Setzer’s mouse-tailed dormouse (Myomimus setzeri)

Also known as: Persian mouse-tailed dormouse
GenusMyomimus (1)
SizeHead-body length: 61 – 120 mm (2)
Tail length: 53 – 94 mm (2)
Weight21 – 56 g (2)

Classified as Data Deficient (DD) on the IUCN Red List (1).

Looking somewhat like a cross between a mouse and a vole (3), Setzer’s mouse-tailed dormouse can be distinguished from other dormice by its mouse-like tail, sparsely covered with short white hairs (2). The soft fur on the upperparts is a blend of ochre and grey, while the underparts, sides of limbs, and feet are white (2).

Setzer’s mouse-tailed dormouse occurs in north-western Iran (2).

Myomimus dormice inhabit open country with clusters of trees and bushes, including the edges of grain fields, orchards, gardens and river banks. Most specimens have been found on trees, especially mulberry (2).

Remarkably little is known about the habits and ecology of Setzer’s mouse-tailed dormouse (2) (3). Unlike other dormice, species belonging to the genus Myomimus are not specialised for a life in the trees, and appear to live instead on and under the ground (2). Like other dormice, Setzer’s mouse-tailed dormouse is assumed to hibernate over winter, accumulating fat beforehand which will sustain them through the long winter sleep (4).

The breeding period of Setzer’s mouse-tailed dormouse is believed to extend from April until June, and the female’s seven pairs of mammae suggest that they give birth to a large number of offspring (2).

Suitable habitat for this little-known dormouse is already limited, and is believed to be declining (2). Agricultural expansion, overgrazing, over-harvesting of woody plants for fuel, and military operations are just some of the human activities that may be having a detrimental impact on the dormouse’s habitat (5).

There are no known conservation measures currently in place for this species.

For further information on Setzer’s mouse-tailed dormouse see:

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  1. IUCN Red List (December, 2009)