Vertebrate fauna of SE Asia
  

 

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

 
 
     
   
   

 

   
   
 
Polynesian Rat
   
   

Fig 1



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Order : RODENTIA
Family : Muridae
Species : Rattus exulans

Head-Body Length : Up to 14 cm
Tail Length : Up to 16 cm
Weight : Up to 65 gms

The Polynesian Rat is a commensal species, closely associated with man : it is commonly found in the vicinity of houses, farms and markets as well as rice paddies and coconut plantations.

It is small to medium in size, with a maximum head-body length of 14 cm, and a tail slightly longer than the body. The upperparts are greyish-brown or reddish-brown and the upper fur is coarse and spiny. The underparts are light grey. The tail is dark, long and thick.

Its diet is varied, and includes plants, food scraps and perhaps insects. Their spherical nests are of built largely of woven grass.

The species ranges from Burma and Thailand throughout Malaysia and Singapore to the islands of Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea and the Pacific.


Fig 1 : This murid from Singapore is identified as a Polynesian Rat based on its small size, and the shape of its snout.


References : M1, M2