Père David's Vole (Eothenomys melanogaster)


Size: HB: 101; T 40; HF: 18.7;E:11; W 27g.

A soft shaggy, soft brown mouse, whose blunt nose, short legs, short ears and short tail give it a stubby appearance, unlike that of any murine rodent. The mammae are )+ 2. The tail is well covered with short hairs so as almost conceal the ring of scales. The short broad skull has a zygomatic plate whose anterior border is concave. The tall molar crowns bear a complex zigzag enamel pattern consisting of a series of closed triangles The soles of the feet are said to be hairy behind the pads. The young are blackish and the female has 4 mammae.


This species is present in northeastern South Asia, it is widespread in South China, and ranges into Northern Southeast Asia. In India it has been recorded from Mishmi hills (Agrawal 2000) and upper catchment area of Noa Dihing river (S.S. Saha pers. comm.) in Arunachal Pradesh at over 300 m asl. In China, it has been recorded from Sichuan, Anhui, Guangdong, western Yunnan, Southeastern Xizang, southern Gansu and southwestern Shaanxi (Smith and Xie 2008). It has been recorded from the island of Taiwan (Smith and Xie 2008). In Southeast Asia, it is present in northern Myanmar, extreme north-western Vietnam; and there is an isolated locality in Thailand that possibly represents a relictual population (Musser and Carleton 2005), there may be additional isolated populations of this species that have not been recorded. The species has a known altitudinal range of 700 to 3,000 m asl (Musser and Carleton 2005).It is a common species in suitable habitat.
Countries: Native:
China; India; Myanmar; Taiwan, Province of China; Thailand; Vietnam

Habitat and Ecology:

In China it is found in temperate montane evergreen forest (pine and rhododendron), in southern parts of the range it is more likely to be associated with open or cultivated areas close to the forest edge. In South Asia found in tropical and subtropical montane, temperate forest, where it leads a subterranean life, found in the leaf litter on the forest floor. Frequents wooded jungles and grassy meadows (Agrawal, 2000) and transition zones between temperate broad leaved and subtropical forests (Molur et al. 2005). They burrow in soft earths of banks. It is a grazer like other member of the sub family. Harsh silicone in grass wears down teeth hence most voles have tall, permanently growing molars. The ones that live in meadows make runways and store cut grass and they also adaptable to forest life.
Systems: Terrestrial.

Major Threat(s):

There are no major threat to this species as a whole. In South Asia this species is locally threatened by habitat loss and degradation due to expansion of agriculture, small-scale logging, human settlements (Molur et al. 2005).

Conservation Actions:

It is present within many protected areas. The isolated population in Thailand is present in Doi Inthanon National Park. In South Asia, it has been recorded in Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh, India (Molur et al. 2005).