Dark-Tailed Tree Rat (Niviventer cremoriventer)


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 widespread species is found in peninsular Thailand and Malaysia, as some offshore islands; including the Mergui Archipelago, Anambas islands, Sumatra, Nias, Billiton, Bangka, Borneo, Java, Bali, and small islands off the northern tip of Sabah (Musser and Carleton 2005). This generally lowland species reaches 1,530 m on the slopes of Mt. Kinabalu in Sabah (Musser and Carleton 2005). In Indochina this species occurs only south of the Isthmus of Kra (Musser and Carleton 2005).
Countries: Native:
Indonesia; Malaysia; Singapore; Thailand


It is generally a common species (Wells et al. 2004; Md Nor 2001).
Population Trend: Decreasing

Habitat and Ecology:

This species is frequently trapped in both the canopy and on the ground, showing no preference for either (Wells et al. 2004). It prefers primary forest habitats but it is relatively tolerant of disturbance and may be found in secondary wooded habitats. It is not found outside of forested areas.
Systems: Terrestrial

Major Threat(s):

The habitat of this species, especially in lowland areas, is being deforested for timber, firewood and conversion to agricultural land (such as oil palms).

Conservation Actions:

It is present in many protected areas throughout its range.