Petrodromus tetradactylus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Petrodromus tetradactylus
Species Authority: Peters, 1846
Common Name(s):
English Four-toed Sengi, Four-toed Elephant-shrew
Taxonomic Notes: In the past the single family was included in the order Insectivora, but now the family is in the monophyletic order Macroscelidea and the newly created super-cohort Afrotheria. Currently, there are 17 living species recognized in four genera. The soft-furred sengis or elephant-shrews include three genera: Macroscelides and Petrodromus are each monospecific, while Elephantulus contains 11 species. The four species of giant sengis belong to the genus Rhynchocyon. The common name "sengi" is being used in place of elephant-shrew by many biologists to try and disassociate the Macroscelidea from the true shrews (family Soricidae) in the order Soricomorpha. See the Afrotheria Specialist Group web site for additional information.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): FitzGibbon, C., Perrin, M., Stuart, C. (IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group) & Smit, H. (Stellenbosch University)
Reviewer(s): Rathbun, G. (Afrotheria Red List Authority) & Hoffmann, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This sengi is the second most widespread species, occurring from central and eastern Africa south to the northeastern corner of South Africa. It occupies true forest habitats, dense woodlands, scrub, and riparian areas. It is also able to live in fallow agricultural areas that have suitable cover and leaf litter, invertebrates for food. Although habitat destruction and subsistence hunting may be a problem in localized areas, overall this sengi faces minimal threats. The species is listed as Least Concern.
2006 Least Concern (IUCN 2006)
2006 Least Concern
1996 Lower Risk/least concern (Baillie and Groombridge 1996)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is present in DR Congo, Tanzania (including Mafia and Zanzibar), south-eastern Kenya, Rwanda, Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, south-eastern Zimbabwe, north-eastern Angola, and north-eastern South Africa (Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal provinces). Although some generalized distribution maps for this species show the northern form, P. t. tordayi, crossing the Ubangi or Congo rivers into Congo, there is no indication that it actually occurs north of these rivers (Corbet and Neal 1965; Corbet and Hanks 1968). Although P. t. tetradactylus has been reported from the Caprivi Strip of Namibia, apparently there are no confirmed records.
Angola (Angola); Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Kenya; Malawi; Mozambique; Rwanda; South Africa (KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo Province, Mpumalanga); Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: Although widespread, the species is only locally common.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: Forest, dense woodlands, and thickets (Jennings and Rathbun 2001), where animals probably form monogamous pairs (FitzGibbon 1995).
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats. In coastal Kenya, FitzGibbon et al. (1995) estimated that the subsistence take for food is sustainable.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: The species occurs in protected areas.

Citation: FitzGibbon, C., Perrin, M., Stuart, C. (IUCN SSC Afrotheria Specialist Group) & Smit, H. (Stellenbosch University) 2008. Petrodromus tetradactylus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 23 May 2015.
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