Calcochloris tytonis (Simonetta, 1968:31)

Somali golden mole, Simonetta's golden mole



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Amblysomus tytonis Simonetta, 1968:31 (basionym); Chlorotalpa tytonis (Simonetta, 1968:31)


Conservation Status


Last record: 1964 (Simonetta, 1968; Fisher & Blomberg, 2012;  Maree, 2015; Lee et al., 2017)

IUCN RedList status: Data Deficient


The Somali golden mole is only known from a partial skull recovered from an owl pellet in 1964 from Giohar, Somalia. This species may or may not still be extant, as it is uncertain whether sufficient sampling at the type locality and any other potential habitat has been undertaken (Bronner, 2008).



Giohar (Villagio Duca degli Abruzzi), southern Somalia


Biology & Ecology




Only known from the holotype (Simonetta, 1968; Bronner, 2008), which is housed in the Museum of Zoology and Natural History (Florence) also known as La Specola (Lanza & Simonetta, 2009:229).






Original scientific description:

Simonetta, Alberto M. (1968). A new golden mole from Somalia with an appendix on the taxonomy of the family Chrysochloridae (Mammalia, Insectivora). Monitore zoologici Italiano 2(Supplement): 27-55.


Other references:

Agnelli, P., Azzaroli, M. L. and Simonetta, A. M. (1988). Some remarks on the mammals of Somalia. Biogeographia 14: 499-512.

Bronner, G. N. (1995). Systematic revision of the golden mole genera Amblysomus, Chlorotalpa and Calcochloris (Insectivora:Chrysochloromorpha; Chrysochloridae). Ph.D. thesis, University of Natal, Durban.

Bronner, G. N. (2008). Calcochloris tytonis. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. ( Downloaded on 09 September 2012.

Bronner, G. N. (2013). Calcochloris tytonis. In: J. Kingdon, D. Happold, T. Butynski, M. Hoffmann, M. Happold and J. Kalina (eds), Mammals of Africa, Volume I: Introductory Chapters and Afrotheria, pp. 236. Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

Bronner, G. N. and Jenkins, P. D. (2005). Order Afrosoricida. In Wilson, Don E. and Reeder, D. M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. [p. 81]

Fisher, Diana O. and Blomberg, Simon P. (2012). Inferring Extinction of Mammals from Sighting Records, Threats, and Biological Traits. Conservation Biology 26(1): 57-67.

Girling, Richard. (2014). The Hunt for the Golden Mole: All Creatures Great & Small and Why They Matter. Counterpoint. 312 pp.

Kennerley, R. J., Lacher, T. E. Jr., Mason, V., McCay, S., Roach, N., Stephenson, P. J., Superina, M. and Young, R. P. (2018). Conservation priorities and actions for the Orders Cingulata, Pilosa, Afrosoricida, Macroscelidea, Eulipotyphla, Dermoptera and Scandentia, pp. 15-27. In: Wilson, D. E. and Mittermeier, R. A. (eds.). Handbook of the Mammals of the World - Volume 8. Insectivores, Sloths and Colugos. Barcelona, Spain: Lynx Edicions.

Kingdon, Jonathan. (2020). The Kingdon Pocket Guide to African Mammals, 2nd ed. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Lanza, Benedetto and Simonetta, Alberto. (2009). Le collezioni somale di mammiferi, rettili ed anfibi del Museo della Specola / The Somalian collections of mammals, reptiles and amphibians in the La Specola Museum, pp. 229-247. In: Barsanti, Giulio and Chelazzi, Guido (eds.). Il Museo di Storia Naturale dell’Università degli Studi di Firenze. Le collezioni della Specola : zoologia e cere anatomiche / The Museum of Natural History of the University of Florence: The Collections of La Specola. Zoology and Anatomical Waxes. Firenze University Press.

Lee, T. E., Fisher, D. O., Blomberg, S. P. and Wintle, B. A. (2017). Extinct or still out there? Disentangling influences on extinction and rediscovery helps to clarify the fate of species on the edge. Global Change Biology 23(2): 621-634.

Maree, S. (2015). Calcochloris tytonis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2015: e.T4767A21285700. Accessed on 01 April 2023.

Meester, J. (1974). Family Chrysochloridae. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC, USA.

Nicoll, M. E. and Rathbun, G. B. (1990). African Insectivora and elephant-shrews: An action plan for their conservation. IUCN/SSC Insectivore, Tree-Shrew and Elephant-Shrew Specialist Group. IUCN, Gland, Switzerland.

Petter, F. (1981). Remarques sur la systématique des Chrysochloridés. Mammalia 45: 49-53.

Stephenson, P. J. (2017). Small mammal monitoring: why we need more data on the Afrotheria. Afrotherian Conservation 13: 34-42.

Stewart, Claire L., Watson, James E. M., Bland, Lucie M. and Tulloch, Ayesha I. T. (2021). Determining ranges of poorly known mammals as a tool for global conservation assessment. Biological Conservation 260: 109188.

Tafesse , Israel Sebsibe and Yohannes, Yordanos Berihun. (2022). New conservation status for data-deficient endemic mammals of East Africa. Journal for Nature Conservation 65: 126121.


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