Chestnut White-bellied Rat   (Niviventer fulvescens)


A small long tailed white bellied rat with 2+2 mammae. The skull has relatively smaller bullae and shorter palate than Rattus rattus. The short palate figured as a percentage of total skull length is an illusory consequence of the nasal bones projecting far ahead of the incisors, whereas the palate extends aft of the molars in the subgenus Rattus (to give a long palate). A characteristic though rare louse Hoplopleura  sicita Polyplax pricie s also been found on this mammal. The 46 chromosomes are mostly telocentric but the smallest 6 are metacentric. In Thailand there are 3 species, this one, Chinese White-Bellied Rat (Niviventer confucianus), Dark-Tailed Tree Rat (Niviventer cremoriventer) and  Chestnut White-Bellied Rat (Niviventer fulvescens) all are very closely related. Please see the other 2 species for more information

Range Description:

This species is found in Nepal, possibly Pakistan, Northern India (Arunchal Pradesh, Assam Himachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Sikkim, Uttarachal and West Bengal), possibly Bangladesh, Southern China (Xizang, Yunnan, Guizhou, Hunan, Guangxi, Guangdong, Hainan, Jiangxi, Fujian, Zhejiang, Anhui, Henan, Shaanxi, Gansu, Sichuan, Hong Kong, Macao), Lao PDR, Vietnam (including a number of offshore islands such as Con Son), Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia (Sumatra, Java and Bali) (Molur et al. 2005 Musser and Carleton 2005; Francis 2008; Smith and Xie 2008). It is absent from Borneo and other islands on the Sunda Shelf (Musser and Carleton 2005). It occurs from around sea level to over 2,200 m asl.
Countries: Native:
China; Hong Kong; India; Indonesia; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Macao; Malaysia; Myanmar; Nepal; Thailand.


This species is very common in Southeast Asia. There is no information available on the population abundance of this species in South Asia (Molur et al. 2005).
Population Trend: Decreasing

 Habitat and Ecology:

It is found in a wide variety of forest types throughout its range. It has been trapped in gardens and other forest edge habitats. This species is found in subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest in Dujiangyan Region of Sichuan Province, China. In Lao PDR, it is found in evergreen, pine, deciduous, and secondary forests (Marshall 1977). In South Asia, it occurs in tropical evergreen, temperate broadleaf, grass and bushy land, riverbeds in hilly forest. It has been found to occupy evergreen broadleaved forests, shrubs, rocks, also found near water (Molur et al. 2005). This species is sympatric with N. confucianus over an extensive part of its range (Allen, 1940).
Systems: Terrestrial

 Major Threat(s):

There appear to be no major threats to the species other than total loss of forest cover. In South Asia it is locally threatened by habitat loss and degradation (Molur et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions:

 It is presumably present in many protected areas. It is not known from any protected area in South Asia. It is listed in the Schedule V (considered as vermin) of the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. In South Asia, general field surveys, research into the natural history and monitoring of populations are recommended for this species (Molur et al. 2005).