Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat


Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat
Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Nesokia
Species: N. indica
Binomial name
Nesokia indica
(Gray, 1830)

The Short-tailed Bandicoot Rat (Nesokia indica) is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. Other common names include Short-tailed Mole Rat, Indian Bandicoot, Bandicoot-rat, Flat-tooth Rat and Short-tailed Nesokia. [1]

Accepted synonyms include Nesokia bacheri (Nehring, 1897), Nesokia bailwardi (Thomas, 1907), Nesokia beaba (Wroughton, 1908), Nesokia boettgeri (Radde and Walter, 1889), Nesokia brachyura (Büchner, 1889), Nesokia buxtoni (Thomas, 1919), Nesokia chitralensis (Schlitter and Setzer, 1973), Nesokia dukelskiana (Heptner, 1928), Nesokia griffithi (Horsfield, 1851), Nesokia hardwickei (Gray, 1837), Nesokia huttoni (Blyth, 1846), Nesokia indicus (Peters, 1860), Nesokia insularis (Goodwin, 1940), Nesokia legendrei (Goodwin, 1939), Nesokia myosura (Wagner, 1845), Nesokia satunini (Nehring, 1899), Nesokia scullyi (Wood-Mason, 1876) and Nesokia suilla (Thomas, 1907).[2]

Contents

Characteristics

The short-tailed bandicoot rat is generally brown on the upper parts and lighter on the underside, sometimes with a white patch on the throat.[3] It has long, dense and soft hair in the winter, but the hair is short, sparse and stubbly in the summer.[1] The broad feet and the tail are scantily haired. The forefeet have four functional digits and the hind feet have five, each with a strong, nearly straight claw.[4] The body size varies between 182-388 grams and the length between 165-218 millimetres.[1]

Distribution

The short-tailed bandicoot rat lives in river valleys, by lake sides, in irrigated lands and oases in Asia and North Africa, from Xinjiang (China) in the east to Egypt in the west, to Uzbekistan in the north and to Bangladesh in the south.[1]

Biology

The short-tailed bandicoot rat is a nocturnal rodent and spends most of its time in a burrow which comprises many tunnels and chambers. The depths may be up to 60 centimetres and the burrow may be up to nine metres long, covering an area of up to 120 square metres. One chamber is lined with vegetation for nesting.[1] The gestation period is believed to be about seventeen days.[5] There are three generations per year with 3-5 pups in each litter. Breeding starts in March and may continue all year round in regions where the winters are warm.[1]

Ecology

The short-tailed bandicoot rat is common and can reach high numbers under favorable conditions. It prefers damp places and does considerable damage to agricultural crops by its burrowing activities. It feeds on grass, grains, roots and cultivated fruit and vegetables.[3] It makes tunnels in walls of irrigation canals and can cause leaks and flooding. It has many enemies including jackals, foxes, jungle cats, polecats, weasels, snakes and domestic cats and dogs.[1]

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f g AgroAtlas Pests.
  2. ^ Mammal Species of the World
  3. ^ a b ARKive
  4. ^ Animal Diversity Web
  5. ^ Nowak. Walker's Mammals of the World. Johns Hopkins University Press (1991).
  • Boitani, L. 2004. Nesokia indica. 2006 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 9 July 2007.
  • Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. pp. 894–1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.