Thai National Parks

Mammals of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Small Indian civet

Binomial name: Viverricula indica, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1803

The small Indian civet (Viverricula indica) is a civet found in South and Southeast Asia. It is listed as Least Concern by IUCN because of its widespread geographical distribution, widespread habitat use and healthy populations living in agricultural and secondary landscapes of many range states.

The small Indian civet is a monotypic genus.

Characteristics

The small Indian civet is 21 to 23 cm in head and body size and has a rather coarse fur that is brownish grey to pale yellowish brown, with usually several longitudinal black or brown bands on the back and longitudinal rows of spots on the sides. In some specimens both lines and spots are indistinct, and the dorsal bands are occasionally wanting. Usually there are five or six distinct bands on the back and four or five rows of spots on each side. The neck markings are rather variable. Generally there are two dark stripes from behind the ear to the shoulders, and often a third in front, crossing the throat. The underfur is brown or grey, often grey on the upper parts of the body and brown on the lower. The grey hairs on the upper parts are often tipped with black. The head is grey or brownish grey, the chin often brown. The ears are short and rounded with a dusky mark behind each ear, and one in front of each eye. The feet are brown or black. The tapering tail is 15 to 17 cm long with alternating black and whitish rings, seven to nine of each colour.

Distribution and habitat

Small Indian civets are known to occur in south and central China, Hong Kong, most of India, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. No search has been made for recent records from Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Peninsular Malaysia, Java or Bali, areas where they were historically recorded. Their current status in Singapore is unclear. They have been introduced to Madagascar.

Small Indian civets have been recorded in semi-evergreen and deciduous forest, mixed deciduous forest, bamboo forest, scrubby areas, grasslands and riverine habitat.

Ecology and behavior

Small Indian civets are nocturnal, mostly terrestrial and insectivorous. They inhabit holes in the ground, under rocks or in thick bush.

Diet

They feed on rats, mice, birds, snakes, fruit, roots and carrion. Occasionally they carry off poultry.

Reproduction

The female has usually four or five young at a birth. The life span is eight to nine years.

Threats

People of Traspur village in Assam hunt it for meat and purify its skin into medicine.

Conservation

Viverricula indica is listed on CITES Appendix III. In Myanmar, it is totally protected under the Wildlife Act of 1994.

Taxonomic notes

Viverricula rasse described by Horsfield from Java is considered a variety of Viverricula indica.

This article uses material from Wikipedia released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike Licence 3.0. Eventual photos shown in this page may or may not be from Wikipedia, please see the license details for photos in photo by-lines.

Scientific classification

Kingdom
Animalia
Phylum
Chordata
Class
Mammalia
Order
Carnivora
Family
Viverridae
Genus
Viverricula
Species
Viverricula indica

Common names

  • English:
    • Oriental civet
    • Small Indian civet
  • French: Civette Indienne

Subspecies

  • Viverricula indica baptistæ, Reginald Innes Pocock, 1933

    Range: Bhutan and Upper Bengal to Assam

  • Viverricula indica bengalensis, Thomas Hardwicke & John Edward Gray, 1832

    Range: Northern India, south of the Ganges, from Calcutta to Gujerat and possibly Sind

  • Viverricula indica deserti, John James Lewis Bonhote, 1898

    Range: Rajasthan (Indian)

  • Viverricula indica indica, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire, 1803

    Range: Southern India from the Western to the Eastern Ghats and as far north as Lake Chilka on the east coast

  • Viverricula indica mayori, Reginald Innes Pocock, 1933

    Range: Sri Lanka

  • Viverricula indica muriavensis, Henri Jacob Victor Sody, 1931

    Range: Java and Bali

  • Viverricula indica pallida, John Edward Gray, 1831

    Range: Southern China and Taiwan

  • Viverricula indica thai, Cecil Boden Kloss, 1919

    Range: Thailand, Indochina and Myanmar.

  • Viverricula indica wellsi, Reginald Innes Pocock, 1933

    Range: Kangra, Kumaun and the United Provinces of India;

Synonyms

  • Civetta indica, Étienne Geoffroy Saint-Hilaire (1803)
  • Viverricula malaccensis non, Johann Friedrich Gmelin (1788)

Conservation status

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Least Concern (IUCN3.1)

Small Indian civet

Small Indian civet

Copyright Thai National Parks,

Viverricula indica

Viverricula indica

Copyright

Distribution map of Small Indian civet, Viverricula indica in Thailand

Range map of Viverricula indica in Thailand

Important note; our range maps are based on limited data we have collected. The data is not necessarily accurate or complete.

Special thanks to Ton Smits, Parinya Pawangkhanant, Ian Dugdale and many others for their contribution for range data.

Contribute or get help with ID

Please help us improving our species range maps. To add a new location to the range map we need a clear image of the specimen you have encountered. No problem if you do not know the species, we will do our best to identify it for you.

For the location, please provide the district name or the national park/ wildlife sanctuary name.

Please post your images to our Thai Species Identification Help group on Facebook.