Thai National Parks

Birds of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Malayan porcupine

Binomial name: Hystrix brachyura (Carolus Linnaeus, 1758)

The Malayan porcupine or Himalayan porcupine (Hystrix brachyura) is a species of rodent in the family Hystricidae. Three subspecies are extant in South and South-east Asia.

Geographical distribution

The Malayan porcupine ranges from Nepal through North-east India (Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Manipur, Mizoram, Meghalaya and Nagaland), to central and southern China (Xizang, Hainan, Yunnan, Sichuan, Chongqing, Guizhou, Hunnan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hong Kong, Fujian, Jianxi, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Jiangsu, Anhui, Henan, Hubei, Shaanxi, Gansu), throughout Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR, Cambodia and Vietnam, through Peninsular Malaysia, to Singapore, Sumatra (Indonesia) and throughout Borneo (Indonesia, Malaysia, Sarawak and Brunei). It is also present on the island of Penang, Malaysia. It can be found from sea level to at least 1, 300 m asl.

Sub-species

See list in the taxobox

Evolution

This species and its close relatives is believed to have originated from southern Asia based on their current distribution. Their origin may lie from a common Late Pleistocene ancestor when Sumatra, Borneo and Palawan were part of Sundaland.

Habitat and ecology

It is found in various types of forest habitats as well as open areas near forests. It may stray into nearby agricultural areas. It digs into the ground and inhabits dens near rocky areas, where it lives in small groups. It has a gestation period of 110 days and a litter size of two or three. The species may give birth to two litters annually. Their habitat is terrestrial where they are living in the hole of tree barks or roots. It also living in a burrow, from which a network of trails penetrate into surrounding habitat. It can be found in all forest types up to 1500m.

Characteristics

It is a large and stout bodied rodent covered with quills which are sharp, rigid structures. The quills/spines are modified hair. The quills or spines on their upper body parts are rough with black and white or yellowed stripe in color. The young’s soft quills become hard as they enter adulthood. It has short stocky legs covered in brown hairs which have four claws on the front and five on the hind legs. Both front and hind legs have smooth soles.The head and body measurement are around 63-72.5 cm and their tail is about 6–11 cm. Their weight is around 0.7 kg-2.4 kg

Diet

They normally feed on roots, tubers, bark and fallen fruits. They also eat carrion and insects.

Behaviour

H. brachyura is nocturnal. It forages at night and rests during the day. It may be found singly or in pairs. It can also cans swim and can gnaw. The sow usually delivers a single pup at a time but delivering two pups has also been recorded. The gestation period is about 90 to 112 days. The maximum longevity of their life is about 27 years.

Conservation and economic importance

IUCN has categorized this species as Least Concern (LC) species. The quills of the Malayan porcupine are used for ornamental purposes. They are also hunted for meat.

This article uses material from the Wikipedia released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike Licence 3.0. Please see license details for photos in photo by-lines.

Videos of Malayan porcupine

  • Malayan porcupine

    Malayan porcupine

  • Malayan porcupines, Kaeng Krachan National Park

    Malayan porcupines, Kaeng Krachan National Park

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Rodentia
Family
Hystricidae
Genus
Hystrix
Subgenus
Acanthion
Species
Hystrix brachyura

Common names

  • English: Malayan porcupine, Himalayan crestless porcupine

Malayan porcupine is found in following locations in Thailand

Please note that this non-official list is not complete nor necessarily accurate. This list is a summary of checklists from other websites, blogs, publications, photo/videos published on various websites or our own findings. We appreciate your contributions with photo proof.

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Range map of Hystrix brachyura in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are generated automatically based on very limited data we have about the protected sites, the data is not necessarily accurate. Please help us to improve our range maps by sharing your findings/knowledge.