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Thursday, 26 May 2016

Striped Grass Mouse

Besides beautiful flowers, gardening brings so many other pleasures! Visiting and resident birds, other wildlife like hedgehogs, tortoises, guinea fowl, partridges, bees and other insects, the odd snake and this lovely little Striped field mouse.


A Striped Field mouse Rhabdomys pumilio : Common name - Four-striped grass mouse. Streepmuis in Afrikaans) in my garden. He's quite tame as I often put out seeds for them, and here I was within a meter from him. He was actually very disgusted, drying himself off as I had accidentally gotten him wet while watering the garden with the hosepipe.

Very disgruntled at being wet!

I tolerate these lovely little creatures (unlike rats!) as they are totally harmless and very rarely venture into the house where, however, they can be quite destructive! I've only ever seen this pair in my garden and was actually hoping to see little ones scurrying about!


Rhabdomys is a largely Southern African genus of muroid rodents slightly larger than house mice. 




Here they are snacking on some sunflower seeds I put out for them in my garden. 

The Striped Mouse, so named because of the four longitudinal black stripes down its back, is an opportunistic omnivore, and has a varied diet. In certain areas they are mainly granivorous, while in others they may eat more plant material than seeds. They also enjoy a wide variety of other vegetable matter and insects.

The striped mouse helps to pollinate many Protea species, as pollen clings to its head while it is feeding. When the mouse moves off to feed on other neighbouring flowers of the same species, it carries the pollen with it, thus assisting in the fertilization of these flowers. They normally excavate a burrow at the base of a grass thicket, ensuring that the entrance is well hidden, and lining the chambers of their burrows with soft, leafy debris; alternatively, they construct a ground-level nest under cover of dense stands of tall grass.


Striped Mouse forage by day, particularly in the early morning and late afternoon, and are often seen among the tall grasses growing on the perimeter of cultivated land. In central Africa, where striped mice are also found, they breed throughout the year, but in the south the breeding season is usually confined to the summer months (September to May).

During the breeding season the adult females appear to be territorial, with limited home ranges which probably overlap the large home ranges of the males. There are from 2 - 9 young per litter.

Some Info from "EcoTravel"


Location : My garden in Tarlton, Gauteng, South Africa
Camera : Fuji FinePix 2800Zoom 

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