28 February 2014

Too Cute To Resist

I just came back from checking my camera traps at Koeberg Nature Reserve and had to do a quick post of this cute little fellow.

Four-Striped Grass Mouse (Streepmuis - Rhabdomys pumilio) being cute

I love this photo. The mouse looks so adorable balancing on the twigs to sniff at the peanut butter I left there. This youngster must have been very curious about the strange new smell.

A closer view of the sniffing

I don't use bait or scents often, but I noticed a tiny amount of peanut butter on the side of my lunchbox after I finished my sandwich and carefully tried to get some onto a twig. I didn't think it would be enough to attract the attention of anything passing by underneath, but it was insanely hot and I was starting to get more delusional than usual and thought I'd give it a shot.

The camera was placed next to a little runway used by the mice between the two shrubs

This is not the first time I've had a Four-Striped Grass Mouse home in on a deposit of peanut butter. A few month ago I tried the same trick and again our little striped friend was quick to pay it a visit.

Digging into some peanut butter (the good stuff, old school Black Cat, not those "plastic" versions)

At first I was surprised that the huge Eland also seemed to respond strongly to the peanut butter (and sunflower seeds), but by now I assume they must have an excellent sense of smell since they consistently home in on any place I use peanut butter. By now I think twice before using peanut butter at Koeberg since the Eland tend to knock over the camera traps.

Eland (Eland - Tragelaphus oryx) homing in on the peanut butter


  1. That is a great mouse. Reminds me of our chipmunks. Well done.

  2. That's a fine looking mouse, and a diurnal one at that, like our meadow mice. You're well rounded camera trapper to take time for the little guys.

  3. Thanks for the comments guys.

    I find it very interesting that the Four-Striped Grass Mouse is diurnal. It is very common and successful throughout large parts of South Africa. I guess the shift to a diurnal life has enabled it to exploit a niche otherwise dominated by birds and made it easier to co-exist with other rodent species. (Would be interesting to see whether there is any "official" research about this...)