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Temporal range: Late Pliocene to Recent
Southern multimammate mouse (Mastomys coucha)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Subfamily: Murinae
Genus: Mastomys
Thomas, 1915

Mastomys awashensis
Mastomys coucha
Mastomys erythroleucus
Mastomys huberti
Mastomys kollmannspergeri
Mastomys natalensis
Mastomys pernanus
Mastomys shortridgei

Mastomys is a genus of rodent in the family Muridae. It contains these species:

The Multimammate Mice (also called Multimammate Rats, African Soft Furred Rats or Natal-Rats) are found in most parts of subsaharan Africa. Their Head-Body Length is between 10 and 17cm, their tail length between 8 and 15cm and their weight is varying between 20 and 80 Grams, depending on the species. The Multimammate Mice kept as pets can get much heavier weigthing between 40 and 160 Grams. They are omnivorius and live up to 4 years. A Female can have as much as 12 Litters a year. Systematicly they where long time placed in the Genus Rattus (referred to as Rattus natalensis). Later they where placed in the Genus Mus (referred to as Mus natalensis) and then they where placed in the genus Praomys. Today molecular research have brought to the light that they are a genus on their own (Mastomys) and that they are nearly related to Praomys. They are also more closely related to Mus than to Rattus. All the domesticated Multimammate Mice are hybrids between the Natal Multimammate Mouse (Mastomys natalensis) and the Southern Multimammate Mouse (Mastomys coucha).


  • Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. pp. 894–1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.