Macrotarsomys bastardi is the smallest species of the murid subfamily, Nesomyinae, the Malagasy mice. M. bastardi is similar in appearance to gerbils. Pelage color is brownish fawn on the upper body with a whitish underbelly. Body length ranges from 80 to 100 mm and tail length from 100-145 mm. The tail has a thin tuft of elongated hair at the end. The hind feet are rather large in comparison to body size and range from 22-28 mm long. Ears are from 22 to 25 mm long. The dental formula is 1/1, 0/0, 0/0, 3/3 = 16. Incisors are opisthodont and smooth faced. M. bastardi also has a weakly developed supraorbital shelf and moderately inflated auditory bullae. (Anderson and Jones 1984, Macdonald 1993, Nowak 1999, Parker 1990)
Range mass: 21 to 38 g.
Habitat and Ecology
Preferred habitats for M. bastardi are dry scrublands, dry deciduous forests, and grassland regions. (Wilson and Reeder 1993)
Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; scrub forest
Their diet mainly consists of berries, fruits, seeds, roots, and plant stems. Little else is known about their food habits. (Parker 1990)
Life History and Behavior
M. bastardi tend to live in pairs. This species is known to have 2-3 young per litter and to breed year round. Average gestation period is 24 days. In some studies females have bitten their mates to death. (Anderson and Jones 1984, Parker 1990)
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
US Federal List: no special status
CITES: no special status
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known negative affects on humans.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
There are no known positive benefits to humans.
Bastard big-footed mouse
- Baillie, J. 1996. Macrotarsomys bastardi. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 19 July 2007.
- Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. pp. 894–1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
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