Greater bandicoot rat
|Greater Bandicoot Rat|
The Greater Bandicoot Rat (Bandicota indica) is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found in China, India, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. It can grow to about 27–29 cm without including the tail which tail can grow to 28 cm.
The Greater bandicoot rat has a dark gray-brown upperparts with a profusion of long black hairs. Sides gray with a few long black hairs. Short light gray fur on the ventral surface. Dark and naked scaly tail, dark feet with light-colored claws. The young are much lighter in colour.
Female has between 8 to 10 litters. Young (8–14 per litter) are born blind and naked. Young reach sexual maturity around 50 to 60 days after birth. The life span of adults is around a year.
Large, aggressive bandicoot rats, that erect their guard hairs on their backs and emit grunts when disturbed. If caged with other bandicoots, it is likely to fight to death within a few hours. Usually occupies the outskirts of human dwellings such as compounds and gardens and is commonly found near garbage bins. Its burrowing habits cause great damage to grounds and flooring as it can also tunnel through brick and masonry. The characteristic large burrow gives away its presence. A totally non-fussy eater, it is equally comfortable feeding on household refuse, grain and vegetables and is a very serious pest in poultry farms. Like its smaller cousin, it is also a carrier for many diseases.
Parasites of Bandicota indica include:
Greater Bandicoot Rat-borne diseases
Impact on Public Health
The Greater bandicoot rat is an important vector of rat lungworm, Angiostrongylus cantonensis that is widespread in South-East Asia. The typical symptoms of angiostrongyliasis disease, which is caused by the third-stage larvae, resemble meningitis. Both humans and rodents can act as the primary host for the lungworm.
In Myanmar, the greater bandicoot rat was known to act as a vector for murine typhus.
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