Cape molerat

Georychus capensis

SUBFAMILY

Georychinae

TAXONOMY

Mus capensis (Pallas, 1778), Cape of Good Hope, South Africa.

OTHER COMMON NAMES

German: Kap-blessmulle, Kap-mullratte.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Strikingly marked, with a black head, white muzzle, white around eyes and ears, and a white head patch. Body buff-orange, hands, feet, and tail white; 6.3 oz (180 g); no sexual dimorphism.

DISTRIBUTION

Endemic to South Africa, in the southwestern Cape; two small isolated populations occur in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

HABITAT

In the coastal and mountainous regions in Fynbos vegetation where geophytes abound. Mean rainfall usually exceeds 19.5 in (500 mm).

BEHAVIOR

Solitary, highly territorial.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Geophytes and grass roots, and a small percentage of above-ground material. Geophytes are stored near the nest.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Breeds seasonally (August-December), with a maximum of two litters annually. Males and females signal for mates with drumming of hind feet. Gestation length 44-48 days, mean litter size six, range four to 10; pups weaned and disperse when about two months old.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened, except for the geographically isolated northern populations.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Pests where root-crops are planted and in urban areas. ♦

0 0

Post a comment