Dendromus mystacalis resides in Africa south of the Sahara Desert. It is found along the east African coast south of Somalia and westward to the Atlantic coast in Nigeria. The range extends south to Angola in the west, to the southern tip of South Africa in the east, but most of Namibia and Botswana are excluded from the range. (Kingdon, 1974)
- Biogeographic Regions
- Terrestrial Biomes
- savanna or grassland
- Range elevation
- 2000 (high) m
- 6561.68 (high) ft
All Dendromus have grooved incisors on the upper jaw, a tail greater than 60 mm in length, and only 3 well-developed digits on their front feet. The hindfeet are normal, but have a short hallux. The second digit is about as long as the fifth digit. The fur on the back is dark yellowish-brown on the tips, while the bases of the hairs are a slate color. The fur on the ventrum is lighter - usually white or light brown. Other Dendromus have a dorsal stripe. Normally, does not, but there are variations. Some show a "vestigial stripe" and a few have an obvious dorsal stripe. The color of the fur can range from a pale sandy brown to a rich, moderately dark brown. (Delany, 1975; Kingdon, 1974)
- Sexual Dimorphism
- male larger
- Range mass
- 7 to 17 g
- 0.25 to 0.60 oz
- Range length
- 50 to 80 mm
- 1.97 to 3.15 in
- Average length
- 70 mm
- 2.76 in
The sexual dimorphism in size seen in this species might be indicative of some competition between males for access to females, and therefore some level of polygyny. However, not much is known about the mating system of D. mysticalis. (Delany, 1975; Kingdon, 1974)
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- Breeding interval
- breeds at least once per year, but an exact interval is not available.
- Breeding season
- The breeding season of this species is not known.
- Range number of offspring
- 3 to 4
Newborn (Delany, 1975)are born helpless and are nursed in the nest of the female. The period of nursing is not known, nor is the duration of parental care. The role of males in the parental care of this species has not been reported.
- Parental Investment
Male and female mice build nests that are quite similar to each other. The nests are elevated, being built anywhere from just above the ground up to three meters high. The mice will build nests in bushes, grasses, or trees. The nests are made of shredded banana leaves or long, wiry grass. The inside of the nest is more finely shredded than the outside. Nests are globular with a hole in one side. They are less than 7.35 cm in diameter, and only one adult mouse occupies a nest. The nests are often built lower to the ground, but can be in exposed areas high up in banana trees or other tall vegetation. (Delany, 1975; Kingdon, 1974)
D. melanotis. Individuals of this species appear to be dominant to Mus minutoides and Mus triton individuals, but subordinate to Dendromus melanotis. When is provoked, it is able to make vertical leaps up to 45 cm. (Delany, 1975; Kingdon, 1974)is an aggressive mouse. It will fight fiercely with other mice, especially with
The home range ofis unknown.
Communication and Perception
Very little information is available on communication in D. mysticalis. However, Like other small rodents, they are likely to use smell and acoustic information extensively, along with vision and touch.
- Primary Diet
- Animal Foods
- terrestrial non-insect arthropods
- Plant Foods
- seeds, grains, and nuts
The ranges of D. melanotis overlap, and the two species are very aggressive towards each other. The aggressiveness could be an indication of natural competition. Studies show D. melanotis tends to outcompete . When D. melanotis is present in an ecosystem, will more often occupy the dry-grass savanna. When D. melanotis is absent, will more often occupy the wetter areas. (Kingdon, 1974)and
Densities of (Kingdon, 1974)were reported for Haut Ituri in 1963 as 0.6 mice/ha in savanna with secondary herbaceous growth, 3.6 mice/ha in a marsh, and 19.8 mice/ha in herbaceous growth bordering a marsh
In addition to its role in interspecific competition, possibly limiting the distribution of other species of mice,probably plays some role in dispursing seeds which it eats. As a prey species, probably affects predator populations. As an insect predator, these mice probably have some impact on insect populations.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Several national parks in Africa (Malolotja National Park, for example) list D. mysticalis may add to the ecotourism in these parks, but this is not likely due to the small size of these mice, their nocturnal habits, and their lack of any overtly charismatic characteristics. However, as a prey species, they probably contribute to maintaining populations of animals which are of greater interest to tourists. ("Malolotja Nature Reserve Mammal Checklist", 2001)on their mammal lists. The presence of
- Positive Impacts
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
Although (Delany, 1975)will inhabit banana trees, human structures, and gardens, no negative economic effects have been documented.
Currently recognized subspecies of D. m. jamesoni Wroughton, D. m. whytei Hayman, and D. m. messorius. Dendromus mystacalis messorius is listed by some authors as a separate species. (Ansell, 1960; Smithers, 1971)include
Dendromus pumilio Wagner. (Ansell, 1960)was historically called
Nancy Shefferly (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
Cathy Szymanski (author), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, Chris Yahnke (editor), University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.
uses sound to communicate
young are born in a relatively underdeveloped state; they are unable to feed or care for themselves or locomote independently for a period of time after birth/hatching. In birds, naked and helpless after hatching.
Referring to an animal that lives in trees; tree-climbing.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
union of egg and spermatozoan
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
active during the night
an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
- tropical savanna and grassland
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
- temperate grassland
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
uses sight to communicate
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora. 2002. "Cites Appendices I, II, and III" (On-line ). Accessed 3 Dec 2002 at http://www.CITES.org/eng/append/index.shtml.
International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. 2002. "IUCN Red List of Threatened and Endanagered Species" (On-line ). Accessed 3 Dec 2002 at http://www.redlist.org.
Swaziland National Trust Commission. 2001. "Malolotja Nature Reserve Mammal Checklist" (On-line ). Accessed 4 Nov 2002 at http://www.sntc.org.sz/checklst/mamamch.html.
World Institute for Conservation and Environment. 2002. "Nature Word Wide" (On-line ). Accessed 1 Dec 2002 at http://www.birdlist.org/index.htm.
United States Fish and Wildlife Service. 2002. "Species Information: Threatened and Endangered Animals and Plants" (On-line ). Accessed 3 Dec 2002 at http://endangered.fws.gov/wildlife.html.
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Delany, M. 1975. The Rodents of Uganda. London, England:
Jones, M. 1982. Longevity of captive animals. Zoological Garten, 52: 115-128.
Kingdon, J. 1974. East African Mammals. An Atlas of Evolution in Africa IIB. London, England: Academic Press.
Monadjem, A. 1997. Stomach contents of 19 species of small mammals from Swaziland. South African Journal of Zoology, 32: 23-26.
Smithers, R. 1971. The Mammals of Botswana. Salisbury, Rhodesia: Mardon Printers Ltd..