Long-tailed spiny rat

  (Redirected from Proechimys longicaudatus)

The long-tailed spiny rat, Proechimys longicaudatus, is a spiny rat species from South America.[2] It is found in Bolivia, Brazil and Paraguay.

Long-tailed spiny rat
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Echimyidae
Subfamily: Echimyinae
Tribe: Myocastorini
Genus: Proechimys
P. longicaudatus
Binomial name
Proechimys longicaudatus
(Rengger, 1830)


The long-tailed spiny rat is a large rat with a head-and-body length of between 187 and 250 mm (7.4 and 9.8 in) and a tail length of 121 to 200 mm (4.8 to 7.9 in). The fur is less bristly than in other related species. The upper parts are a glossy chestnut colour becoming more orange on the flanks. The underparts are white, and there is a clear line separating upper and lower parts. The tail is chestnut above and pale below.[3] The tails are missing on some individuals,[4] reflecting the lizard-like ability of many echimyids to detach their tails when attacked by predators.

Distribution and habitatEdit

This species has a range in South America extending from southern Bolivia and northern Paraguay to western and central Brazil. It is terrestrial and inhabits dry primary and secondary forest, as well as cerrado and habitats with cleared areas and patches of forest. It usually occurs at altitudes below 500 m (1,600 ft) but has been recorded up to about 1,000 m (3,300 ft).[1]


A study was undertaken in Bolivia to establish which small rodents were reservoir hosts for Leishmania, the causal agent for the human disease leishmaniasis. It was found that Oryzomys nitida and Oryzomys acritus were often implicated but that P. longicaudatus did not harbour the infection.[4]


Morphological characters and mitochondrial cytochrome b DNA sequences showed that P. longicaudatus belongs to the so-called longicaudatus group of Proechimys species, and shares closer phylogenetic affinities with the other members of this clade: P. brevicauda and P. cuvieri.[5][6][7]

Species-level cladogram of the genus Proechimys.

  Proechimys simonsi (Simon's spiny rat)

  group semispinosus  

  Proechimys semispinosus (Tome's spiny rat)

  Proechimys gorgonae

  Proechimys oconnelli (O'Connell's spiny rat)

  group longicaudatus  

  Proechimys longicaudatus (Long-tailed spiny rat)

  Proechimys brevicauda (Short-tailed spiny rat)

  Proechimys gularis

  Proechimys cuvieri (Cuvier's spiny rat)

  group guyannensis  

  Proechimys guyannensis (Guyenne spiny rat)

  Proechimys roberti (Roberto's spiny rat)

  Proechimys oris

  Proechimys boimensis

  Proechimys echinothrix (Stiff-spine spiny rat)

  group trinitatus  

  Proechimys trinitatus (Trinidad spiny rat)

  Proechimys mincae (Minca spiny rat)

  Proechimys guairae (Guaira spiny rat)

  Proechimys poliopus (Gray-footed spiny rat)

  Proechimys magdalenae (Magdalena spiny rat)

  Proechimys chrysaeolus (Boyacá spiny rat)

  Proechimys urichi (Sucre spiny rat)

  Proechimys hoplomyoides (Guyanan spiny rat)

  Proechimys canicollis (Colombian spiny rat)

  Proechimys decumanus (Pacific spiny rat)

  group goeldii  

  Proechimys steerei (Steere's spiny rat)

  Proechimys quadruplicatus (Napo spiny rat)

  Proechimys amphichoricus

  Proechimys goeldii (Goeldi's spiny rat)

  Proechimys hyleae

  group gardneri  

  Proechimys gardneri (Gardner's spiny rat)

  Proechimys pattoni (Patton's spiny rat)

  Proechimys kulinae (Kulina spiny rat)


  Hoplomys gymnurus

The cladogram has been reconstructed from morphological characters and mitochondrial DNA (cytochrome b) sequences.[5][6][8][7]


The long-tailed spiny rat is a common and adaptable species, being able to tolerate some degree of habitat modification. The dry forests in this part of South America are being cleared for agricultural purposes and it is thought the population trend of this rat is downwards. However, it has a wide range, and a presumed large total population, and the rate of decline is slow, so the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of "least concern".[1]


  1. ^ a b c Patton, J.; Costa, P.; Dunnum, J.; Vargas, J.; Bernal, N.; Patterson, B. (2008). "Proechimys longicaudatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2008. Retrieved 1 August 2016.
  2. ^ Woods, C.A.; Kilpatrick, C.W. (2005). "Species Proechimys longicaudatus". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M (eds.). Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 1586. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ Eisenberg, John F.; Redford, Kent H. (1992). Mammals of the Neotropics, Volume 2: The Southern Cone: Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay. University of Chicago Press. p. 388. ISBN 978-0-226-70682-5.
  4. ^ a b Kerr, Sara F.; Emmons, Louise H; Melby, Peter C.; Liu, Chang; Perez, Luis E.; Villegas, Maria; Miranda, Robert (2006). "Leishmania amazonensis infections in Oryzomys acritus and Oryzomys nitida from Bolivia". The American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 75 (6): 1069–1073. doi:10.4269/ajtmh.2006.75.1069.
  5. ^ a b Patton, James L. (1987). "Species groups of spiny rats, genus Proechimys (Rodentia: Echimyidae)". Fieldiana: Zoology, Studies in neotropical mammalogy: essays in honor of Philip Hershkovitz. 39: 305–345. ISSN 0015-0754.
  6. ^ a b Da Silva, Maria Nazareth F. (1998). "Four New species of spiny rats of the genus Proechimys (Rodentia : Echimyidae) from the Western Amazon of Brazil". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington. 111: 436–471. ISSN 0006-324X.
  7. ^ a b Patton, James L.; Leite, Rafael N. (2015-03-09). "Genus Proechimys J. A. Allen, 1899". In Patton, James L.; Pardiñas, Ulyses F. J.; D’Elía, Guillermo (eds.). Mammals of South America, Volume 2: Rodents. University of Chicago Press. pp. 975–977. ISBN 978-0-226-16957-6. OCLC 921432000.
  8. ^ Patton, James L.; Da Silva, Maria Nazareth F.; Malcolm, Jay R. (2000-01-01). "Mammals of the Rio Juruá and the evolutionary and ecological diversification of Amazonia". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History: 1–306. doi:10.1206/0003-0090(2000)2442.0.CO;2. ISSN 0003-0090.