Mendoza tuco-tuco

The Mendoza tuco-tuco (Ctenomys mendocinus) is a species of rodent in the family Ctenomyidae.[2]

Mendoza tuco-tuco
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Ctenomyidae
Genus: Ctenomys
C. mendocinus
Binomial name
Ctenomys mendocinus
Philippi, 1869


Ctenomys mendocinus ranges from 230–280 mm in body length, and tail length of 70–91 mm. Body mass ranges anywhere between 100-250 g, with males typically larger than females. They have a stocky, robust body shape with short limbs and ears. Pelage is predominantly light-brown with subtle black and white coloration on its dorsal side, and a lightly colored tail. Forelimbs have long claws, necessary for burrowing.[3]


The species is endemic to the northern and central regions of the Mendoza province in Argentina, at a range of elevation from 460–3600 m.[3]


Members of this species engage in solitary burrowing behavior. Their foreleg claws are their primary method of digging tunnels through the ground, although the incisors may be used occasionally.[3] They generally do not arise above the surface during the day time; however, they have a preference for above ground plant material and will surface to forage for food.[4]

Newborns are highly altricial: after a 3-month gestation period, pups are born half-naked and blind, weaning 56 days after birth and becoming independent after 80 days.[5]


The Mendoza tuco-tuco is an herbivore that feeds preferentially on grasses. Populations in the Andean Precordilla region of Mendoza display high selectivity for grasses and avoidance of shrubs with a preference for above ground plant material, despite a fossorial lifestyle and harsh environmental conditions that lower food availability.[4]


  1. ^ Bidau, C.; Lessa, E. & Ojeda, R. (2008). "Ctenomys mendocinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008. Retrieved 5 January 2009.
  2. ^ Woods, C.A.; Kilpatrick, C.W. (2005). "Infraorder Hystricognathi". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 1538–1600. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ a b c Rosi, M.I.; Cona, M.I.; Roig, V.G.; Massarini, A.I. & Verzi, D.H. (2005). "Ctenomys mendocinus" (PDF). Mammalian Species. 777: 1–6. doi:10.1644/777.1.
  4. ^ a b Rosi, M.I.; Cona, M.I.; Videla, F.; Puig, S.; Monge, S.A. & Roig, V.G. (2003). "Diet Selection by the Fossorial Rodent Ctenomys mendocinus Inhabiting an Environment with Low Food Availability (Mendoza, Argentina)". Studies on Neotropical Fauna and Environment. 38 (3): 159–166. doi:10.1076/snfe.
  5. ^ Camin, Sergio (2010). "Gestation, maternal behaviour, growth and development in the subterranean caviomorph rodent Ctenomys mendocinus (Rodentia, Hysticognathi, Ctenomyidae)". Animal Biology. 60: 79–95. doi:10.1163/157075610x12610595764255.