Spekes pectinator

Pectinator spekei

TAXONOMY

Pectinator spekei Blyth, 1856, Somalia. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Bushy-tailed gundi; French: Pectinator de Speke; German: Buschschwanzgundi.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS Head and body length, 5.5-7.5 in (14-19 cm); tail 1.6-2.4 in (4-6 cm); and about 6.3 oz (178 g) for captive females. Gray, tinged brown or black; un-derparts grayish white; tail bushy.

DISTRIBUTION

Eritrea, eastern and southern Ethiopia, Djibouti, and northeastern Somalia.

HABITAT

Rocky cliffs and outcrops in desert or semidesert, often with hyrax Procavia; occurs from sea level to 5,900 ft (1,800 m).

I Ctenodactylus vali I Pectinator spekei I Massoutiera mzabi

BEHAVIOR

Shelters in rock crevices. Diurnal, emerging to feed in early morning, peak activity 2-4 hours after dawn. It often basks in the sun. Vocalisations are a relatively complex range of chirps, chuckles and whistles; utters a whistling call on the approach of a predator; the normal call is described as a long, drawn-out "whee whee." Colonies of 16,150-21,500 ft2 (1,500-2,000 m2) with well-defined boundaries have been recorded; may occur at densities of over 40 individuals/acre (100/ha). Bushy tail used in social displays.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Eats only plant material, including dry grass stalks and seeds, the leathery green leaves of Cadaba rotundifolia bushes, and the leaves of Acacia senegal and the long-spined A. seyal.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Young born August-September. Captive females in anestrus only in July; possibly a more opportunistic breeder than Ctenodactylus and Massoutiera. Estrus cycle averages 22.7 days; litter size in captivity one, occasionally two. Life span in captivity 10 years.

CONSERVATION STATUS Not globally threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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