Overview

Brief Summary

The African pygmy mouse, Mus minutoides, is a tiny little animal abundant and widely spread across sub-Saharan Africa, especially in grasslands and savannas. Mus minutoides is classified as one of 19 species in the sub-Saharan subgenus Nannomys. This species is closely related to Mus misculoides, and especially in the northern part of its range, distinguishing between these two species becomes complicated, as they appear to form a species complex. Mus minutoides is also fairly closely related to the ubiquitous house mouse, Mus musculus (although M. musculus, is in a different subgenus, Mus). African pygmy mice are commonly kept in captivity as pets.

One of the smallest of the rodents, moreover, one of the smallest African mammals, the African pygmy mouse grows to about 5 g in weight and an adult length of about 11 cm, (with a tail making up about half that length). These mice mainly eat grass seeds and small insects, forage nocturnally, and live in individual family units in burrows that they make usually under fallen logs or in piles of debris. They live about 2 years, and have a prolific breeding cycle in which first mating occurs at 4-6 weeks of age and they can produce a litter of 1-6 mice every 20 days. Although in mammals the Y chromosome usually confers male sex determination, studies have found that up to 75% of female pygmy mice in Southern and Eastern Africa carry both a Y and an X chromosome, indicating that this species may have a different mechanism for determining gender. The X chromosome of XY females has been examined and found to be morphologically different from the X chromosomes found in XX females and XY males, and is hypothesized to contain an as yet undetermined mutation which prevents masculinization of XY individuals, so that they develop as females.

(Monadjem 2008; Mpushini wildlife; Veyrunes et al. 2010; Veyrunes et al. 2006; Wikipedia 2011)

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

Supplier: Dana Campbell

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Range Description

This species appears to range from South Africa and Swaziland northwards into Central Africa and East Africa. The northern limits of the distribution are difficult to define as Mus minutoides appears to form an unresolved species complex with the similar Mus musculoides, and the possible distribution of these taxa between Tanzania, southern Sudan in the north and northern Congo in the west is especially unclear. Typical examples of Mus minutoides have been recorded up to 2,400 m asl (Sinner and Chimimba 2005).
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

Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
Typical examples of this species have been recorded in Southern Africa from fynbos habitats, savanna, grassland, rocky habitats, vlei and riverine associations, recently burnt grassland, fallow land and suburban areas (though they rarely enter buildings) (Skinner and Chimimba 2005).

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

Life History and Behavior

Life Expectancy

Lifespan, longevity, and ageing

Maximum longevity: 4.3 years (captivity) Observations: One captive specimen lived 4.3 years (Richard Weigl 2005).
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

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Mus minutoides

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 61
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

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
Monadjem, A.

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

Contributor/s

Justification
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, it occurs in a number of protected areas, has a tolerance of a degree of habitat modification, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.

History
  • 2004
    Least Concern
  • 1996
    Critically Endangered
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

Population

Population
It is abundant to very abundant. Population densities of up to 28 animals/ha recorded and presumably even higher densities in favorable conditions (Ara Monadjem pers. comm.).

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.
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 occurs in a large number of protected areas. Additional studies are needed to resolve the northern distribution limits of this 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

Wikipedia

African pygmy mouse

The African pygmy mouse (Mus minutoides) is one of the smallest rodents. It is widespread within sub-Saharan Africa, and is kept as a pet in other parts of the world. Like the common house mouse, it is a member of the enormous superfamily Muroidea, which includes about 1000 different species.

Grey to brick-red overall, it is pale on the underside and has small but prominent triangular ears. Adults are between 30 and 80 mm (1.2 and 3.1 in) long, with a 20 to 40 mm (0.79 to 1.57 in) tail, and weigh from 3 to 12 g (0.11 to 0.42 oz).

African pygmy mice reach breeding age at about 6 to 8 weeks. Pregnancy lasts for around 20 days and the litter of about 3 young is born blind and hairless. Their eyes open after 2 weeks, and weaning is complete after 4 weeks. The lifespan is about 2 years, although individual specimens have been reported to live over 4 years in captivity.

The African pygmy mouse has a number of unique traits. It stacks pebbles in front of its burrow. Overnight the pebbles gather dew and in the morning the pygmy mouse drinks the dew on the pebbles. After that it retires back to its den. Its method of sex determination has also been found to differ from most mammals[2] in that rearrangements of the X chromosome have led to many XY individuals actually being female.

They live in colonies or in pairs in grass close to water and are excellent climbers. They prefer social interaction, and when kept as a pet they can not be left alone.[3] As pets, they cannot be handled due to the risk of inadvertently causing internal damage due to their small size. They have quite simple care needs[4] and are active during both day and night, making them an interesting exotic pet to own.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Monadjem, A. (2008). "Mus minutoides". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 4 May 2014.  Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern
  2. ^ Frederic Veyrunes, Pascale Chevret, et al. (2010). "A novel sex determination system in a close relative of the house mouse". Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences 277 (1684): 1049–1056. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.1925. 
  3. ^ African Pygmy Mouse. Heritage-pets.tripod.com. Retrieved on 2012-12-28.
  4. ^ African Pygmy Mice Overview – Crittery Exotics. Crittery.co.uk. Retrieved on 2012-12-28.
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

African Pygmy Mouse

The African Pygmy Mouse, (Mus minutoides) is possibly the smallest of all rodents and one of the smallest mammals. It is widespread within sub-Saharan Africa, and is kept as a pet in other parts of the world. Like the common House Mouse, it is a member of the enormous superfamily Muroidea, which includes about 1000 different species.

Grey to brick-red overall, it is pale on the underside and has small but prominent triangular ears. Adults are between 30 and 80 mm (1.2 and 3.1 in) long, with a 20 to 40 mm (0.79 to 1.6 in) tail, and weigh from 3 to 12 g (0.11 to 0.42 oz).

African Pygmy Mice reach breeding age at about 6 to 8 weeks. Pregnancy lasts for around 20 days and the litter of about 3 young is born blind and hairless. Their eyes open after 2 weeks, and weaning is complete after 4 weeks. The lifespan is about 2 years, although individual specimens have been reported to live over 4 years in captivity.

The African Pygmy Mouse has a number of unique traits. It stacks pebbles in front of its burrow. Overnight the pebbles gather dew and in the morning the pygmy mouse drinks the dew on the pebbles. After that it retires back to its den. Its method of sex determination has also been found to differ from most mammals[1] in that rearrangements of the X chromosome have led to many XY individuals actually being female.

They live in colonies or in pairs in grass close to water and are excellent climbers. They prefer social interaction, and when kept as a pet they can not be left alone.[2] As pets, they cannot be handled due to the risk of inadvertently causing internal damage due to their small size. They have quite simple care needs[3] and are active during both day and night, making them an interesting exotic pet to own.

References

  1. ^ Frederic Veyrunes, Pascale Chevret, et al. (2010). "A novel sex determination system in a close relative of the house mouse". Proceedings of the Royal Society B Biological Sciences 277 (1684): 1049–1056. doi:10.1098/rspb.2009.1925.
  2. ^ http://heritage-pets.tripod.com/id53.html
  3. ^ http://crittery.co.uk/apmice/apmice.php


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!