Sunday 19 May
Lesser marmoset rat (Hapalomys delacouri)
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Lesser marmoset rat fact file
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Lesser marmoset rat description
The thick, soft fur of the lesser marmoset rat is dark-reddish brown, with tinges of orange (4). The fur on the sides and underparts is generally slightly paler than the fur on the back (2). The lesser marmoset rat has long, prominent whiskers (2) (4), and relatively long brown ears which are fringed with very long, fine hairs (2) (3).
The tail of the lesser marmoset rat can exceed the length of its body and head, and this, along with the extended toes on its hind legs, is thought to be an adaptation for climbing (4). It also has an opposable hind toe, which bears a flattened nail instead of a claw (2) (3) (4).
- Also known as
- Delacour's marmoset rat. Top
Lidicker Jr, W.Z. (1989) Rodents: A World Survey of Species of Conservation Concern. IUCN/SSC Rodent Specialist Group, IUCN, Gland. Available at:
- An animal which lives or spends a large amount of time in trees.
- Active at night.
- Referring to a digit (usually a thumb) that can be turned so that its pad can make contact with the pad of each of the other digits on the same limb.
IUCN Red List (November, 2010)
- Smith, A.T. and Xie, Y. (2008) A Guide to the Mammals of China. Princeton University Press.
- Francis, C.M. (2008) A Field Guide to the Mammals of South-East Asia. New Holland Publishers, London.
- Nowak, R.M. (1999) Walker's Mammals of the World. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, Maryland.
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Lesser marmoset rat biology
A nocturnal rodent (3), the lesser marmoset rat rests during the day within the hollow stem of a bamboo shoot. By gnawing a small, circular hole in the bamboo stem, the marmoset rat can crawl into the cavity, which it lines with bamboo leaves to create a nest (4). A skilful climber, the lesser marmoset rat appears to be strictly associated with its bamboo habitat (4).
The diet of this little-known rodent is thought to consist of the shoots, flowers and fruits of bamboo (4).Top
Lesser marmoset rat rangeTop
Lesser marmoset rat habitatTop
Lesser marmoset rat status
The lesser marmoset rat is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Lesser marmoset rat threats
The main threat facing the lesser marmoset rat is habitat destruction (1). The stands of bamboo on which the lesser marmoset rat depends are already fairly scarce, and the remaining stands are being harvested to be used in construction and other activities (1). Large areas of hill forest within this species’ range have also been converted to agriculture (3).
The lesser marmoset rat appears to be sensitive to human disturbance, and is not found in modified habitats (1).Top
Lesser marmoset rat conservation
The lesser marmoset rat occurs in Cat Tien National Park in Vietnam, which should hopefully offer its habitat some protection. However, it is currently not the focus of any specific conservation measures (1).
Due to the lesser marmoset rat’s dependence on bamboo, the protection of remaining areas of bamboo is vital for its survival. It will also be important to undertake further surveys to locate remaining habitat patches, as well as to perform further studies into the biology and populations of this poorly known rodent (1).Top
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