Savile's Bandicoot Rat (Bandicota savilei)


Size. HB:196; T: 159; HF:37; E:24; W: 199g

Savile’s bandicoot rat (B. savilei) have dark brown or brownish grey body fur, weigh up to 350 grams, and measure up to 40 cm long including their brown tails. A chunky medium sized rat. The colour effect on the back is produced by a mixture of black and buff hairs, similar to Rattus argentiventer . the black colour of the bandicoot is more variable than that of the rat. The unicoloured tail, feet and underparts are of various shads of grey, which distinguish this species from the Norway Rat,Rattus norviegicus which has white feet.

Range Description:

Any of five Asiatic species of rodents closely associated with human populations. This species occurs in mainland South East Asia: central Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam (Dang et al. 1994), and Cambodia (Aplin et al. 2003). It is probably present in lowland areas of Lao PDR, within the valley of the Mekong River (Aplin et al. 2003). This species is sympatric in much of its range with B. indica.
Countries: Native:
Cambodia; Myanmar; Thailand; Vietnam

 Taxonomic Notes:

Aplin et al. (2003) described external morphological criteria for distinguishing B. indica from B. savilei, based upon large samples collected in sympatry in Cambodia and Vietnam. Populations in Myanmar, attributable to savilei, appear to be genetically distinct from those in the neighbouring part of the range for which the available name would be curtata (K. Aplin pers. comm.).


B. savilei is locally abundant across its range.
Population Trend: Stable

 Habitat and Ecology:

This is an adaptable species, present primarily in degraded habitats and regarded as a major agricultural pest in certain areas, being commonly found in rain fed paddy fields and corn fields. They are excluded from southerly inundated parts of mainland South East Asia, and appear to be absent from forested environments.
Systems: Terrestrial.

The lesser bandicoot rat is found on the Indian subcontinent, Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon), and Myanmar (Burma) and has been introduced on Pinang Island off the western coast of the Malay Peninsula, northern Sumatra, eastern Java, Saudi Arabia, and Patta Island in Kenya. Savile’s bandicoot rat, on the other hand, occurs only on the mainland of Southeast Asia. These three terrestrial species are nocturnal or active at twilight, constructing burrows where they nest and where they bear their litters, which number from 2 to 18. They subsist on grains, fruit, and invertebrates and are destructive to cultivated crops. The lesser bandicoot rat, an especially aggressive burrower, has been reported to make tunnels in the concrete cellars of rice warehouses in Calcutta.

Major Threat(s):

There are no major threats to the species. However, it is hunted and sold for food, and they are also poisoned extensively as an agricultural pest.

 Conservation Actions:

 It is present in several protected areas across its range.