Checkered elephant shrew

The checkered elephant shrew or checkered sengi (Rhynchocyon cirnei) is a species of elephant shrew in the family Macroscelididae.

Checkered elephant shrew[1]
Rhynchocyon de Cerne.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Macroscelidea
Family: Macroscelididae
Genus: Rhynchocyon
R. cirnei
Binomial name
Rhynchocyon cirnei
Peters, 1847
Checkered Elephant Shrew area.png
Checkered elephant shrew range


Checked elephant shrews will grow to be around 25 - 30 centimeters long, excluding their tail, making them one of the longest elephant shrews. Their average tail length is slightly over 25 centimeters, which is slightly shorter than their body length.[3][4] They commonly weigh around half a kilogram (1.1 pounds), but will sometimes grow to be about 0.7 kilogram (1.5 pounds).[5] Their coat is usually a light to medium brown, but it can range from beige to dark brown. Their back contains alternating chestnut and lighter colors, creating a "checkered" pattern. Checkered elephant shrews also contain stripes on the sides of their body, which have a darker color than most of their body.[3]

Range and habitatEdit

It is found in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and possibly Central African Republic. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forest, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, and subtropical or tropical dry shrubland. It is threatened by habitat loss.[2]


Checkered elephant shrews will mate for life. The pair of them will defend a territory of a few acres.


The checkered elephant shrew is primarily an insectivore, eating termites, ants, beetles and centipedes. It also will eat mollusks, eggs and small mammals, amphibians and birds.


  1. ^ Schlitter, D.A. (2005). "Order Macroscelidea". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  2. ^ a b Hoffmann, M. 2017. Rhynchocyon cirnei. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T19709A21286777.[permanent dead link] Downloaded on 19 September 2017.
  3. ^ a b "Rhynchocyon cirnei: INFORMATION". Animal Diversity Web. Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Elephant shrew". Retrieved 28 March 2018.
  5. ^ "Elephant Shrew". African Wildlife Foundation. Retrieved 28 March 2018.

External linksEdit