Acomys spinosissimus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Acomys spinosissimus
Species Authority: Peters, 1852
Common Name(s):
English Spiny Mouse
Acomys selousi De Winton, 1896
Taxonomic Notes: This taxon has molecular and chromosomal data to indicate that it is a species complex (Marco Corti pers. comm.). A. selousi De Winton, 1896, currently treated as a synonym might represent a valid species. The northern taxa may warrant listing as threatened as they are much less common than A. spinosissimus in southern Africa.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Schlitter, D.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Cox, N. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
Listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, it occurs in a number of protected areas, and because it is unlikely to be declining fast enough to qualify for listing in a more threatened category.
2004 Least Concern

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species has been recorded from northeastern Tanzania (Amani) and east central Tanzania (Kilosa and Morogoro regions), southeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Malawi (on the Nyika Plateau), Zimbabwe, eastern Botswana, central Mozambique and northern and northwestern South Africa (Limpopo Province, North-West province, Gauteng and Mpumalanga). It occurs up to 1,800 m asl.
Botswana; Congo, The Democratic Republic of the; Malawi; Mozambique; South Africa; Tanzania, United Republic of; Zambia; Zimbabwe
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: It is very common in the southern parts of the range, but less common further north.
Population Trend: Stable

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species is found on rocky outcrops in savanna woodland (Brachystegia, Mopane, Miombo, Terminalia, etc.). It is an insectivorous species. It is not known if the species can persist in disturbed or modified habitats.
Systems: Terrestrial

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to this species.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: It has been recorded from a large number of protected areas in all the countries of its range. However, it is apparently not in the Selous Reserve in Tanzania.

Bibliography [top]

Ansell, W. F. H. 1978. The Mammals of Zambia. pp. 73-74. The National Parks and Wildlife Service, Chilanga, Zambia.

Ansell, W. F. H. and Dowsett, R. J. 1988. Mammals of Malawi - an Annotated Checklist and Atlas. The Trendrine Press, Zennor, St Ives, Cornwall, UK.

Bates, P. J. J. 1994. The distribution of Acomys (Rodentia: Muridae) in Africa and Asia. Israel Journal of Zoology 40: 199-214.

Dippenaar, N. J. and Rautenbach, I. L. 1986. Morphometrics and karyology of the southern African species of the genus Acomys I. Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1838 (Rodentia: Muridae). Annals of the Transvaal Museum 34: 129-183.

Musser, G. G. and Carleton, M. D. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. In: D. E. Wilson and D. A. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: a geographic and taxonomic reference, pp. 894-1531. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

Rathbun, G.B. (subeditor). 2005. Macroscelidea. In: Skinner, J. D. and Chimimba, C. T. (eds), The mammals of southern Africa subregion, 3rd edition, pp. 813 pp.. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK.

Swynnerton, G. H. and Hayman, R. W. 1951. A Checklist of the Land Mammals of the Tanganyika Territory and the Zanzibar Protectorate. Journal of the East Africa Natural History Society 20(6): 274-392.

Citation: Schlitter, D. 2008. Acomys spinosissimus. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. <>. Downloaded on 29 March 2015.
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