YELLOW-STREAKED TENREC – Hemicentetes semispinosus

YELLOW-STREAKED TENREC

Yellow-streaked tenrec facts : A small, black tenrec with a mane of longer golden-yellow to whitish hairs as well as yellow to whitish stripes down the center and on either side of its face. It has a lightercolored belly, and its back sports scattered, long, yellowish spines.

This species has small eyes, black ears, and a long, pink snout, but no noticeable tail. The yellow-streaked tenrec is about 6 to 7.5 inches (15 to 19 centimeters) long, and weighs 3 to 7 ounces (90 to 220 grams).

Geographic range: Madagascar.

Yellow-streaked tenrec habitat: This is a burrowing species that lives in humid forests, as well as shrubby areas, frequently near a water source.

Yellow-streaked tenrec habitat diet: The yellow-streaked tenrec prefers earthworms but will also eat other invertebrates.

Behavior and reproduction: Unlike most other tenrecs, which are loners much of the year, yellow-streaked tenrecs can either live alone or share their burrows with up to two dozen members of their families, including parents, grandparents, cousins, and siblings. Females may have more than one litter per year, usually with five to eight babies at a time. The babies quickly mature, becoming old enough to mate at just five weeks old. Yellow-streaked tenrecs survive the dry winter months by estivating in their burrows.

This tenrec’s spines come in two types: barbed and stridulating (STRIH-juh-late-ing). A barbed spine is sharp with tiny barbs, or hooklike structures, at the end. These spines detach easily from the animal.

When a predator is foolish enough to nip at this tenrec, it gets a mouthful of spines that fall off the tenrec and stick in the predator. Stridulating spines aren’t barbed, and don’t fall off the tenrec’s body so easily, but they do have their own unusual characteristic: they produce a sound when rubbed against one another.

Yellow-streaked tenrecs and people: This species has little contact with humans. Humans do not consider them pets, pests, or a source of meat.

Conservation status: The yellow-streaked tenrec is not considered to be threatened.