De Graaff, G. The Rodents of Southern Africa. Durban and Pretoria: Butterworths, 1981.

Dieterlen, Fritz. "Family Pedetidae." In Mammal Species of the World. 2nd ed. Edited by Don E. Wilson and DeeAnn M. Reeder. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institute Press, 1992.

International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources. Red List of Threatened Species. Gland and Cambridge: IUCN, 2002.

Although a nocturnal species, the springhare (Pedetes capensis) is occasionally active during the day. (Photo by Nigel J. Dennis/Photo Researchers, Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

humans hunt springhares, while to indigenous people they represent a favorite source of food. It is estimated that the total number of springhares falling prey to hunters in a single year in Botswana was in excess of 2.5 million (of which 2.2 million were accounted for by pest hunters).

Springhares are known hosts of numerous parasites and, accordingly, play a role in the transmission to humans and cattle of bubonic plague, rickettsiasis, babesiasis, theileriosis, and toxicosis paralysis.

Kingdon, J. East African Mammals. Vol. 2. New York: Academic Press, 1974.

Smithers, Reay H. N. The Mammals of the Southern African Subregion. Pretoria: University of Pretoria, 1983.

Walker, Ernest P. Mammals of the World. Vol. 2. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1964.

Malcolm Pearch, PhD

Class Mammalia Order Rodentia Suborder Sciurognathi Family Ctenodactylidae



Small, thickset rodents with soft, thick fur, large, blunt heads, short, rounded ears, large eyes, short legs and short, furry tails.

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Body 5.5-9.5 in (14-24 cm); tail 0.4-2.4 in (1-6 cm); 6.0-10.2 oz (170-290 g)

Number of genera, species

4 genera; 5 species


Rocky areas in deserts or semidesertic ranges.


Vulnerable: 1 species


Northern Africa, from Mauritania and Morocco east to Eritrea and Somalia.

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