Northern Luzon giant cloud rat

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Northern Luzon giant cloud rat
Slender-tailed Cloud Rat.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Phloeomys
P. pallidus
Binomial name
Phloeomys pallidus
Nehring, 1890
Phloeomys pallidus distribution.png

The northern Luzon giant cloud rat (Phloeomys pallidus) is a large species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is only found in Luzon, the Philippines.[1]


This very large rodent weighs 1.9–2.6 kg (4.2–5.7 lb) and is 75–77 cm (29.5–30.5 in) long.[2] The colour of its relatively long pelage, which also covers the tail, is highly variable, but usually it is mostly very pale grey-brown or white with some dark brown or black patches.[2] They often have a black mask and collar, but can also be entirely white.[2][3] The northern Luzon giant cloud rat has a slender tail, while the southern giant slender-tailed cloud rat, the only other species in the genus Phloeomys, has a bushy tail.[3]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

The northern Luzon giant cloud rat is only found in northern and central part of Luzon, the Philippines.[1] It is found in at least 12 provinces.[3] The northern Luzon giant cloud rat prefers forest and scrub, but also occurs in degraded habitats such as plantations.[1] It occurs from sea level to an altitude of about 2,200 metres (7,200 ft).[2] In some areas it overlaps with the rarer giant bushy-tailed cloud rat, but that species mainly occurs at higher altitudes than the northern Luzon giant cloud rat.[2]


The northern Luzon giant cloud rat is nocturnal and feeds on various types of vegetation.[2] Because of its relatively large size, it does not enter traditional small-mammal traps and this has limited research in the species.[4]


Northern Luzon giant cloud rats often live in pairs with one or two dependent young.[3] They give birth in hollow boles of trees (standing or fallen) or in burrows in the ground.[3] The sperm head of northern Luzon giant cloud rat has a short apical hook, with the sperm tail attached off-center basally.[5] The tail of the sperm is about 127 µm long.[5]

Conservation status[edit]

The northern Luzon giant cloud rat can cause extensive damage to rice crops and are sometimes considered a pest.[6] They are regularly hunted for food in the Sierra Madre.[7] It has been extirpated from some regions because of hunting,[2] but overall it appears to be able to withstand hunting pressure and in general it remains common and widespread.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Heaney, L.; Balete, D.; Rosell-Ambal, G.; Tabaranza, B.; Ong, P.; Ruedas, L. & Oliver, W. (2008). "Phloeomys pallidus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2010.4. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Phloeomys pallidus". Field Museum of Natural History, Synopsis of Philippine Mammals. 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2011.
  3. ^ a b c d e Oliver; et al. (1993). "Cloud rats in the Philippines--preliminary report on distribution and status". Oryx. 27: 41–48. doi:10.1017/s0030605300023942.
  4. ^ Duya; et al. (2011). "Chapter 4: Diversity of Small Mammals in Montane and Mossy Forests on Mount Cetaceo, Cagayan Province, Luzon". Fieldiana: Life and Earth Sciences. 2: 88–95. doi:10.3158/2158-5520-2.1.88.
  5. ^ a b Breed; et al. (2010). "The spermatozoon of the Old Endemic Australo-Papuan and Philippine rodents--its morphological diversity and evolution". Acta Zoologica. 91: 279–294. doi:10.1111/j.1463-6395.2009.00407.x.
  6. ^ Singleton; Ravindra & Sebastian (2008). Philippine Rats: ecology and management. PhilRice.
  7. ^ Duya; et al. (2007). "Report on a Survey of Mammals of the Sierra Madre Rance, Luzon Island, Philippines". Banwa. 4: 41–68.