Mammal Species of the World Logo



SPECIES Rhabdomys dilectus

Author:De Winton, 1897.
Citation:Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1896: 803.
Common Name:Mesic Four-striped Grass Rat
Type Locality:NE Zimbabwe, Mashonaland, Mazowe.
Distribution:E South Africa (Rambau et al., 2003), E Zimbabwe (Smithers and Wilson, 1979), WC Mozambique (Smithers and Lobao Tello, 1976), Malawi (Nyika Plateau and Mulanje Massif; Ansell and Dowsett, 1988), NE Zambia (Nyika Plateau; Ansell, 1978), SE Dem. Rep. Congo (Kasaki, Marungu Mtns, 2300 m; Hatt, 1940b), highlands in Tanzania (Grimshaw et al., 1995; Shore and Garbett, 1991; Swynnerton and Hayman, 1951; Vesey-Fitzgerald, 1966), Kenya (Hollister, 1919), E Uganda (Mt. Elgon; Clausnitzer, 2001; Clausnitzer and Kityo, 2001; Delany, 1975), and S and C Angola (Crawford-Cabral, 1998; Hill and Carter, 1941); all referred to as P. pumilio except Rambau et al. (2003).
Status:algoae Roberts, 1946; angolae (Wroughton, 1905); bethuliensis Roberts, 1946; chakae (Wroughton, 1905); cradockensis Roberts, 1946; diminutus (Thomas, 1893); griquoides Roberts, 1946; moshesh (Wroughton, 1905); nyasae (Wroughton, 1905); vaalensis Roberts, 1946.

Definition of R. dilectus generally follows Rambau et al. (2003), who sampled populations in South Africa, W Zimbabwe, Nyika Plateau in Malawi, and Mt. Elgon in Uganda. The species occurs in mesic grasslands and savannas in southern Africa (probably the more mesic of the six biotic zones of southern Africa in which Rhabdomys occurs; Yom-Tov, 1993) but north of that region (in SE Demo Rep. Congo, NE Zambia, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda) is restricted to disjunct montane savannas (e. g., Delany, 1975; Hollister, 1919; and other references cited above for regions north of South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique).

Two species occur in Angola. Rhabdomys pumilio occupies only the southwestern Namib desert of Angola (see account below); it is their sample from here that Carter and Hill (1941:102) identified as R. bechuanae. The other is represented by populations occurring over most of the Angolan Plateau. Rambau et al. (2003) did not sample Angola, but we assume these highland populations to represent R. dilectus. This afromontane distribution, an isolated population in Angola and isolated populations along highlands of East Africa, is concordant with the distributional pattern seen in Hylomyscus denniae (see account).




    algoae Roberts, 1946
    angolae (Wroughton, 1905)
    bethuliensis Roberts, 1946
    chakae (Wroughton, 1905)
    cradockensis Roberts, 1946
    diminutus (Thomas, 1893)
    griquoides Roberts, 1946
    moshesh (Wroughton, 1905)
    nyasae (Wroughton, 1905)
    vaalensis Roberts, 1946

  Bucknell Home Page   Biology Department Home Page


©Bucknell Univesity All Rights Reserved
Comments and questions to