Lesser bandicoot rat
|Lesser bandicoot rat|
The lesser bandicoot rat or Indian mole-rat (Bandicota bengalensis) is a giant rat of Southern Asia, not related to the true bandicoots. They can be up to 40 cm long (including the tail), are considered a pest in the cereal crops and gardens of India and Sri Lanka, and emit piglike grunts when attacking. The name bandicoot is derived from the Telugu language word pandikokku, which translates loosely to "pig-rat". Like the better known rats in the genus Rattus, bandicoot rats are members of the family Muridae. Their fur is dark or (rarely) pale brown dorsally, occasionally blackish, and light to dark grey ventrally. The head-body length is around 250 mm, and the uniformly dark tail is shorter than the head-body length.
These rats are also known to inhabit houses in villages and are particularly aggressive when threatened. The controls are done by mechanical (mouse trap etc.), rodenticides and biological control (by introducing rodent diseases etc.)
The lesser bandicoot and two other species are nocturnal or most active at twilight. They construct burrows to nest and bear their litters. The number of bandicoot babies can range from two to 18. Their staple diet is grains, fruit and invertebrates. They are prone to destroying cultivated crops in fields. Of all the three species, the lesser bandicoot is an especially aggressive burrower and has been reported to make tunnels in concrete cellars.
- Yule, Henry, Sir (New ed. edited by William Crooke, B.A.) (1903) Hobson-Jobson: A glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive. J. Murray, London. online
- "Bandicoot (Rat)". Britannica encyclopedia. Retrieved 17 May 2012.
|Wikisource has the text of the 1911 Encyclopædia Britannica article Bandicoot-Rat.|
- Baillie (1996). Bandicota bengalensis. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 12 May 2006.
- The Holy temple of Rats in Rajasthan of Willy Puchner
|This Murinae article is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|