The barbary striped grass mice are found from sea level up to 1000 m. They mainly live in Mediterranean scrublands and woodlands and prefer areas with thick grass and herbaceous ground cover. However, this species has been reported from various nonforested, relatively dry habits along the coastal region of Northwest Africa. In general, barbary striped grass mice can be found in rocky outcrops in vegetated coastal dunes, juniper scrub, argon sage grassland, and argon savanna throughout their geographic range. (Carleton and Van Der Straeten, 1997; Lahmam, et al., 2008; van der Straeten, 2008)
pelage is brown or oatmeal-colored and has a single dark vertebral stripe, extending from the middle crown to the rump. Flanking this vertebral line on each side are 4 to 5 primary pairs of bold alternating light and dark stripes, and dark stripes are usually wider than the corresponding light stripes. Additionally, the pelage features secondary light lines, particularly evident within the first primary dark stripes. The ventral pelage is white. has a narrow and pointed head, usually of the same color as the dorsum. Its ears are large and rounded, covered with hair. (Carleton and Van Der Straeten, 1997; Happold, 1987; Kingdon, 1984; Lahmam, et al., 2008; Shortridge, 1934; Stitou, et al., 1997; "Barbary Striped Grass Mouse (Lemniscomys barbarus)", 2011; "Mouse, Zebra (Lemniscomys barbarus)", 2007; van der Straeten, 2008)is the smallest of member of its genus, with masses ranging from 22 g to 48 g and an average mass of 30 g. Individuals range in body length from 8 to 12 cm and a tail ranging from 10 to 15 cm in length. This species is easily recognized due to its unique pelage, which includes a middorsal longitudinal stripes. The dorsal
molars are rooted, strongly lophodont, and appear similar to those of Lemniscomys griselda. The third molar is always smaller than the first and second molars. The skull of is especially robust when compared to congeners. In contrast to other members of g. Lemniscomys, the barbary striped grass mouse has inflated ectotympanic bullae, and similar to other murines, lacks a sphenofrontal foramen and squamosoalisphenoid groove. Sexual dimorphism has not been reported in this species. is diploid and has 54 chromosomes. (Carleton and Van Der Straeten, 1997; Happold, 1987; Kingdon, 1984; Lahmam, et al., 2008; Shortridge, 1934; Stitou, et al., 1997; "Barbary Striped Grass Mouse (Lemniscomys barbarus)", 2011; "Mouse, Zebra (Lemniscomys barbarus)", 2007; van der Straeten, 2008)has a dental formula of 1/1, 0/0, 0/0, 3/3 = 16. The
There is no information regarding the mating system of.
Male barbary striped grass mice reach sexual maturity at about 10 weeks, while females may take several months longer and may not reproduce up to a year later. Mating season occurs during the warm, wet spring and summer months, with no reproductive activity reported during winter. It has been suggested that reproduction is correlated with season and ambient temperature. Gestation lasts for 21 days, and the average litters consist of 5.5 pups. While the reproductive behavior of this species has not been described in detail, new-borns of the closely related Lemniscomys striatus weigh 3 grams at birth and are covered in short hair. Dorsal stripes are present at birth. Their eyes open around one week after birth, and adult weight is not achieved until 5 months old. Mean birth mass at birth for Lemniscomys rosalia pups, another close relative, is 2.6 grams. Pups are altricial at birth and have fused toes, closed eyes, and folded ear flaps. Young develop quickly, opening their eyes by 9 to 11 after birth and becoming fully furred by day 18. (Kingdon, 1984; Skinner and Chimimba, 2005; "Barbary Striped Grass Mouse (Lemniscomys barbarus)", 2011)
The life expectancy of ("AnAge Database", 2011; "Barbary Striped Grass Mouse (Lemniscomys barbarus)", 2011)barely exceeds six months in the wild. In contrast, this rodent can live up from 3 to 4.5 years in captivity, with an average life expectancy of 4.4 years.
Lemniscomys griselda, burrows are occupied by a solitary individual, a breeding pair, and possibly their young. The nests of L. griselda are excavated in areas with dense grass cover. There are well-developed runways between burrows and feeding grounds. feeds mostly during the evening and early morning. Due to its extensive runway system, is rarely found far from its burrow. (Kingdon, 1984; Lahmam, et al., 2008; Shortridge, 1934; Smithers, 1983; van der Straeten, 2008)is a very active, diurnal rodent. Some reports indicate that captive individuals can be crepuscular or exhibit irregular nighttime activity. While small groups can sometimes be found during feeding bouts, does not appear to be highly social. THis species lives in grass burrows or nests, which typically have single, relatively large entrance. In the closely related
Consistent with the diurnal activity patterns of this species, (Bobu, et al., 2008)'s eyes contain a relatively large number of cones, the photoreceptors responsible for color vision, in their retinas. Cone-rich retinal structures are relatively rare among contemporary mammalian species. As most mammals are nocturnal, they have rod-dominated retinas. No other information exists regarding communication and perception in this species. uses scent marks to demarcate territories and communicate with conspecifics, especially during mating season.
