Help needed re food plants

Julian Barker julian at
Tue Jan 7 07:54:53 EST 1997

In article <1997010521250172338 at>, Peter Selby
<pete.selby at> writes
>In message <5mGgrSAB79zyEwdG at>
>        Julian Barker <julian at> writes: 
>> I have been doing research on the habitat of the Mongolian Gerbil. I
>> have discovered that the main food plant of these animals is Artemisia
>> sieversiana. They are known to also eat Salsola collina, Setaria viridis
>> and Leymus chinensis.
>Do the gerbils live by the seaside?  

Nope. They live in the steppe bordering the Gobi Desert, except for
escapees who live in dunes on the Isle of White and Holland. :-)

>Artemesia vulgaris is the commonest plant to find in UK - better 
>known as Mugwort.
>Salsola kali, prickly glasswort is an inhabitant of salt marshes in UK.
>Setaria is a genus of grass, sometimes found as as an escape in UK, 
>but more commonly sold as  Millet Sprays for Budgerigars.

That is very interesting. My girlfriend has discovered that her gerbils
appear to be healthier on a diet that includes budgie food which
normally contains a mix millets and similar seeds. 

>Leymus is as you say a grass.  We have Leymus arenarius which is Lyme 
>grass and grows in sand dunes.
>Hope this helps.

I would just like to thank everyone who has responded so qickly and so
promptly to my query.


                             Julian Barker

                There is a coherent plan in the universe,
                though I don't know what it is a plan for.
                                             - Fred Hoyle

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