Acomys nesiotes 


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Muridae

Scientific Name: Acomys nesiotes
Species Authority: Bate, 1903
Common Name(s):
English Cyprus Spiny Mouse
Taxonomic Notes: A poorly defined species. Likely to be part of Acomys cahirinus but currently recognized as valid (see Barome et al. 2001, and Musser and Carleton 2005 for discussion).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Data Deficient ver 3.1
Year Published: 2008
Date Assessed: 2008-06-30
Assessor(s): Kryštufek, B. & Amori, G.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority) & Temple, H. (Global Mammal Assessment Team)
This species is Data Deficient given the uncertainty concerning the taxonomic status of the species, and the fact that the species was probably introduced by humans to Cyprus. If it was assessed as a valid species, it would likely qualify as threatened under criterion B.
Previously published Red List assessments:
2000 Data Deficient (DD)
1996 Lower Risk/near threatened (LR/nt)

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Acomys nesiotes is endemic to Cyprus, where available evidence suggests that it was possibly introduced by humans, and therefore may represent a non-native population of Acomys cahirinus.
Countries occurrence:
Present - origin uncertain:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:There were no records of this species between 1980 and 2007. In 2007, four individuals were captured by M. Sozen and colleagues around Lefkoşa (Nicosia) area at an altitude of about 600 meters asl in northern Cyprus, confirming that this species persists (M. Sozen pers. comm. 2007).

The species is expected to have two disjunct populations in the rocky areas of the island: the Troodos massiv in the South and the Kyrenia hills in the North, which are separated by the non-rocky Mesaoria lowlands.
Current Population Trend:Unknown
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in rocky areas.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Attempts were made in the 1980s and 1990s to trap this species at sites where it was recorded in the 1970s; these were always unsuccessful, and instead of spiny mice, black rats Rattus rattus were found at the sites (P. Boye pers. comm. 2007). Habitat at some of these site has been destroyed as a result of road and building construction (P. Boye pers. comm. 2007). This suggests that the Cyprus Spiny Mouse may have suffered significant declines as a result of competition with invasive black rats and habitat loss due to development.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: No specific measures are in place. It is not known if the species occurs in any protected areas. Taxonomic research is required to clarify whether or not this is a valid species. Surveys are needed to determine population size, distribution and trends.

Classifications [top]

0. Root -> 6. Rocky areas (eg. inland cliffs, mountain peaks)
suitability: Suitable  

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
1. Residential & commercial development -> 1.3. Tourism & recreation areas
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

4. Transportation & service corridors -> 4.1. Roads & railroads
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.1. Ecosystem conversion
  • 1. Ecosystem stresses -> 1.2. Ecosystem degradation

8. Invasive & other problematic species & genes -> 8.1. Invasive non-native/alien species -> 8.1.2. Named species (Rattus rattus)
♦ timing: Ongoing    
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.3. Indirect species effects -> 2.3.2. Competition

1. Research -> 1.1. Taxonomy
1. Research -> 1.2. Population size, distribution & trends
1. Research -> 1.5. Threats
1. Research -> 1.6. Actions
3. Monitoring -> 3.1. Population trends

Bibliography [top]

Barome, P.-O., Lymberakis, P., Monnerot, M. and Gautun, J.-C. 2001. Cytochrome b sequences reveal Acomys minous paraphyly and answer the question about the ancestral karyotype of Acomys dimidiatus. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18: 37-46.

IUCN. 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Available at: (Accessed: 5 October 2008).

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.

Citation: Kryštufek, B. & Amori, G. 2008. Acomys nesiotes. In: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T271A13052509. . Downloaded on 27 November 2015.
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