Apodemus mystacinus (Danford & Alston, 1877)

Amr, Zuhair S., Abu, Mohammad A., Qumsiyeh, Mazin & Eid, Ehab, 2018, Systematics, distribution and ecological analysis of rodents in Jordan, Zootaxa 4397 (1), pp. 1-94: 63

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Apodemus mystacinus (Danford & Alston, 1877)


Apodemus mystacinus (Danford & Alston, 1877) 

Common name: Broad-toothed field mouse.

Diagnosis: Ears large. Fur on dorsum grayish in adults, brownish-gray in younger individuals. Ventral buff white, sharp line of demarcation present ( Figure 71 View Figure ). Thumb on fore feet vestigial. Soles of feet naked. Claws with white tip. Tail covered with short hairs. Three pairs of mammae. Upper incisor strongly curved ( Figure 72 View Figure ).

Localities: Previous records. Dibbīn (Atallah, 1977); Ibbin ( Amr & Disi, 1988); Ajlūn (Harrison & Bates, 1991); Ajlūn (Benda & Sádlová, 1999); Jarash, Petra, Wādī Mūsá (Sözen et al., 2008); Al Hemmeh, Birqish, Dibbīn Forest Reserve, Kufr Khall, Zūbiyā, Ash Shawbak ( Abu Baker & Amr, 2008); Ḑānā Biosphere Reserve (Yousef & Amr, 2005). Materials extracted from owl pellets. Ex. Athene noctua, Wādī As Sīr  (Obuch per. com.); Ex. Athene noctua  , Bubo bubo  and Strix butleri, Ḑānā Biosphere Reserve  (Obuch per. com.); Ex. Bubo bubo  ,Ajlūn Forest Reserve (Obuch per. com.); Ex. Asio otus  , ‘Ammān National park (Obuch per. com.); Ex. Strix aluco  , Iraq al Wahaj (Obuch per. com.). Ex. Asio otus, Marj  el hammam (Obuch per. com.); Ex. Tyto alba, Wādī Al Barra  (Obuch per. com.). New records. Malka ( Figure 73 View Figure ).

Habitat: A. mystacinus  occurs throughout the natural forests of the Mediterranean mountains of Jordan, extending from the Yarmouk River area southwards to the Ḑānā Biosphere Reserve and Petra, south east of the Dead Sea. It was found to prefer dense humid oak forests with or without the presence of pistachio trees or pines. High numbers of A. mystacinus  were collected in thick-covered Wādīs in Zūbiyā and Berqesh areas (both on the ground and on trees). Burrows of this species were found under small rocky boulders or under piles of rocks, empty oak acorns always marked their openings. Open nests were also seen inside caves ( Abu Baker & Amr, 2008).

Biology: The broad-toothed field mouse can climb oak trees, where it can seek refuge when alarmed. Amr & Disi (1998) recovered this species from the stomach of the Coined Snake, Coluber nummifer  . Females give birth to 4–5 new born during April to October. Females showing perforated vagina were collected in October, while subadults were collected in July ( Abu Baker & Amr, 2008).

Remarks: Abu Baker & Amr (2008) gave a comprehensive treatment for this species.The karyotype consists of 24 pairs of chromosomes (2n:48). The autosomal set consists of 22 acrocentrics pairs and two pairs of smallsized biarmed chromosomes (NF: 52). The sex chromosomes are acrocentric (Sözen et al., 2008).