Skip to Content

Rat: Black-tailed

Find, identify and discuss the animals of all the SANParks

Moderator: RosemaryH

User avatar
Jose
Senior Virtual Ranger
Senior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1763
Joined: Sat Dec 04, 2004 12:06 am
Location: the Netherlands

Rat: Black-tailed

Unread postby Jose » Wed Mar 29, 2006 11:34 pm

Black-tailed tree rat (Thallomys nigricauda)

Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Genus: Thallomys (acacia rats)

They live almost solely in camel thorn trees where they build large nests of grasses, twigs and leaves in hollows and forks. These nests present a huge fire hazard, for the trees. Also the weight of the nest (especially after rain) combined with the rats' secretions (acidic!) weaken overhanging branches at the fork and can cause them to break off.
Diet consists of everything an acacia can supply: leaves, pods, gum, but they also eat grasses, pods of other trees/plants, berries, roots and the occasional insect.
They are reported to live in colonies/groups but apparently not very much is known about the species in the wild.

They are indeed cute and it is said that they make nice pets. So unfortunately you can find them in specialised pet shops too. Well, in Europe you can. :( But please don't try this at home, kids!

User avatar
Katja
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 438
Joined: Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:12 pm
Location: Denmark

Unread postby Katja » Mon Apr 24, 2006 4:30 pm

We had 2 tree rat sighting on a night drive from Nossob but it wasn't possible to take pictures of them. :(
Great sightings though! :D
KTP: November 2014
KNP: March 2015


Return to “Mammals”