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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Annandale's Rat

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4



Family : Muridae
Species : Sundamys annandalei

Head-Body Length : Up to 22 cm
Tail Length : Up to 26 cm

Annandale's Rat, or Singapore Rat, mainly inhabits secondary forest, including former rubber or coconut palm plantations. It seldom occurs in intact, lowland, primary forest.

At night this rat can be seen foraging amongst fallen branches, low scrub and low branches of saplings.

Some of its morphological features, for example  the large auditory bullae (rounded features on the skull which enclose structures of the middle and inner ear), previously suggested it was a member of the Rattus genus, but in 2017 it was reassigned to the Sundamys genus after DNA sequencing was undertaken (Camacho-Sanchez et al, 2017).

Its dorsal fur is greyish-brown, and the underside is generally pale yellow but sometimes white: the demarcation between its dorsal and ventral fur is quite sharp. The tail is long and nearly naked, and the eye medium in size.

Annandale's Rat has a fairly restricted range, and is found only in southern Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore and eastern Sumatra (and some neighbouring low-lying islands to the east).

Fig 1 : Adult foraging in secondary forest, Singapore.

Fig 2 : Adult foraging in a decaying coconut palm in young secondary forest, Singapore.

Figs 3 and 4 : This juvenile is tentatively identified as an Annandale's Rat : it is feeding on an earthworm amongst the leaf litter of a secondary forest, Singapore.

References : M1

Camacho-Sanchez, M., Leonard, J. A., Fitriana, Y., Tilak, M-K. & Fabre, P-H. (2017). The generic status of Rattus annandalei (Bonhote, 1903) (Rodentia, Murinae) and its evolutionary implications. Journal of Mammalogy, 98(5), 1340-1355.