Striped Grass Mouse, scientific name Lemniscomys barbarus is the one discovered north of the Sahara. They are typically present in grassy habitats, however, the place a number of species overlap in distribution there’s a level of habitat differentiation between them.
The grass mouse’s conspicuous striped pattern gives the proper camouflage within the grass. These rodents, which are predominantly energetic at nightfall, reside in huge households in nests that they construct themselves.
The nests are constructed of blades of grass and grass leaves, artistically formed right into a sphere, and the doorway is sealed off with grass.
Lemniscomys barbarus is endemic to a slender coastal zone in Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. A couple of small populations have been discovered from the bottom of the Atlas Mountains to the Plateau Central. It has been hypothesized that the present range of Striped Grass Mouse was established throughout the early to mid-Pleistocene.
Striped Grass Mouse Habitat
The Lemniscomys barbarus is discovered from sea level as much as 1000 m. They primarily reside in Mediterranean scrublands and woodlands and like areas with thick grass and herbaceous ground cover.
However, this species has been reported from numerous nonforested, comparatively dry habits alongside the coastal area of Northwest Africa. In normal, barbary striped grass mice might be present in rocky outcrops in vegetated coastal dunes, juniper scrub, argon sage grassland, and argon savanna all through their geographic range.
Striped Grass Mouse Description
They are 18.5–29 cm (7.3–11.4 in) long, of which about half is tail, and weigh 18–70 g (0.63–2.47 oz). The pelage pattern of the species falls into three primary teams:
The “true” zebra mice with distinct darkish and pale stripes (L. barbarus, L. hoogstraali, and L. zebra), the noticed grass mice with more spotty/interrupted stripes (L. bellieri, L. macculus, L. mittendorfi, and L. striatus), and the single-striped grass mice with solely a single darkish stripe alongside the back (L. griselda, L. linulus, L. rosalia and L. roseveari).
Striped Grass Mouse Physical Traits
Lemniscomys barbarus is the smallest member of its genus, with lots starting from 22 g to 48 g and an average mass of 30 g. Individuals range in body size from eight to 12 cm and a tail starting from 10 to 15 cm in size.
This species is well acknowledged as a consequence of its distinctive pelage, which features middorsal longitudinal stripes.
The dorsal pelage is brown or oatmeal-colored and has a single darkish vertebral stripe, extending from the center crown to the rump.
Flanking this vertebral line on all sides are Four to five main pairs of daring alternating light and darkish stripes, and darkish stripes are normally wider than the corresponding light stripes.
Additionally, the pelage options secondary light strains, notably evident inside the first main darkish stripes. The ventral pelage is white. Striped Grass Mouse has a slender and pointed head, normally of an identical color because of the dorsum. Its ears are massive and rounded, coated with hair.
Striped Grass Mouse has dental components of 1/1, 0/0, 0/0, 3/3 = 16. The molars are rooted, strongly lophodont, and seem just like these of Lemniscomys griselda. The third molar is at all times smaller than the first and second molars.
The skull of Striped Grass Mouse is particularly sturdy when in comparison with congeners. In distinction to different members of g.
Lemniscomys, the barbary striped grass mouse has inflated ectotympanic bullae, and just like different murines, Lemniscomys barbarus lacks a sphenofrontal foramen and squamosoalisphenoid groove.
Sexual dimorphism has not been reported on this species. Lemniscomys barbarus is diploid and has 54 chromosomes.
The life expectancy of Striped Grass Mouse barely exceeds six months within the wild. In distinction, this rodent can reside up from Three to 4.5 years in captivity, with an average life expectancy of 4.Four years.
Striped Grass Mouse Behavior
Lemniscomys barbarus is a really energetic, diurnal rodent. Some experiences point out that captive people might be crepuscular or exhibit irregular nighttime exercise.
While small teams can typically be discovered throughout feeding bouts, Striped Grass Mouse doesn’t seem extremely social. This species lives in grass burrows or nests, which usually have a single, comparatively massive entrance.
In the carefully associated Lemniscomys griselda, burrows are occupied by a solitary particular person, a breeding pair, and probably they’re younger. The nests of L. griselda are excavated in areas with dense grass cover. There are well-developed runways between burrows and feeding grounds.
