Woodland Dormouse (Graphiurus murinus)


Fat woodland dormouse
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The woodland dormouse, scientifically known as Graphiurus murinus, is a charming and diminutive species of rodent belonging to the family Gliridae. This delightful creature is native to the southern and eastern regions of Africa, where it is affectionately referred to by various colloquial names including the African dormouse, African dwarf dormouse, and African pygmy dormouse. The woodland dormouse is renowned for its endearing appearance and fascinating behaviors, making it a captivating subject for wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists alike.


Woodland dormouse or Fat Dormouse
Lifeonwhite / Envato

The woodland dormouse boasts a distinctive appearance characterized by its compact size and soft, dense fur. It typically measures around 8-12 centimeters in length, with a bushy tail spanning approximately 6-9 centimeters. This enchanting creature is adorned with large, expressive eyes and delicate, rounded ears. Notably, the woodland dormouse’s fur showcases a rich palette of hues, often featuring shades of brown, gray, and cream, which provide excellent camouflage within its natural habitat.


Woodland dormouse in front of a white background
Lifeonwhite / Envato

The woodland dormouse is primarily found in the lush woodlands and forests of southern and eastern Africa, including countries such as South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, and Tanzania. This species exhibits a notable preference for subtropical or tropical, moist montane forests and rivers, where it thrives amidst the abundant vegetation and diverse ecosystems. While specific population density patterns may vary within its range, the woodland dormouse is adept at adapting to a range of habitats within its native regions.

Habitat Preferences

The woodland dormouse demonstrates a strong affinity for woodland habitats, where it can be found nestled within the dense foliage of Acacia trees and other forest vegetation. This species is particularly adept at navigating arboreal environments, utilizing its agility and dexterity to forage for food and construct nests within the treetops. The interconnected network of trees and shrubbery within its preferred ecosystems provides the woodland dormouse with ample opportunities for shelter, nesting, and foraging, contributing to its overall survival and well-being.

Facts About Woodland Dormouse

  1. The Woodland Dormouse (Graphiurus murinus) is native to southern and eastern Africa.
  2. It belongs to the family Gliridae and is also known as the African Pygmy Dormouse.
  3. Woodland Dormice measure around 15cm including their tail and are known for their large eyes.
  4. They are nocturnal omnivores, with a diet that includes insects, fruits, and seeds.
  5. These dormice have a grey fur on their back and white fur on their underside.
  6. Woodland Dormice are known for their agility and ability to navigate through trees and shrubs.
  7. They are found in a variety of forest types, including Afro-montane, plateaus, riverine, and coastal forests.
  8. The average body length of a Woodland Dormouse ranges from 7 to 16cm.
  9. Woodland Dormice are known for their endearing appearance and gentle nature, making them popular as pets in some regions.
  10. These small mammals are an integral part of the ecosystem, contributing to seed dispersal and insect control in their natural habitats.

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