Lesser bandicoot rat

species of mammal

The lesser bandicoot rat (Bandicota bengalensis) is a rodent. It lives in south Asia. It can grow up to 40cm long. It is a rat, but is not in the genus Rattus. They may be a pest to cereal crops, and gardens in India and Sri Lanka. When attacking the rat grunts like a pig. Their fur is dark brown on the back and usually lighter or darker grey on the belly-side (ventrally). The length of their body is about 25cm, and the tail is shorter than the body.

Lesser bandicoot rat
Bandicota bengalensis Hardwicke.jpg
Scientific classification
Binomial name
Bandicota bengalensis
Gray, 1835


Sometimes, the rats live in empty houses in villages. When they feel threatened, they are very aggressive. Many see them as a threat to infants (babies). Packs of lesser bandicoot rats have been known to attack and devour infants left alone.


Despite its name, the rat is not related to the bandicoot, which is a marsupial.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature says there are large numbers of lesser bandicoot rats found over a wide area. They have listed them as being of Least Concern for survival.[1]


  1. "Lesser Bandicoot rat". IUCN Red List 2008. Retrieved 2009-08-07.