The Dormouse Hollow

Dormouse Biology

General Biology: Gliridae

Dormice (Gliridae, Rodentia, Mammalia)

Genus CHAETOCAUDA Wang, 1985
Chinese Dormouse

The single species, C. sichuanensis, is known only by two female specimens taken in northern Sichuan Province of China (Wang Youzhi 1985). Corbet and Hill (1991, 1992) listed Chaetocauda as a valid genus, but Holden (in Wilson and Reeder 1993) considered C. sichuanensis a species of the genus Dryomys and suggested that it may not even be a distinct species. Nonetheless, it occurs nearly 2,000 km east of the nearest known population of Dryomys.

Head and body lengths are 90 and 91 mm, tail lengths are 92 and 102 mm, and weights are 24.5 and 36 grams. Chaetocauda resembles Myomimus but is distinguished by a dark chestnut color around the eyes, larger ears and bullae, and a tail that is terminally club-shaped and covered with dense hairs, rather than pointed and thinly haired as in Myomimus. Chaetocauda also has a more squarish palate than does Myomimus, a thinner mandible, a relatively greater interorbital width, a much less complex molar structure, and deeply grooved, rather than smooth, incisor teeth.

Chaetocauda has been taken at elevations of about 2,500 meters in subalpine, mixed forest. It is nocturnal and nests in small trees, 3.0-3.5 meters above the ground. The stomachs contained a mixture of green vegetation and starch. The IUCN classifies C. sichuanensis as endangered.

Information taken from: Nowak, R.M. (Ed.). Walker's Mammals of the World. 6th Edition. The John Hopkins University Press. Baltimore and London, 1999.