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.
Distribution in Egypt
Localized (South Sinai).
Body length: 93–125 mm. Tail length: 85–123 mm. Weight: 37–48 gm.
Habitat and Ecology
Spiny mice inhabits in mountains, wadis near wild plants, and in Bedouin gardens.
Life History and Behavior
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.
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
Status in Egypt
Eastern spiny mouse
The Eastern or Arabian spiny mouse (Acomys dimidiatus) is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. 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. Their diet is similar to other species of spiny mouse, consisting mostly of seeds.
- Amr, Z., Shenbrot, G. & Molur, S. (2008). Acomys dimidiatus. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 4 February 2009.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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