Striped Grass Mouse feeds largely throughout the night and early morning. Due to its intensive runway system, Striped Grass Mouse is never discovered removed from its burrow.
They are typically thought of as diurnal, however, no less than some species might be energetic throughout the night. They feed on crops however typically take bugs. There are as many as 12 younger per litter, however, 4–5 is more frequent.
The average life expectancy may be very quick, within the wild usually solely a year, however, a captive L. striatus lived for nearly 5 years. A more typical captive life expectancy is 2–2½ years.
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Striped Grass Mouse Communication
Consistent with the diurnal exercise patterns of this species, Striped Grass Mouse’s eyes comprise a comparatively massive variety of cones, the photoreceptors liable for color vision, of their retinas.
Cone-rich retinal constructions are comparatively uncommon amongst up-to-date mammalian species. As most mammals are nocturnal, they’ve rod-dominated retinas.
No different information exists relating to communication and notion on this species. Lemniscomys barbarus makes use of scent marks to demarcate territories and talk with conspecifics, particularly throughout mating season.
Lemniscomys barbarus constructs well-defined runways from its burrow or nest to its feeding grounds, the place they retailer small piles of minimizing grass stems, the staple of its diet.
In addition to grass stems, Striped Grass Mouse forages on leaves, roots, and fruit in addition to crops and seeds. Less generally, Striped Grass Mouse has been identified to eat bugs.
Striped Grass Mouse Predation
Diurnal birds are of prey equivalent to hawks (Accipitridae and secretary birds (Sagittarius serpentarius reportedly prey on Lemniscomys barbarus.
Other predators embrace genets, mongooses, jackals, small cats, cheetahs, and snakes. To keep away from predation, when threatened Striped Grass Mouse hurriedly escapes to its burrow.
The striped pattern on its dorsal pelage could assist camouflage L. barbarus from potential predators and its burrowing nature possibly helps decrease the danger of predation as properly.
Striped Grass Mouse Reproduction
There isn’t any information relating to the mating system of Lemniscomys barbarus.
Male Striped Grass Mouse attain sexual maturity at about 10 weeks, whereas females could take a number of months longer and will not reproduce as much as a year later.
The mating season happens throughout the heat, moist spring, and summer season months, with no reproductive exercise, reported throughout winter. It has been urged that reproduction is correlated with the season and ambient temperature.
Gestation lasts for 21 days, and the average litters include 5.5 pups. While the reproductive behavior of this species has not been described intimately, new-borns of the carefully associated Striped Grass Mouse weigh Three grams at delivery and are coated briefly hair. Dorsal stripes are present at delivery.
Their eyes open around one week after delivery, and adult weight shouldn’t be achieved till 5 months old. The implied delivery mass at delivery for Lemniscomys rosalia pups, one other shut relative, is 2.6 grams.
Pups are altricial at delivery and have fused toes, closed eyes, and folded ear flaps. Young develop rapidly, opening their eyes by 9 to 11 after delivery and changing into absolutely furred by day 18.
Striped Grass Mouse Ecosystem
The ecological function of Striped Grass Mouse shouldn’t be properly understood. However, two separate research counsel that Lemniscomys barbarus could also be a possible host for the parasitic protists, Eimeria telekii and Sarcocystis atheridis.
Although each species can doubtlessly use Striped Grass Mouse as a number, this is probably not ecologically related within the case of E. telekii, as its range doesn’t overlap with that of Striped Grass Mouse.
A portion of Striped Grass Mouse’s diet consists of seeds. As an end result, this species could also be a necessary seed disperser all through its geographic range.
While most are frequent and never threatened, L. mittendorfi is restricted to Mount Oku and thought of Vulnerable by the IUCN. L. hoogstraali and L. roseveari are each very poorly identified, resulting in their ranking as Data Deficient. Some of the widespread species are repeatedly saved in captivity, particularly Lemniscomys barbarus, L. striatus, and L. zebra.
While natural populations of Striped Grass Mouse have low densities in sure years, they’re pretty plentiful in others. Due to the obvious long-term stability of Striped Grass Mouse within the wild, it’s listed as a species of least concern on the IUCN’s Red List of Threatened Species.
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