North African sengi

Elephantulus rozeti

SUBFAMILY

Macroscelidinae

TAXONOMY

Elephantulus rozeti (Duvernoy, 1833), near Oran, Algeria. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Macroscélide de l'Afrique du nord; German: Nordafrikanische Elefantenspitzmaus; Spanish: Musaraña elefante norteafricana.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

The adult head and body length averages about 5 in (125 mm), tail length is about the same, and adult weight is around 1.5 oz (45 g). The fur is soft and often closely and remarkably simulates the local color of the soil, usually some shade of yellowish brown.

DISTRIBUTION

North African sengis live in northwestern Africa, separated from the other species of sengi by the Sahara Desert. This discontinuous distribution of species is probably an outcome of the Macroscelididae having been more widespread throughout

Africa in past ages, and in the Sahara region when it was rainier and more congenial. There are two distinct populations of the North African sengi, the main group in Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, and a second, small, isolated population in western Libya.

HABITAT

Open, arid, or semi-arid savanna shrubland, and woodland. BEHAVIOR

Little is known about this understudied species. Individuals construct burrows under rocks. They are active during the day, but retire to their burrows during the hottest daylight hours. Experiments have shown that North African sengis will fall into torpor as a response to changes in temperature, cycles of light and darkness, and to lower supplies of food.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

North African sengis are primarily insectivorous.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Knowledge of reproduction specifics for Elephantulus rozeti is incomplete, but what is known is unusual. The gestation period is at least 75 days, and up to four young may be born in a litter, the most common number being two, but fairly often, three. Females only give birth to two litters per year. In the colder climate of the highlands of Algeria and Morocco, the year's first litters are born starting toward the end of April, but in lowland, warmer Tunisia and parts of Morocco, births begin in March. In other respects, reproductive biology likely accords with the general sengi scheme.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

Common name / Scientific name/ Other common names

Physical characteristics

Habitat and behavior

Distribution

Diet

Conservation status

Black and rufous sengi Rhynchocyon petersl English: Zanj sengi; French: Rat à trompe de Peters; German:

Rotschulterruesselhuendchen; Spanish: Musaraña elefante de Petrs; Swahili: Njule kinguja

Cape sengi

Elephantulus edwardli English: Cape rock sengi; French: Macroscelide du cap, Rat à trompe du cap; German: Kap-Rüsselspringer; Afrikaans: Kaapse klipklaasneus

Dusky-footed sengi Elephantulus fusclpes German: Schwarzfüßige Elefantenspitzmaus

Smallish, shrew-like mammal with long legs and long, mobile snout. Rump and center of the back are black, rest of the body except tail is orange-reddish or maroon, tail is pale orange-brown. Head and body length to 12.4 in (31.5 cm), tail length to 11 in (28 cm); maximum adult weight 18.3 oz (520 g).

Small, mouse-like mammal with mobile snout. Tan to light-brown pelt. Head and body length 3.7 in (9.5 cm), tail 3.5 in (9 cm); adult weight 1.8 oz (50 g).

Dusky sengi Elephantulus fuscus German: Dunkle Elefantenspitzmaus; Afrikaans: Peters se kortneus klaasneus

Bushveld sengi Elephantulus lntufl French: Rat à trompe jaune; German: Trockenland-Elefantenspitzmaus; Spanish: Musaraña elefante de bushveld; Afrikaans: Bosveldklaasneus

Somali sengi Elephantulus revolll French: Macroscélide de Somalie, Rat à trompe de Revoil; German: SomaliRüsselspringer; Spanish: Musaraña elefante de Somalia

Western rock sengi Elephantulus rupestrls English: Smith's rock sengi; French: Macroscélide des rochers, rat à trompe des roches de l'ouest; German: Klippen-Elefantenspitzmaus; Afrikaans: Smith se klipklaasneus

Small, mouse-like mammal with mobile snout. Tan to light-brown pelt, with dark brown feet. Head and body length 3.1 in (8 cm), tail length 3.1 in (8 cm); adult weight 1.8 oz (50 g).

Small, mouse-like mammal with mobile snout. Medium-brown to dark-brown pelt. Head and body length 3.5 in (9 cm), tail length 3.3 in (8.5 cm); adult weight 2.1 oz (60 g).

Small, mouse-like mammal with mobile snout. Tan to medium-brown pelt. Head and body length 3.3 in (8.5 cm), tail length 3.3 in (8.5 cm); adult weight 1.4 oz (40 g).

Small, mouse-like mammal with mobile snout. Tan to light-brown pelt. Head and body length 3.7 in (9.5 cm), tail length 3.5 in (9 cm); adult weight 1.8 oz (50 g).

Small, mouse-like mammal with mobile snout. Tan to light-brown pelt. Head and body length 3.9 in (10 cm), tail length 3.7 in (9.5 cm); adult weight 1.8-2.1 oz (50-60 g).

Coastal and montane tropical forests. Diurnal, monogamous pairs defend territory sex-specifically.

Shrubland, succulent thickets, and grassland. Live solitarily or as mated pairs; latter defend territory sex-specifically; maintain trail system.

Bushy and scrubby habitats, open woodlands. Solitary or monogamous pairs, pairs defend territory sexual-specifically; maintain trail system.

Grassland with scattered trees and bushes and in savanna. Solitary or monogamous pairs, pairs defend territory sexual-specifically; maintain trail system.

Scrub bush with a light grass cover. Solitary or monogamous pairs, pairs defend territory sexual-specifically; maintain trail system.

Arid bushy and scrubby habitats. Solitary or monogamous pairs, pairs defend territory sexual-specifically; maintain trail system.

Arid and semi-arid vegetation. Solitary or monogamous pairs, pairs defend territory sexual-specifically; maintain trail system.

Coastal zone of southeastern Kenya and northeastern Tanzania, including Zanzibar and Mafia Islands.

South Africa in coastal southwestern and central Cape Province.

Insects, other invertebrates.

Endangered

Insects, mostly ants and termites.

Vulnerable

A small area of eastern- Insects, mostly ants and central Africa covering termites.

parts of Sudan, Uganda,

Democratic Republic of the Congo (Zaire), and

Central African Republic.

Malawi, Mozambique, Insects, mostly ants and and Zambia, marginally termites. to Zimbabwe.

Not listed by IUCN

Not listed by IUCN

Angola to South Africa.

Insects, mostly ants and termites.

Not listed by IUCN

Northern Somalia to the Insects, mostly ants and Ethiopian border. termites.

Endangered

Central South Africa through central Namibia.

Insects, mostly ants and termites.

Vulnerable

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