Overview of Project
Id and Species Lists
Interim Dist. Maps
|Cape Spiny Mouse - Acomys capensis
||Size: 170-180 mm long,
half of this being tail
Habitat: Rocky areas on mountain slopes
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.
Back Protea Gallery