Nilopegamys plumbeus Osgood, 1928:185

Ethiopian amphibious rat, Ethiopian water mouse



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Colomys goslingi plumbeus Osgood, 1928:185


Conservation Status

Last record: 1927

IUCN RedList status: Critically Endangered (Possibly Extinct)


The Ethiopian amphibious rat is only known from the holotype. Several attempts have been made to collect this species again but without any success (Kerbis Peterhans & Lavrenchenko, 2008).



Gojjam, Ethiopia (north-western)












Original scientific description:

Osgood, W. H. (1928). [description of Nilopegamys plumbeus]. Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Zool. Ser. 12: 185.


Other references:

Allen, G. M. (1939). A checklist of African mammals. Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College 83: 1-763.

Dieterlen, F. 1983. Zur Systematik, Verbreitung und Ökologie von Colomys goslingi Thomas &
Wroughton, 1907 (Muridae; Rodentia). Bonner Zoologische Beiträge, 34:73-106.

Ellerman, J. R. 1941. The families and genera of living rodents. Vol. II. Family Muridae. British Museum (Natural History), London, 690 pp.

Giarla, Thomas C. et al. (2021). Integrative taxonomy and phylogeography of Colomys and Nilopegamys (Rodentia: Murinae), semi-aquatic mice of Africa, with descriptions of two new species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 192(1): 206-235. [Abstract]

Hayman, R. W. (1966). On the affinities of Nilopegamys plumbeus Osgood. Annales Musée Royal de l'Afrique Centrale, Tervuren, Belgique, ser. 8 (Sciences Zoologiques) 144: 29-38. [Abstract]

Kostin, Danila S. et al. (2020). Rodents of Choke Mountain and surrounding areas (Ethiopia): the Blue Nile gorge as a strong biogeographic barrier. J. of Vertebrate Biology 69(2): 1-12.

Kerbis Peterhans, J. and Lavrenchenko, L. (2008). Nilopegamys plumbeus. In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.1. ( Downloaded on 17 July 2011.

Kerbis Peterhans, J. C. and Patterson, B. D. (1995). The Ethiopian water mouse Nilopegamys Osgood, with comments on semi-aquatic adaptations in African Muridae. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 113: 329-349.

Mohamed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund. (2015). Annual report 2015. Available from: [Accessed 14 January 2017]

Nowak, R. M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA and London, UK.


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