded savanna and even crop areas.








120-130 days

Number of offspring

1-4 (rarely 6).



Generalist omnivore, with a marked preference for roots and tubers, it also includes fruits, herbs, aquatic plants, bulbs, insects, bird eggs, and carrion in its diet.


12-15 years.

Biology and behavior

It has long-bristle fur and its color can vary from reddish brown to black, generally becoming darker with age. In addition, it has a crest strip of white hair that runs along its back and often reaches its ears; These end in a tuft of long hair. The head has a characteristic elongated snout, it is truncated, lacks hair and the nostrils open on its terminal disc. The potamoquero has two pairs of fangs that are the result of the great development of its canines. Males, especially older ones, have two well-developed warts on their snout. It is an animal with a robust body, measuring between 1 and 1,5 m tall at the withers, and weighing between 46 and 130 kg; Despite this, they move quite quickly and are excellent swimmers.

Potamoqueros are gregarious and live in family groups that often join together to form large herds. They roam the forest in herds of 15 individuals, rooting for tubers, roots and invertebrates. They occasionally gather in temporary groups of up to 60 animals, within which many fights occur between males (head-butting) to establish dominance. The bony excrescences and warts on its face protect the most vital parts from the sharp fangs, making the fights a bloodless contest of strength.

After four months of gestation, the female gives birth to litters of variable numbers, in hollow trunks or nests of thick vegetation. During the first three months, wild boars have yellow and dark stripes to camouflage themselves and they play dead if they are attacked; that has been lost in domestic breeds.

They are crepuscular and nocturnal animals, resting during the day among thick bushes; They often wallow in wet mud, since being covered in mud helps them regulate their body temperature.

They eat both plant and animal matter, including insects, larvae, eggs and carrion. The most important part of their diet is made up of plant materials such as roots, bulbs, grass, seeds and fruits; It hunts anywhere in search of food and can destroy crop fields.


The red potamoquero is one of the species most persecuted by bushmeat hunting. However, its fertility allows it to withstand this pressure in certain areas.

African savanna
Equatorial jungle
Madagascar Island