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







Small Indian Civet

Family : Viverridae
Species : Viverricula indica

Head-body length : 53-64 cm
Tail length : 30-43 cm
Weight : up to 4 kg

The Small Indian Civet, or Little Civet, inhabits non-forest areas such as grassland, secondary scrub and disturbed, agricultural areas. It is mainly nocturnal and generally terrestrial, but can climb well if needed.

It has a broad, omnivorous diet which includes small vertebrates (reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, birds), invertebrates (large insects) and some fruits and roots.

In comparison with other civets in the region, this species is medium in size, being somewhat larger than the mainly arboreal Small-toothed Palm Civet, but smaller than the Malay Civet and other species of the genus Viverra.

Its body is of typical civet shape, but its legs are rather short. Its tail is relatively thick, and its head is relatively small and narrow.

Its fur is grey or buff, patterned with rows of dark grey or brownish-grey spots which coalesce to form broken stripes. The tail has between 6 and 9 dark bands, and a pale tip. The throat is pale with indistinct, dark, narrow bands.

In Southeast Asia this civet occurs in Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Peninsular Malaysia, Sumatra, Java and Bali. In Singapore, historical records are considered as 'indeterminate' (which means they could be in error) : there have been no recent records.

Outside the region the species also occurs in much of the Indian Subcontinent (India, Nepal, Bangladesh etc.) and southern China.

Figs 1 to 3 : Three images of a specimen in dry grassland at Khao Yai, central Thailand.  Photos thanks to Lioe Kim Swee.

References : M3, M5


Fig 1
ゥ  Lioe Kim Swee
Fig 2
ゥ  Lioe Kim Swee
Fig 3
ゥ  Lioe Kim Swee