Otomys angoniensisAngoni vlei rat

Geographic Range

The Angoni Vlei Rat is distributed in parts of South Africa (Meester et al).


Angoni Vlei Rat is found mainly in coastal or montane areas. Usually populations exist in wetter habitats but have been observed in desert areas (Bronner and Meester, 1988).

Physical Description

The Angoni Vlei Rat is medium to large in size compared to other murids. Long, soft reddish brown to gray fur covers this small mammal. The throat is often a buffy color (Bronner and Meester, 1988).

  • Range mass
    25 to 215 g
    0.88 to 7.58 oz


There is not enough data available concerning the reproductive biology of the Angoni Vlei Rat. Breeding has been observed to start at around 4 months of age. Females have up to 3 litters each year and there are estimates of 1-5 young/litter. Breeding coincides with good availability. Young are precocial, which means they are born in a relatively advanced condition of development (Bronner and Meester, 1988).

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
  • sexual


Angoni Vlei Rats are usually solitary but sometimes are found in pairs. Angoni Vlei Rats are mainly diurnal (Bronner and Meester, 1988).

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

Angoni Vlei Rats are hervivores that eat mainly grasses, reeds, roots, and occasionally bark (Bronner and Meester, 1988).

Conservation Status

Other Comments

Angoni Vlei Rats have large ears. The name Otomys is derived from the Greek word "otos" which means ear and "mys" which means mouse (Bronner and Meester).


Elizabeth Gill (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Phil Myers (editor), Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.



living in sub-Saharan Africa (south of 30 degrees north) and Madagascar.

World Map

bilateral symmetry

having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.


uses smells or other chemicals to communicate

desert or dunes

in deserts low (less than 30 cm per year) and unpredictable rainfall results in landscapes dominated by plants and animals adapted to aridity. Vegetation is typically sparse, though spectacular blooms may occur following rain. Deserts can be cold or warm and daily temperates typically fluctuate. In dune areas vegetation is also sparse and conditions are dry. This is because sand does not hold water well so little is available to plants. In dunes near seas and oceans this is compounded by the influence of salt in the air and soil. Salt limits the ability of plants to take up water through their roots.


animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.


forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.


having the capacity to move from one place to another.

native range

the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


uses touch to communicate

tropical savanna and grassland

A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.


A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.

temperate grassland

A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.


Bronner, G., J. Meester. 1988. Otomys angoniensis. Mammalian Species, No.306: 1-6.

Meester, J., I. Rautenbach, N. Dippenaar, L. Baker. 1986. Classification of South African Mammals. Transvall: Transvall Museum.