Rendiconti Lincei

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 29–49 | Cite as

The rodent fauna of Tanzania: a cytotaxonomic report from the Maasai Steppe (1999)

  • Ernesto Capanna
  • Riccardo Castiglia
  • Paolo Colangelo
  • Marco Corti
  • Alessandra Scanzani
  • Carlo Fadda
  • Walter Verheyen
  • Robert Machang’u
  • Rodes Makundi
  • Protas Tesha


The rodent fauna of Tanzanian savannahs is poorly known. For this reason, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei sponsored a project together with the Biology Department of Antwerp and the Sokoine University of Agriculture (Morogoro, Tanzania) on Eastern African rodents. The aim was to study the taxonomy and systematics of rodents of these areas and the processes through which rodent biodiversity has increased in these African regions. We present here a report of the expeditions carried out in the Maasai steppe of Tanzania during 1999, with the description of the karyotypes of 13 rodent species. These are:Saccostomus cf.mearnsi (Cricetomynae),Tatera cf.robusta, Gerbillus cf.pusillus (Gerbillinae),Acomys spinosissimus, Acomys wilsoni, Acomys ignitus, Aethomys cf.chrysophilus, Arvicanthis cf.neumanni, Arvicanthis cf.nairobae, Grammomys sp.,Lemniscomys rosalia, Lemniscomys cf.zebra, Mastomys natalensis (Murinae). The karyotypes of eight species are described for the first time (Saccostomus cf.mearnsi, Gerbillus cf.pusillus, Acomys wilsoni, Acomys ignitus, Arvicanthis cf.neumanni, Arvicanthis cf.nairobae, Grammomys sp.,Lemniscomys rosalia).

Key words

Cytotaxonomy Chromosome evolution Rodents Tanzania 

La fauna a roditori della Tanzania: rapporto citotassonomico dalla Steppa dei Masai (1999)


La fauna a roditori della Tanzania è scarsamente conosciuta; per questo motivo l’Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei ha finanziato, assieme al Dipartimento di Biologia di Anversa (Belgio) e al Dipartimento di Agronomia della Sokoine University di Morogoro (Tanzania), un progetto inteso, d’un lato, a chiarire la tassonomia e la sistematica dei roditori di questa area, e, dall’altro, a studiare i processi attraverso i quali viene incrementata la biodiversità di questa regione africana. In questo rapporto si riferiscono i risultati delle spedizioni effettuate in Tanzania nel 1999 nella Steppa dei Masai, con la descrizione del cariotipo di 13 specie di roditori: 1 Cricetomynae,Saccostomus cfr.mearnsi, 2 Gerbillinae,Tatera cfr.robusta, Gerbillus cfr.pusillus, e 10 Murinae,Acomys spinosissimus, Acomys wilsoni, Acomys ignitus, Aethomys cfr.chrysophilus, Arvicanthis cfr.nairobae, Arvicanthis cfr.neumanni, Grammomys sp.,Lemniscomys cfr.zebra, Lemniscomys rosalia, Mastomys natalensis. Otto cariotipi risultano descritti per la prima volta e sono stati messi in evidenza casi di polimorfismo e/o politipismo.


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Copyright information

© Springer 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ernesto Capanna
    • 1
  • Riccardo Castiglia
    • 1
  • Paolo Colangelo
    • 1
  • Marco Corti
    • 1
  • Alessandra Scanzani
    • 1
  • Carlo Fadda
    • 2
  • Walter Verheyen
    • 2
  • Robert Machang’u
    • 3
  • Rodes Makundi
    • 3
  • Protas Tesha
    • 3
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell’UomoUniversità degli Studi di Roma «La Sapienza»Roma
  2. 2.Department Biologie - RUCAUniversitair Centrum AntwerpenAntwerpenBelgio
  3. 3.Rodent Research ProjectSokoine University of AgricultureMorogoroTanzania

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