Order Afrosoricida


The tenrecs and golden moles have traditionally been placed with the insectivores, but appear to be a separate clade deserving elevation to the ordinal level. The families making up this clade, however, are different enough that they are placed in separate suborders.

Upper molars in most are zalambdodont, forming a V-shaped loph. Both families have only a single opening for the urogenital and digestive tracts, thus having a cloaca.

Members of the Afrosoricida are pictured on the Animal Diversity Web (Museum of Zoology, University of Michigan).

The family Tenecidae (Tenrecs), with 10 genera and about 30 species, are African and Madagascan in distribution, with most occurring in the latter.

The family Chrysochloridae, commonly known by the common name Golden Moles, has only five genera and about 20 species. They are distributed from about central Africa south to the southern limit of the continent. Earlier considered to be members of the (old) order Insectivora, they later were elevated to an order of their own, generally now are considered to be so different as to require their being put into a different order together with the Tenrecs.


Last Update: 19 Jan 2008

Centennial Museum and Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso