Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Eastern spiny mouse has coarse, dark tan and spine-like fur on the upperparts of the body extended from behind the shoulder onto rump. Body color varies from pale-brown to brown in color on the upperparts especially mid-dorsum while the underparts and feet white. The ear is large with white patches. Whitish suborbital region. Tail long, slender, hairless except on closer inspection has short bristles, shorter than the head and body length, upper surface of the tail pale grayish brown and  buff or white on the ventral surface. Palm and sole of the feet buff and without hairs. Claws whitish.

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Distribution

Range Description

This widely distributed species ranges from the Sinai Peninsula of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel, through much of the Arabian Peninsula, southern Iraq and Iran to southern Pakistan (Baluchistan and Sindh at 300 to 1,200 m asl) in the east of its range.
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Distribution in Egypt

Localized (South Sinai).

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Physical Description

Size

Body length: 93–125 mm. Tail length: 85–123 mm. Weight: 37–48 gm.

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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species has been recorded from several semi-arid or dry habitats, including rocky areas and hilly soils in Mediterranean woodland, dry deciduous forest and scrub forests. In Egypt the species invades human habitations, and it can also be encountered in agricultural areas.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
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Spiny mice inhabits in mountains, wadis near wild plants, and in Bedouin gardens.

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Life History and Behavior

Behavior

Behaviour

Largely nocturnal mammal. Sociable species, living in large groups. Omnivorous, feeding on snails, insects, scorpions, spiders, and also various plant parts. Eastern spiny mice can survive without food or water for nearly nine days and can erect its dorsal spines to enlarge its size and hence deceive predators. The tail and large patches of dorsal skin come off easily when handled; also act as an anti-predator device. Eastern spiny mice breed throughout the year with peak in breeding activity from February to July and female gives birth to a litter of two to five young after a gestation period of around 42 days.

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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Amr, Z., Shenbrot, G. & Molur, S.

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, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, presumed large population, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
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Status in Egypt

Native, resident.

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Population

Population
This species is common in parts of its range (eg. Israel and Jordan). It was considered to be 'near threatened' in the United Arab Emirates by Hornby (1996).

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are presumably no major threats to this widespread and adaptable species.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
It is presumably present in protected areas over much of the species range (eg. Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, Israel).
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Wikipedia

Eastern spiny mouse

The Eastern or Arabian spiny mouse (Acomys dimidiatus) is a species of rodent in the family Muridae.[2] They have a wide range, having been found in Middle Eastern deserts as well as being prevalent in riverine forests in Africa. This is the only species of spiny mouse which may have black coloration.[3] Their diet is similar to other species of spiny mouse, consisting mostly of seeds.[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Amr, Z., Shenbrot, G. & Molur, S. (2008). Acomys dimidiatus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
  2. ^ Musser, G. G.; Carleton, M. D. (2005). "Superfamily Muroidea". In Wilson, D. E.; Reeder, D. M. Mammal Species of the World (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 894–1531. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494. 
  3. ^ Atallah, Sana I. (May 1967). "A New Species of Spiny Mouse (Acomys) from Jordan". Journal of Mammalogy (Journal of Mammalogy, Vol. 48, No. 2) 48 (2): 258–261. doi:10.2307/1378029. JSTOR 1378029. 
  4. ^ Varty, Nigel (May 1990). "Ecology of the Small Mammals in the Riverine Forests of the Jubba Valley, Southern Somalia". Journal of Tropical Ecology 6 (2): 179–189. doi:10.1017/S0266467400004272. 
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