Protea Atlas Logo
  Overview of Project
  Project Staff
  Checking, Illustrations
  Upcoming Activities
  Id and  Species Lists
  Protea Information
  Protea Gallery
  Growing Proteas
  Interim Dist. Maps
  Afrikaanse Inligting


Rodent Gallery

Cape Spiny Mouse - Acomys capensis
Cape Spiny Mouse Size: 170-180 mm long, half of this being tail
Mass: 20g.
Habitat: Rocky areas on mountain slopes
Habits: Nocturnal
Teeth: The abnormally narrowed teeth and strongly reduced third Molar are diagnostic of the species
Identification: The exceptionally tough gutter hairs (which form the firm outercoa) on the back, especially towards the tail, give a spiny feel to the pelage. The animal is greyish-brown on the back, becoming lighter, and more rusty, on the flanks. There is an abrupt change from the flanks to a dirty-white colour on the underside. The hands and feet have fine white hairs. The hand has four digits, the thumb reduced to a stump with a nail (not a claw like the other digits). The foot has five digits. There are six nipples, 1 pair on the rib cage and 2 pairs on the abdomen.

The Cape Spiny Mouse is the cacher of seeds (hoarding them in underground stores) in Fynbos. It is especially important to the Arid and Sun Conebushes, where it both eats and buries the seeds where they are safe from other predators and fire.

Rodents pollinating Proteas - Drawing: Trish Fleming

Back Protea Gallery