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GENUS Bandicota

Author:Gray, 1873.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 4, 12: 418.
Type Species:Mus giganteus Hardwicke, 1804 (= Mus indicus Bechstein, 1800).

RattusDivision. Nesokia has been considered the closest relative of Bandicota (Corbet and Hill, 1992; Misonne, 1969: Musser and Brothers, 1994; Niethammer, 1977; Radtke and Niethammer, 1984/85; Wroughton, 1908; Watts and Baverstock, 1994b), and outside of that alliance, its phylogenetic position among murines is nearest Rattus. Misonne (1969) was unsure where to place Bandicota except he thought it unrelated to Rattus; but Niethammer (1977), Pradhan and Bhagwat (1990), Gadi and Sharma (1983), and Gemmeke and Niethammer (1984) concluded from morphological, chromosomal, and allozymic data that Rattus is close to Bandicota, a conclusion also endorsed by Musser and Brothers (1994), who reviewed the problem and evidence aligning the two genera. Analyses of microcomplement fixation of albumin (Watts and Baverstock, 1994b) and DNA sequences of LINE-1 elements (Verneau et al., 1997, 1998) also placed Bandicota within a Rattus clade, as did DNA/DNA hybridization results (Chevret, 1994 [cited in Verneau et al., 1997). Although allozymic data and albumin immunology indicate Bandicota could be united with Nesokia, Corbet and Hill (1992:352) noted that the "cranial and dental differences are as great as between many genera of Murinae," and that the union would be nomenclaturally confusing since Bandicota indica "would become Nesokia indica (Bechstein) and the present Nesokia indica (Gray) would become N. hardwickei (Gray)." However, the nomenclatural issue should not prevent the assimilation of Bandicota into Nesokia if future analyses of a larger suite of morphological traits, along with mitochondrial and nuclear gene sequences, identifies species of each group as members of the same monophyletic clade. Revision of genus in the context of identifying Thailand samples provided by Musser and Brothers (1994). Spermatozoal morphology of B. bengalensis resembles that in species of Rattus and many other murines and may represent the ancestral configuration; it is strikingly different from spermatozoal structure of B. indica and B. savilei, which is apparently unlike spermatozoa of any other eutherian described to date (Breed, 1993, 1998). Enamel microstructure of incisors and molars and its significance documented by Patnaik (2002).

Insight into evolutionary history of Bandicota comes from fossils uncovered in late Pliocene Swalik strata in NW India that represent at least two species (Bandicota sp. and B. sivalensis; Patnaik, 1997, 2001). Bandicota cf bengalensis was identified from late Pleistocene fragments collected in C India (Patnaik, 1995). Middle Pleistocene cave sediments in C Thailand yielded isolated molars of B. indica and B. savilei; the latter was also discovered in cave deposits of the same age in peninsular Thailand (Chaimanee, 1998).



SPECIES bengalensis

SPECIES indica

SPECIES savilei


    Gunomys Thomas, 1907

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