Lesser Rice-field Rat (Rattus losea)


HB: 146; T: 133; HF: 30; E:17; W 77g

A small dark, woolly or sleek furred rat, only slightly bigger than Rattus exulans from which it differs with larger feet, teeth and with a 3+3 mammae. It as a blunt nose, short ears, and tail which is considerably shorter than the head and body. No ectoparasites have been found on this species. The colours vary from dull, dusky or plain brown upperparts and feet with belly grey or buff grey, depending on the locality. The tall squared off cranium and short rostrum ( with short nasals) are very distinctive. The parietal ridge are high atop the narrow atop the narrow cranium so that the parietal ridge is separated by a considerable vertical space about half the height of the cranium, from the rear zygomatic root. The sooty population of Trad are covered like the frequent individuals of Rattus rattus

Range Description:

 This species occurs in South East China (Fujian, Guangdong, Guangxi, Jiangxi, Guizhou, Chongqing, East Sichuan, South Shaanxi,, Hainan) and Taiwan, extending into central and Southern Lao PDR, South and South West Cambodia, Thailand, and the Pescadores islands (Dang et al. 1994; Marshall 1977; Musser and Carleton 2005; Robinson et al. 1995; Smith et al. 2008).
Wang (2003) recognized three subspecies in China: R. l. exiguus, Howell, 1927, found in continental China; R. l. losea, (Swinhoe, 1871), occurring in Taiwan; and R. l. sakeratensis, Gyldenstolpe, 1917, from Hainan island.
Countries: Native:
Cambodia; China; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Malaysia; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Vietnam

Habitat and Ecology:

It inhabits grass, scrub, mangroves, cultivated fields and other human modified areas from sea level up to about 1,000 m. Studies in Vietnam suggest that population sizes may fluctuate in relation to the availability of field crops (Smith et al. 2008). Males performed more locomotion behaviour in frequencies and aggression in time and frequencies when they encountered unfamiliar females than that when they encountered familiar ones. However, amicable behaviour of both females and males were not significant. The factors of stimulus rats were not significant. All rats involved in encounters performed no aggression to familiar opposite sex and no sexual behaviour to unfamiliar ones
Systems: Terrestrial

 Major Threat(s):

There are no major threats to the species.

 Conservation Actions:

It is present in several protected areas across its range.