Amblysomus hottentotus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Amblysomus hottentotus
Species Authority: (A. Smith, 1829)
Common Name(s):
English Hottentot Golden Mole, Zulu Golden Mole
Amblysomus iris Thomas & Schwann, 1905
Taxonomic Notes: Traditionally taken to include populations that Bronner (1996, 2000) recognized as valid species, namely A. septentrionalis, A. robustus, A. marleyi and A. corriae (in part).

Includes five subspecies: hottentotus, pondoliae, iris, longiceps and meesteri (Bronner 1995).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Bronner, G.
Reviewer(s): Rathbun, G. (Afrotheria Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
A widespread and adaptable species that does not appear to be in decline. Listed as Least Concern in view of its relatively large distribution, presumed large population, and its occurrence in a number of protected areas.
2006 Least Concern (IUCN 2006)
2006 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species as presently known is found in South Africa and Swaziland. Coastally from the Eastern Cape, in the vicinity of Van Staden's River, northwards to St Lucia district in KwaZulu-Natal. Ranges inland to the foot of the Drakensberg escarpment, from Maclear/Ugie in the south to Van Reenen in the north, with an apparently isolated subspecies (A. h. meesteri) in the Barberton/Graskop region of Mpumalanga. Previously reported from Lesotho, based on a misidentified specimen (representing Chlorotalpa sclateri); a marginal occurrence in Lesotho in the northern Drakensberg (near Bethlehem) cannot, however, be discounted as species limits and distributions of this taxon and A. septentrionalis await clarification.
South Africa; Swaziland
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Common throughout range. Densities of up to 15–20 individuals/ha recorded in prime habitat (inferred from Kuyper 1985).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Wide variety of woodland and grassland habitats in southern African savanna, also in Afromontane forests and marshes; also found on coastal dunes. Marginal intrusion into the Fynbos and Nama-Karoo biomes in the southern parts of its range. Particularly abundant in moist soils near rivers and dams, but also found far from water provided the substrate is friable and not too rocky. Common in gardens, agricultural lands and golf courses; less common in exotic plantations.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats. Inferred minor threats include persecution and poisoning by landowners, and predation by domestic dogs and cats.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: Adequately conserved in many protected areas; see Bronner (1995) for a list of these.

Citation: Bronner, G. 2008. Amblysomus hottentotus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 27 May 2015.
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