Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless otherwise credited.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2020

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Asian House Rat
   
   


Fig 1


Fig 2


Fig 3


Fig 4

 

 

 

 

Order : RODENTIA
Family : Muridae
Species : Rattus tanezumi

Head-Body Length : Up to 22 cm
Tail Length : Up to 22 cm
Weight : Up to 200 grams

A supremely adaptable species, the Asian House Rat is to be found in many man-made habitats including agricultural and wholly urban areas. It is omnivorous, feeding on all manner of farmyard waste and food scraps. It is a fast runner, can climb well and can jump up to 50 cm.

The fur on the dorsal side is olive-brown, and the ventral side generally lighter. The tail is very dark grey and nearly naked. The ears are large and the eyes jet black. Juveniles have a relatively larger head and smaller body.

The species is closely related to the European House Rat Rattus rattus, but recent studies suggest it is a separate species. It probably occurs throughout Southeast Asia.


Fig 1 : Example exploring a grassy embankment by day.

Fig 2 : Specimen from secondary forest edge, near residential area.

Fig 3 : Searching amongst granite boulders.

Fig 4 : Feeding amongst epiphytic ferns on a wayside Rain Tree.

All images from Singapore.


References : M1, M2