The coarse fur covering its body identifies this species. The fur is frequently tinted the color of the soil in which the animal is found, creating an array of color from brownish to reddish grey to yellowish grey. The pads of the feet lack fur. A few sparse white hairs may occupy the area surrounding the foot. A white, or buff, stripe appears on both sides of the body running from the shoulders to the hind quarters. The total length of the body is between 203 to 463 mm with a tail length of 180 to 274 mm. The tail is somewhat flattened and usually a shade darker than the rest of the body. The ears are small. Claws are present, long and slightly curved, but climbing trees is nearly impossible for Xerus erythropus. (Ellerman, 1940; Hanney, 1975; Nowak, 2004)
- Ellerman, J. 1940. The Families and Genera of Living Rodents. London: Jarrold & Sons LTD.
- Hanney, P. 1975. Rodents: Their Lives and Habits. New York: Taplinger Publishing Company.