wildlife of Namibia
Introduction: The striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilo) is easily recognisable by the narrow bands of 7 alternating stripes, 4 black and 3 whitish in colour. They occur over a wide habitat range, especially where there is good grass cover. They are harmless creatures and do not explode into large populations, but are known to carry mites, fleas and 1 louse species.
The well-known Swedish explorer Anders Sparrman was the first trained naturalist to visit South Africa and his travels took him as far as the Fish River. He first described the striped mouse in 1784. Main predators include the barn owl, snakes, caracal, black-backed jackal, wild cat and several species of mongoose.
Diet: Granivorous feeding, but will supplement it's diet with berries, pods and small invertebrates.
Colouring: Four dark stripes on the back clearly make this species easily identifiable. The stripes are brown to reddish-brown in Namibia and the background colour of the body hair is white. The tail is darker above than below and the upper parts of the feet are lighter than the body.
Breeding: Litter sizes range from 2-9, with an average of 6. Gestation periods last about 25 days.
Size: Head and body length is about 105mm. Tail 106mm. Weight: 55g.
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