Rodent ID from South Africa – help please

I am struggling to ID a few small mammals I saw in South Africa over the holidays.  Does anyone have any theories on the following please?

Species 1

This smallish rodent was at Dunedin Farm near to the Karoo National Park.  I saw a couple of these – a few hundred metres apart – while spotlighting. Sandy soil, with scattered rocks and sparse vegetation. The HB was somewhere around 12 cm (I am guessing completely … but it was mouse than rat sized, but not tiny). My photos are terrible but I got the distinct impression when I saw the animal that the tail was considerably shorter than the head-body.  The second picture below seems to disagree with that, though there may also be a bit of a perspective effect there that gives a misleading impression.

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There are not all that many possibilities in the area from what I can gather.  It seems a bit too brown and not grey enough for a Pouched Mouse or Multimammate Mouse. It might be a Short-tailed Gerbil (Desmodillus auricularis) though I don’t see the white patches behind the ears that seem quite obvious in images I have found elsewhere.

Species 2

This animal was caught in Wakkerstroom (up at around 1800 metres and half way between Durban and Jo’Burg) in long wet grass at the edge of a gully.  The HB was around 70mm, the unicoloured tail 50 mm.  I think it might be a Pygmy Mouse?

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Species 3

This too was caught in Wakkerstroom (up at around 1800 metres and half way between Durban and Jo’Burg) in long wet grass at the edge of a gully.  The HB was around 100mm, the tail 75 mm.

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All help very gratefully appreciated! And I have other images of the species 2&3 so if something can help ID these animals let me know as I might have a pic of that body part

I have a few bats I will post tomorrow

thanks

Jon

3 Comments
  1. Profile photo of liometopum
    liometopum 11 months ago

    This might interest you…

    Rodents of Southern Africa: Notes on Their Identification, Distribution, Ecology and Taxonomy (Hardcover)
    by G. De Graaff

    * Gerrit de Graaff (1931–1996), South African zoologist after whom the De Graaff’s Soft-furred Mouse is named

    https://www.amazon.com//gp/offer-listing/0409098299/sr=/qid=/?condition=used&tag=bkfndr96-20

    https://www.abebooks.com/book-search/isbn/0409098299/

    • Profile photo of Jon Hall Author
      Jon Hall 10 months ago

      Thanks for the book idea. I have ordered it… hope it helps

  2. Profile photo of Jon Hall Author
    Jon Hall 10 months ago

    I’ve had confirmation from Chris & Mathilde Stuart that the first species is indeed a Short-eared Gerbil. Not sure on the other two though still…

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