DistributionRead full entry
Range DescriptionBoth the native and introduced geographic distribution of this very widespread species remains somewhat unclear. We follow Musser and Carleton (2005) who consider the species native distribution to range from eastern Afghanistan (Niethammer and Martens 1975) through central and southern Nepal (below about 2,000 m asl), Bhutan, northern India, northern Bangladesh and northeastern India (distributional relationships between R. rattus and R. tanezumi along the northern portion of the Indian subcontinent still requires resolution) into southern and central China (including Hainan Island), the Korean Peninsula, and mainland Southeast Asia (including offshore islands) south to the Isthmus of Kra, being also probably native to Mergui Archipelago. Musser and Carleton (2005) report that it is presently unclear whether the species is native or introduced to Taiwan and Japan. But is most likely introduced to Peninsular Malaysia and islands on the Sunda Shelf and nearby archipelagos, including the Mentawai Islands (Musser and Califia 1982; Musser and Newcomb 1983). It has been introduced to Little Nicobar and Great Nicobar, in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India. It has been widely introduced throughout the Philippines (Heaney et al. 1998; Musser and Carleton 2005; Larry Heaney pers. comm.). It appears to have been widely introduced throughout insular Southeast Asia, including the Greater and Lesser Sunda Islands and the Molucca Islands, to western New Guinea (range map very provisional for this island) (Flannery 1995), and from here into Micronesia to the islands of Eniwetok and Fiji (Musser and Carleton 2005).