Species of Thailand

Rice-field rat

Rattus argentiventer, Herbert Christopher Robinson & Cecil Boden Kloss, 1916

The ricefield rat (Rattus argentiventer) is a species of rat found throughout Southeast Asia.

Description

The ricefield rat is a medium-sized rat with a grizzed yellow-brown and black pelage. Its belly is gray in the midline with whiter flanks. The tail is uniformly medium brown. They have chisel-like incisor. The ricefield rat is between 304–400 mm long with a tail length of 140–200 mm and a skull length of 37–41 mm. The average weight of Rattus argentiventer is around 97 to 219 g. Female have 12 mammae. Young have an orange-colored tuft in front of each ear.

Behavior

The ricefield rat lives in large groups which consist of a dominant male and high ranking female. When attacked or disturbed they will make squeals and whistles sound. Rattus argentiventers main diet includes termites, insects, grasshopper, snails, seeds, nuts, rice, vegetables, and fruits. They feed at night and actively moving at dusk and dawn. During daytime, they can be seen among vegetation, weeds or maturing field. It undergoes 3 week gestation giving birth about 5 to 10 young per litters.

Biomes
  • Savanna or grassland.

Distribution

The ricefield rat can be found throughout Southeast Asia consists of Indochina region, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippine, and New Guinea as major rodent pest in rice field area.

Although not a part of staple human diet in Cambodia, a growing market has developed there with most exports going to Vietnam. Rat-catching season reaches its height after the rice harvest in June and July when rats have little to eat. That lack of food coincides with seasonal rains that force the rodents onto higher ground, where traps are set up to catch them.

Parasites

Parasites of the ricefield rat include:

  • Schistosoma spindale

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Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Rodentia
Family
Muridae
Genus
Rattus
Species
Rattus argentiventer

Common names

  • English:
    • Rice-field rat
    • Ricefield rat

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Photos

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Rice-field rat
Rice-field rat range

Range Map

Distribution map of Rice-field rat, Rattus argentiventer in Thailand
  • Khao Sok National Park
Range map of Rattus argentiventer in Thailand