Bigeared flying mouse

Idiurus macrotis

SUBFAMILY

Zenkerrinae

TAXONOMY

Idiurus macrotis Miller, 1898, Efulen, Cameroon. Now believed to include the species I. kivuensis.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Anomalure nain; German: Grosshargleitbilch.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

A larger animal with darker, grayer fur than I. zenkeri. The ears are longer and black compared to the pale brown of zenkeri. The tail is only 25% longer than the head and body.

DISTRIBUTION

Two isolated populations. Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana; Cameroon, Gabon, Congo, and north eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. No records from Nigeria.

HABITAT

Primary lowland rainforests, but also uses areas where local small plantations have thinned the canopy.

BEHAVIOR

Recorded sharing hollow tree roosts with I. zenkeri, other anomalures, and bats. In Gabon, prefers trees with a single large basal hole. Groups of animals may use the same den for several years in a row. An adult male, equipped with a radio collar, moved through an area of 7.4 acres (3 ha) in 48 hours, traveling an average of 2,590 ft (790 m) each night. Noctur-nally active, the male began moving around 15 minutes after sunset and ending at dawn. On emerging, the colony members will spend some 30 minutes running up and down the trunk of the home tree before gliding out to forage. Though always seen resting in groups, I. macrotis appears to forage alone.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Nothing is known.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Five female I. macrotis were collected in June and August in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo. Each had a single embryo.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Lower Risk/Near Threatened. Populations in Ghana are on CITES Appendix III. The species is on the country Red List in Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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