Overview

Distribution

Range Description

This is a Mediterranean endemic species. It is mostly confined to a narrow coastal strip in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, northwest and north of the Atlas Mountains (Carleton and Van der Straeten, 1997). There are also two records from the base of the Atlas Mountains. It occurs from sea level to the Plateau Central, at least up to 1,000 m (R. Hutterer pers. comm. 2007).
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Geographic Range

Lemniscomys barbarus is endemic to a narrow coastal zone in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. A few small populations have been found from the base of the Atlas Mountains to the Plateau Central. It has been hypothesized that the current range of L. barbarus was established during the early to mid-Pleistocene.

Biogeographic Regions: palearctic (Native )

  • Carleton, M., E. Van Der Straeten. 1997. Morphological differentiation among Subsaharan and North African populations of the Lemniscomys barbarus complex (Rodentia: Muridae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 110(4): 640-680.
  • Lahmam, M., A. M'rabet, A. Ouarour, P. Pevet, E. Challet, P. Vuillez. 2008. Daily behavioral rhythmicity and organization of the suprachiasmatic nuclei in the diurnal rodent, Lemniscomys barbarus. Chronobiology International, 25(6): 882-904.
  • Quahbi, M., Aberkan, F. Serre. 2003. Recent Quaternary fossil mammals of Chrafate and Ez Zarka. The origin of modern fauna in the Northern Rif (NW Morocco, Northern Africa). Geologica Acta, 1(3): 277-288.
  • van der Straeten, E. 2008. "Lemniscomys barbarus" (On-line). Accessed March 13, 2011 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/11487/0.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

Physical Description

Lemniscomys barbarus is the smallest of member of its genus, with masses ranging from 22 g to 48 g and an average mass of 30 g. Individuals range in body length from 8 to 12 cm and a tail ranging from 10 to 15 cm in length. This species is easily recognized due to its unique pelage, which includes a middorsal longitudinal stripes. The dorsal pelage is brown or oatmeal-colored and has a single dark vertebral stripe, extending from the middle crown to the rump. Flanking this vertebral line on each side are 4 to 5 primary pairs of bold alternating light and dark stripes, and dark stripes are usually wider than the corresponding light stripes. Additionally, the pelage features secondary light lines, particularly evident within the first primary dark stripes. The ventral pelage is white. Lemniscomys barbarus has a narrow and pointed head, usually of the same color as the dorsum. Its ears are large and rounded, covered with hair.

Lemniscomys barbarus has a dental formula of 1/1, 0/0, 0/0, 3/3 = 16. The molars are rooted, strongly lophodont, and appear similar to those of Lemniscomys griselda. The third molar is always smaller than the first and second molars. The skull of L. barbarus is especially robust when compared to congeners. In contrast to other members of g. Lemniscomys, the barbary striped grass mouse has inflated ectotympanic bullae, and similar to other murines, L. barbarus lacks a sphenofrontal foramen and squamosoalisphenoid groove. Sexual dimorphism has not been reported in this species. Lemniscomys barbarus is diploid and has 54 chromosomes.

Range mass: 22 to 40 g.

Range length: 18 to 27 cm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

  • WAZA. 2011. "Barbary Striped Grass Mouse (Lemniscomys barbarus)" (On-line). World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Accessed April 05, 2011 at http://www.waza.org/en/zoo/visit-the-zoo/rodents-and-hares/lemniscomys-barbarus.
  • Wingham Wildlife Park. 2007. "Mouse, Zebra (Lemniscomys barbarus)" (On-line). Wingham Wildlife Park. Accessed April 03, 2011 at http://www.winghamwildlifepark.co.uk/Article.aspx?ArticleID=459.
  • Happold, D. 1987. Mammals of Nigeria. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Kingdon, J. 1984. East African Mammals: An Atlas of Evolution in Africa, Volume 2, Part B: Hares and Rodents. Chicago: University of Chicago.
  • Shortridge, G. 1934. The Mammals of South West Africa. London: Heinemann.
  • Stitou, S., M. Burgos, F. Zurita, R. Jimenez, A. Sanchez, R. Diaz de la Guardia. 1997. Recent evolution of NOR-bearing and sex chromosomes of the North African rodent Lemniscomys barbarus. Chromosome Research, 5: 481-485.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
It occurs in Mediterranean scrubland and woodland (Carleton and Van der Straeten 1997), and is also found in arable lands. The species has been recorded from rocky outcrops in vegetated coastal dunes, juniper scrub, argon sage grassland and argon savanna. It is also found in agricultural areas and in open forest. The species is active during the day and is therefore rarely found in owl pellets.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

The barbary striped grass mice are found from sea level up to 1000 m. They mainly live in Mediterranean scrublands and woodlands and prefer areas with thick grass and herbaceous ground cover. However, this species has been reported from various nonforested, relatively dry habits along the coastal region of Northwest Africa. In general, barbary striped grass mice can be found in rocky outcrops in vegetated coastal dunes, juniper scrub, argon sage grassland, and argon savanna throughout their geographic range.

