Population biology and spatial relationships of coexisting spiny mice (Acomys) in Israel

E. Shargal, N. Kronfeld-Schor, T. Dayan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Nocturnally active Acomys cahirinus and diurnally active A. russatus cooccur in hot rocky deserts, and their temporal partitioning results from competition. We studied their popula- tion biology at Ein Gedi near the Dead Sea to determine their spatial relationships and gain insight into their ecological overlap. Individuals of both species were trapped repeatedly for almost 2 years. Mean body mass did not change seasonally, and A. russatus was significantly heavier than A. cahirinus. Density of A. russatus was significantly greater than that of A. cahirinus. Acomys russatus had a shorter reproductive peak that overlapped the longer reproductive season of A. cahirinus. Acomys russatus showed significant preference for boulder habitat versus open habitat at all seasons, whereas A. cahirinus showed a preference for boulder habitat only half of the time. Sexes of both species overlapped in home range.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1046-1052
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Mammalogy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000


  • Acomys
  • Body mass
  • Microhabitat choice
  • Population biology
  • Spiny mice
  • Temporal partitioning


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