Diurnal birds of prey such as hawks (Accipitridae and secretary birds (Sagittarius serpentarius reportedly prey on . Other predators include genets, mongooses, jackals, small cats, cheetahs, and snakes. To avoid predation, when threatened hurriedly escapes to its burrow. The striped pattern on its dorsal pelage may help camouflage from potential predators and its burrowing nature likely helps minimize risk of predation as well. (Kingdon, 1984; "Mouse, Zebra (Lemniscomys barbarus)", 2007; van der Straeten, 2008)
The ecological role of protists, Eimeria telekii and Sarcocystis atheridis. Altough both species can potentially use as a host, this may not be ecologically relevant in the case of E. telekii, as its range does not overlap with that of . A portion of 's diet consists of seeds. As a result, this species may be an important seed disperser throughout its geographic range. (Slapeta, et al., 2001; Slapeta, et al., 1999)is not well understood. However, two separate studies suggest that may be a potential host for the parasitic
There are no known adverse effects ofon humans.
While natural populations of (van der Straeten, 2008)have low densities in certain years, they are fairly abundant in others. Due to the apparent longterm stability of in the wild, it is listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN's Red List of Threatened Species.
The complicated taxonomy of Lemniscomys zebra, on the basis of multivariate morphometrics of skull measurements. They described the former as a species restricted to shrub vegetation along a narrow coastal strip in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia, while the latter has a wide-ranging sub-Saharan distribution. This reclassification addressed substantial variation that was apparent within . However, more work needs to be done on Lemniscomys zebra, which remains a highly variable taxon. (Carleton and Van Der Straeten, 1997)has received much attention over the years, leading to a number of reclassificatons. Of particular importance is Carleton and Van der Straeten (1997), who recently split into two species, and
Merissa Zeman (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, John Berini (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
living in the northern part of the Old World. In otherwords, Europe and Asia and northern Africa.
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.
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.
Found in coastal areas between 30 and 40 degrees latitude, in areas with a Mediterranean climate. Vegetation is dominated by stands of dense, spiny shrubs with tough (hard or waxy) evergreen leaves. May be maintained by periodic fire. In South America it includes the scrub ecotone between forest and paramo.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
active at dawn and dusk
having markings, coloration, shapes, or other features that cause an animal to be camouflaged in its natural environment; being difficult to see or otherwise detect.
in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.
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.
parental care is carried out by females
an animal that mainly eats seeds
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
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.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.
chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species
communicates by producing scents from special gland(s) and placing them on a surface whether others can smell or taste them
scrub forests develop in areas that experience dry seasons.
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
places a food item in a special place to be eaten later. Also called "hoarding"
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.
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.
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.
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Bobu, C., M. Lahmam, P. Vuillez, A. Ouarour, D. Hicks. 2008. Photoreceptor organisation and phenotypic characterization in retinas of two diurnal rodent species: Potential use as experimental animal models for human vision research. Vision Research, 48(3): 424-432.
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Lahmam, M., A. M'rabet, A. Ouarour, P. Pevet, E. Challet, P. Vuillez. 2008. Daily behavioral rhythmicity and organization of the suprachiasmatic nuclei in the diurnal rodent, Lemniscomys barbarus. Chronobiology International, 25(6): 882-904.
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Quahbi, M., Aberkan, F. Serre. 2003. Recent Quaternary fossil mammals of Chrafate and Ez Zarka. The origin of modern fauna in the Northern Rif (NW Morocco, Northern Africa). Geologica Acta, 1(3): 277-288.
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Skinner, J., C. Chimimba. 2005. The Mammals of the Southern African subregion, Third Edition. Singapore: Cambridge Press.
Slapeta, J., D. Modry, B. Koudela. 1999. Sarcocystis atheridis sp. nov., a new sarcosporidian coccidium from Nitsche's bush viper, Atheris nitschei Tornier, 1902, from Uganda. Parasitology Research, 85(8-9): 758-764.
Slapeta, J., D. Modry, J. Votypka, M. Jirku, M. Obornik, J. Lukes, B. Koudela. 2001. Eimeria telekii n.sp. (Apicomplexa: Coccidia) from Lemniscomys striatus (Rodentia: Muridae): morphology, pathology, and phylogeny.. Parasitology, 122(Pt 2): 133-143.
Smithers, R. 1983. Mammals of the South African Sub-region. Pretoria: University of Pretoria.
Stitou, S., M. Burgos, F. Zurita, R. Jimenez, A. Sanchez, R. Diaz de la Guardia. 1997. Recent evolution of NOR-bearing and sex chromosomes of the North African rodent Lemniscomys barbarus. Chromosome Research, 5: 481-485.
Stitou, S., R. Diaz de la Guardia, R. Jimenez, M. Burgos. 1999. Isolation of a species-specific satellite DNA with a novel CENP-B-like box from the North African rodent Lemniscomys barbarus. Experimental Cell Research, 250(2): 381-386.
Stitou, S., R. Jimenez, R. Diaz de la Guardia, M. Burgos. 2000. Sex-chromosome pairing through heterochromatin in the African rodent Lemniscomys barbarus (Rodentia, Muridae). A synaptonemal complex study. Chromosome Research, 8(4): 277-283.
Stoetzel, E., S. Bailon, R. Nespoulet, M. El Hajraoui, C. Denys. 2010. Pleistocene and holocene small vertebrates of El Harhoura 2 cave (Rabat-Temara, Morocco): an annotated preliminary taxonomic list. Historical Biology, 22(1): 303-319.
Wilson, D., D. Reeder. 2005. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference, Volume 1. Baltimore, Maryland: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
van der Straeten, E. 2008. "Lemniscomys barbarus" (On-line). Accessed March 13, 2011 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/11487/0.