Range elevation: 0 to 1000 m.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: desert or dune ; savanna or grassland ; chaparral ; scrub forest

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

Food Habits

Lemniscomys barbarus constructs well-defined runways from its burrow or nest to its feeding grounds, where they store small piles of cut grass stems, the staple of its diet. In additino to grass stems, L. barbarus forages on leaves, roots, and fruit as well as crops and seeds. Less commonly, L. barbarus has been known to eat insects.

Animal Foods: insects

Plant Foods: leaves; roots and tubers; seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit

Foraging Behavior: stores or caches food

Primary Diet: herbivore (Granivore )

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Ecosystem Roles

The ecological role of Lemniscomys barbarus is not well understood. However, two separate studies suggest that L. barbarus may be a potential host for the parasitic protists, Eimeria telekii and Sarcocystis atheridis. Altough both species can potentially use L. barbarus as a host, this may not be ecologically relevant in the case of E. telekii, as its range does not overlap with that of L. barbarus. A portion of Lemniscomys barbarus's diet consists of seeds. As a result, this species may be an important seed disperser throughout its geographic range.

Commensal/Parasitic Species:

  • Slapeta, J., D. Modry, B. Koudela. 1999. Sarcocystis atheridis sp. nov., a new sarcosporidian coccidium from Nitsche's bush viper, Atheris nitschei Tornier, 1902, from Uganda. Parasitology Research, 85(8-9): 758-764.
  • Slapeta, J., D. Modry, J. Votypka, M. Jirku, M. Obornik, J. Lukes, B. Koudela. 2001. Eimeria telekii n.sp. (Apicomplexa: Coccidia) from Lemniscomys striatus (Rodentia: Muridae): morphology, pathology, and phylogeny.. Parasitology, 122(Pt 2): 133-143.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Predation

Diurnal birds of prey such as hawks (Accipitridae and secretary birds (Sagittarius serpentarius reportedly prey on Lemniscomys barbarus. Other predators include genets, mongooses, jackals, small cats, cheetahs, and snakes. To avoid predation, when threatened L. barbarus hurriedly escapes to its burrow. The striped pattern on its dorsal pelage may help camouflage L. barbarus from potential predators and its burrowing nature likely helps minimize risk of predation as well.

Known Predators:

Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Communication and Perception

Consistent with the diurnal activity patterns of this species, Lemniscomys barbarus's eyes contain a relatively large number of cones, the photoreceptors responsible for color vision, in their retinas. Cone-rich retinal structures are relatively rare among contemporary mammalian species. As most mammals are nocturnal, they have rod-dominated retinas. No other information exists regarding communication and perception in this species. Lemniscomys barbarus uses scent marks to demarcate territories and communicate with conspecifics, especially during mating season.

Communication Channels: chemical

Other Communication Modes: pheromones ; scent marks

Perception Channels: visual ; acoustic

  • Bobu, C., M. Lahmam, P. Vuillez, A. Ouarour, D. Hicks. 2008. Photoreceptor organisation and phenotypic characterization in retinas of two diurnal rodent species: Potential use as experimental animal models for human vision research. Vision Research, 48(3): 424-432.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Expectancy

Lifespan/Longevity

The life expectancy of Lemniscomys barbarus barely exceeds six months in the wild. In contrast, this rodent can live up from 3 to 4.5 years in captivity, with an average life expectancy of 4.4 years.

Average lifespan

Status: wild:
6 months.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
3 to 4.5 years.

Average lifespan

Status: captivity:
4.4 years.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 4.4 years (captivity)
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Joao Pedro de Magalhaes

Source: AnAge

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

There is no information regarding the mating system of Lemniscomys barbarus.

Male barbary striped grass mice reach sexual maturity at about 10 weeks, while females may take several months longer and may not reproduce up to a year later. Mating season occurs during the warm, wet spring and summer months, with no reproductive activity reported during winter. It has been suggested that reproduction is correlated with season and ambient temperature. Gestation lasts for 21 days, and the average litters consist of 5.5 pups. While the reproductive behavior of this species has not been described in detail, new-borns of the closely related Lemniscomys striatus weigh 3 grams at birth and are covered in short hair. Dorsal stripes are present at birth. Their eyes open around one week after birth, and adult weight is not achieved until 5 months old. Mean birth mass at birth for Lemniscomys rosalia pups, another close relative, is 2.6 grams. Pups are altricial at birth and have fused toes, closed eyes, and folded ear flaps. Young develop quickly, opening their eyes by 9 to 11 after birth and becoming fully furred by day 18.

Breeding season: The barbary striped grass mouse breeds during the spring and summer months, with no reproductive activity during the winter months.

Average number of offspring: 5.5.

Average gestation period: 21 days.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 8 weeks.

Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 10 weeks.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); viviparous

Little information is available regarding parental care in barbary striped grass mice. Females nurse young through 4 pectoral and 4 inguinal mammae until weaning.

Parental Investment: altricial ; female parental care ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female)

  • WAZA. 2011. "Barbary Striped Grass Mouse (Lemniscomys barbarus)" (On-line). World Association of Zoos and Aquariums. Accessed April 05, 2011 at http://www.waza.org/en/zoo/visit-the-zoo/rodents-and-hares/lemniscomys-barbarus.
  • Kingdon, J. 1984. East African Mammals: An Atlas of Evolution in Africa, Volume 2, Part B: Hares and Rodents. Chicago: University of Chicago.
  • Nowak, R. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World, Volume 1. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Shortridge, G. 1934. The Mammals of South West Africa. London: Heinemann.
  • Skinner, J., C. Chimimba. 2005. The Mammals of the Southern African subregion, Third Edition. Singapore: Cambridge Press.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
van der Straeten, E.

Reviewer/s
Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)

Contributor/s

Justification
An endemic species in the Mediterranean. In some years it is very common, but in other years densities are very low. It is an attractive rodent that is kept by some people as a pet, but although some animals are collected from the wild and exported for the pet market, it is also very easy to breed in captivity so this trade is not considered a serious threat to the species. Currently it is Least Concern.

History
  • 2004
    Least Concern
  • 2002
    Least Concern
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

While natural populations of Lemniscomys barbarus have low densities in certain years, they are fairly abundant in others. Due to the apparent longterm stability of L. barbarus in the wild, it is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
In some years the species is very common, but in other years densities are very low.

Population Trend
Stable
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats to this species. It is an attractive rodent that is kept by some people as a pet, but although some animals are collected from the wild and exported for the pet market, it is also very easy to breed in captivity so this trade is not considered a serious threat to the species.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It may occur in some very small protected areas, but this would need to be confirmed.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Economic Importance for Humans: Negative

There are no known adverse effects of Lemniscomys barbarus on humans.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Economic Importance for Humans: Positive

Lemniscomys barbarus has been used to study the organization of the suprachiasmatic nuclei and its role in circadian rhythms. This species has also been used to study cone pathophysiology due to its similar diurnal activity pattern to humans. Finally, Lemniscomys barbarus is sometimes kept as a pet.

Positive Impacts: pet trade ; research and education

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

Barbary striped grass mouse

The Barbary mouse, in an 1895 illustration

The Barbary striped grass mouse (Lemniscomys barbarus) is a small rodent of the suborder Myomorpha. This monotypic species is native to coastal Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in northwest Africa.[1][2][3] In the past it was believed to also occur throughout a large part of Sub-Saharan Africa, but these populations are now treated as a separate species, the Heuglin's striped grass mouse (L. zebra).[2][3] These relatively small Lemniscomys are among the species most commonly kept in captivity.[4]

The Barbary, Heuglin's and Hoogstral's striped grass mouse (L. hoogstraali) form a group that have a distinctly dark and light striped pelage.[3] Other Lemniscomys either have more spotty/interrupted stripes or only a single dark stripe along the back.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b van der Straeten, E. (2008). "Lemniscomys barbarus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  2. ^ a b Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ a b c d Carleton, M D., and Van der Straeten, E. (1997). Morphological differentiation among Subsaharan and north African populations of the Lemniscomys barbarus complex (Rodentia : Muridae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 110(4): 640-680.
  4. ^ Tofts, Russel. Striped Mouse. Striped Mouse Archived September 6, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Barbary Striped Grass Mouse

The Barbary mouse, in an 1895 illustration

The Barbary striped grass mouse (Lemniscomys barbarus) is a small rodent of the suborder Myomorpha. This monotypic species is native to coastal Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia in northwest Africa.[1][2][3] In the past it was believed to also occur throughout a large part of Sub-Saharan Africa, but these populations are now treated as a separate species, the Heuglin's Striped Grass Mouse (L. zebra).[2][3] These relatively small Lemniscomys are among the species most commonly kept in captivity.[4]

The Barbary, Heuglin's and Hoogstral's Striped Grass Mouse (L. hoogstraali) form a group that have a distinctly dark and light striped pelage.[3] Other Lemniscomys either have more spotty/interrupted stripes or only a single dark stripe along the back.[3]

References

  1. ^ a b van der Straeten, E. (2008). "Lemniscomys barbarus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. International Union for Conservation of Nature. http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/11487. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
  2. ^ a b Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M., eds. (2005). Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. http://www.bucknell.edu/msw3/browse.asp?id=13001407.
  3. ^ a b c d Carleton, M D., and Van der Straeten, E. (1997). Morphological differentiation among Subsaharan and north African populations of the Lemniscomys barbarus complex (Rodentia : Muridae). Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 110(4): 640-680.
  4. ^ Tofts, Russel. Striped Mouse. Striped Mouse Archived September 6, 2007 at the Wayback Machine
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!