oa African Zoology - Food preferences of the vlei rat (Otomys irroratus) and the four-striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio)

Volume 14, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 1562-7020
  • E-ISSN: 2224-073X



The food preferences of O. irroratus and R. pumilio have been examined in laboratory tests. O. irroratus prefers green vegetation including herbs, shrubs and grasses whereas R. pumilio prefers fruits and seeds. Both species eat insects in the laboratory, but they are more important in the natural diet of R. pumilio than O. irroratus. O. irroratus readily eats grasses which are not consumed by R. pumilio. Partial dietary overlap occurs in the laboratory which suggests that some degree of competition for fruits and seeds will occur at certain seasons in natural populations.

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