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SPECIES Bandicota indica

Author:Bechstein, 1800.
Citation:In Pennant, Allgemeine Ueber Vierfuss. Thiere, 2: 497.
Common Name:Greater Bandicoot Rat
Type Locality:India, Pondicherry.
Distribution:Extends from throughout most of India (Agrawal, 2000), Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, lowlands of Nepal through Burma, S China (Yunnan, S Sichuan, Guizhou, Guangxi, Guangdong, Fujian, Sichuan, Jiangxi, and Hong Kong Isls; Wang, 2003, and Zhang et al., 1997), Taiwan (Wang, 2003, and M.-J. Yu, 1996), Thailand (J. T. Marshall, Jr., 1977a; Robinson et al., 1995), Laos (Aplin et al., 2003b; Smith et al., In Press), Cambodia (Aplin et al., 2003b, c) and Vietnam (Dang et al., 1994; also Cat Ba Isl, off coast of N Vietnam, Kuznetsov, 2000). Introduced into Kedah and Perlis regions of Malay Peninsula (Harrison, 1956; J. T. Marshall, Jr., 1977a) as well as Java (Musser and Newcomb, 1983). Its spotty distribution may reflect other geographic introductions (Taiwan for example); "since it is commensal, large, and delicious to eat, this bandicoot may have been spread by man in comparatively recent times" (J. T. Marshall, Jr., 1977a:428). Corbet and Hill (1992:352) included Pakistan within the range but Roberts (1977, 1997) did not record it from there and we cannot locate any specimens from that country. Indomalayan range mapped by Musser and Brothers (1994).
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (lc).

Usually sympatric with one or other of B. bengalensis and B. savilei in the Indomalayan region (Musser and Brothers, 1994). In C Burma all three species occur sympatrically in the rainfed rice production environment (K. Aplin, in litt., 2004). A careful systematic revision is necessary to assess the significance of morphological and biochemical variation within B. indica. Pradhan et al. (1989), for example, reported that B. gigantea is specifically distinct from B. indica, citing differences in body size, and haemoglobin and eye lens proteins. However, because the skull of the holotype of gigantea is broken and diagnostic traits of gigantea could not be confirmed, Pradhan et al. (1993) described this taxon as B. maxima, diagnosed primarily by large size, cuticular pattern of dorsal hairs, and certain cranial proportions. Agrawal (2000:151) noted that the difference in cranial proportions between B. indica and B. maxima "appears to be nothing but individual variation due to growth changes" and that the difference in hair texture needs to be tested by study of more specimens of different sex and age groups collected from different geographic localities; Agrawal included maxima in B. indica. This action was taken earlier by Chakraborty and Chakraborty (1991), who have provided the only decent study of intraspecific geographic variation within B. indica. They concluded that the morphological differences between indica and gigantea (= maxima) simply reflected normal size variation within any large geographic sample of the species and the documented biochemical differences needed to be tested by sampling throughout the range of the species, not just from the Bombay-Pune region. Chakraborty and Chakraborty (1991) did uncover one significant pattern of geographic variation. Specimens from peninsular India (typical indica) have significantly longer nasals (absolutely and relative to skull length) than do samples from NE India (nemorivaga). This pattern was detected independently by Corbet and Hill (1992) who noted that the animals with longer skulls and nasals occurred on Sri Lanka as well as peninsular India and were allopatric to the range of samples from NE India and eastward in the Indomalayan region. Chakraborty and Chakraborty (1991) treated these two populations as subspecies because of the considerable overlap they found in other characters. If there are two species within what is now called B. indica, it will be reflected in the differences between these two groups, not between indica and gigantea.

Morphologically, B. indica is more closely related to B. savilei than to B. bengalensis (Musser and Brothers, 1994), but based on gel electrophoretic comparisons, closer to Nesokia than to other species of Bandicota (Radtke and Niethammer, 1984/85). Chromosomal data for Thai samples provided by Markvong et al. (1973) and for Indian samples by Gadi and Sharma (1983). Li et al. (1998) documented variation in mtDNA sequences from three sites in Guangdong, China, with the intent to compare the results with other species of murines. Ecological relationships with species of Maxomys, Mus, Leopoldamys, and Niviventer in S Yunnan reported by Wu et al. (1996). Habitat use on Taiwan documented by Adler (1995), and habitat and distribution in Gujarat State of W India recorded by Chakraborty and Agrawal (2000).




    bandicota (Bechstein, 1800)
    elliotanus (Anderson, 1878)
    eloquens (Kishida, 1926)
    gigantea (Hardwicke, 1804)
    jabouillei Thomas, 1927
    macropus (Hodgson, 1845)
    malabarica (Shaw, 1801)
    maxima Pradhan, Mondal, Bhagwat, and Agrawal, 1993
    mordax Thomas, 1916
    nemorivaga (Hodgson, 1836)
    perchal (Shaw, 1801)
    setifera (Horsfield, 1824)
    siamensis Kloss, 1919
    sonlaensis Dao, 1975
    taiwanus (Tokuda, 1939)
    taiwanus (Tokuda, 1941)

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