Desert dormouse

Selevinia betpakdalaensis

SUBFAMILY

Selevinia

TAXONOMY

Selevinia betpakdalaensis Belusludov and Bashanov, 1939, south Kazakhstan.

OTHER COMMON NAMES French: Loir du desert.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

Head and body length 2.9-3.7 in (7.5-9.5 cm), tail 2.3-3 in (5.8-7.7 cm); weight 0.6-0.9 oz (18-25 g). Fur is grayish above and whitish underneath.

DISTRIBUTION

Kazakhstan.

HABITAT

Shrubby thickets in desert, especially wormwood and Spiri-anthes.

BEHAVIOR

Thought to emerge at twilight to feed, sheltering from the sun under cover, or possibly in a burrow by day. When threatened, moves in a succession of short jumps.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Probably wholly carnivorous, feeding on insects and spiders. Can eat three-quarters of its own body weight in one night.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Nothing is known.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Classified as Endangered on the IUCN Red List.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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