Broad-headed spiny rat

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Broad-headed spiny rat
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Echimyidae
Subfamily: Euryzygomatomyinae
Genus: Clyomys
C. laticeps
Binomial name
Clyomys laticeps
Thomas, 1909

Clyomys bishopi Avila-Pires and Wutke, 1981[1][2]

The broad-headed spiny rat (Clyomys laticeps) is a spiny rat species from South America. The etymology of the species name is the Latin word laticeps meaning "wide-headed".


The species has a head-body length that ranges from 15 to 30 cm (5.9 to 11.8 in), with a tail 5 to 9 cm (2.0 to 3.5 in) long, and weigh between 180 and 334 g (6.3 and 11.8 oz). They have short ears and limbs, and feet with powerful claws adapted for digging. The fur is interspersed with spines; it is grizzled reddish or yellowish and black over most of the body, and paler grey to almost white on the underparts.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

Broad-headed spiny rats are native to southern Brazil and eastern Paraguay, where they inhabit open cerrado habitats at elevations up to 1,100 m (3,600 ft).[1] Within this region, they are found only in unflooded grasslands and open-canopy savannah woodlands, where the soil is soft and suitable for burrowing.[3]

Biology and behaviour[edit]

These rats live in colonies and spend much of their life underground. The burrows can be large and relatively complex, with tunnels 8 to 9 cm (3.1 to 3.5 in) wide, spiralling down as much as 85 cm (33 in) to one or more nests lined with grass or containing food stocks.[2] They are herbivorous, and feed mainly on monocots.[4] Births are probably seasonal, with one or two young being born each year, and weaned by the end of the wet season.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Marinho-Filho, J. (2016). "Clyomys laticeps". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2016: e.T4989A22205489. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-2.RLTS.T4989A22205489.en. Retrieved 31 December 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d Bezerra, A.M.R.; de Oliviera, J.A. & Bonvicino, C.R. (October 2016). "Clyomys laticeps (Rodentia: Echimyidae)". Mammalian Species. 48 (938): 83–90. doi:10.1093/mspecies/sew009.
  3. ^ Bezerra, A.M.R. & de Oliviera, J.A. (February 2010). "Taxonomic implications of cranial morphometric variation in the genus Clyomys Thomas, 1916 (Rodentia: Echimyidae)". Journal of Mammalogy. 91 (1): 260–272. doi:10.1644/08-MAMM-A-320R1.1.
  4. ^ Vieria, M.V. (2003). "Seasonal niche dynamics in coexisting rodents of the Brazilian cerrado". Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment. 38 (1): 7–15. doi:10.1076/snfe.