|East African spring hare|
Pedetes surdaster was recognised by Matthee and Robinson in 1997 as a species distinct from the southern African spring hare (Pedetes capensis). This was based on genetic, morphological and ethological differences. It has been found that specimens of Pedetes capensis from South Africa have fewer chromosomes (2n= 38) than do Pedetes surdaster which have (2n = 40) and some other genetic variations. The species was confirmed by Dieterlen in 2005.
This species is found in central and southern Kenya and most of Tanzania. A single specimen has been recorded in Uganda near the Kenya border, at Mount Moroto. It is found from sea level up to an altitude of over 2,000 metres.
The East African spring hare resembles a small kangaroo and is about the size of a rabbit. It is mid-brown, has large erect ears, very short forelegs and long powerful hind legs. It moves in bounds of up to two metres and has a long tail fringed with black hairs which provides balance. It can sit up on its haunches like a squirrel.
The East African spring hare is nocturnal and spends the day in an extensive system of burrows. It lives in semi-arid grassland habitats. The diet is the green parts of plants, roots and other vegetable matter and occasionally insects.
- IUCN Red List
- Mammal Species of the World
- Matthee, C. A. and Robinson, T. J. 1997. Mitochondrial DNA phylogeography and comparative cytogenetics of the springhare, Pedetes capensis (Mammalia: Rodentia). Journal of Mammalian Evolution 4: 53-73.
- Matthee, C. A. and Robinson, T. J. 1997a. Molecular phylogeny of the springhare, Pedetes capensis, based on mitochondrial DNA sequences. Molecular Biology and Evolution 14 (1) : 20-29.
- On Dipetalonema manson-bahri n.sp., from the Spring-hare, Pedetes surdaster larvalis, with a Note on its Development in Fleas
- Pedetes surdaster (East African Spring-hare)
- Butynski, Thomas M. (1984). Macdonald, D., ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 634–635. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.