Annamite striped rabbits (Nesolagus timminsi) are distributed along the border of Vietnam and Laos in the central and northern parts of the Annamite Mountains. They are found from the Pu Mat Nature Reserve to Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park. ("Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park", 2012; Averianov, et al., 2000; Can, et al., 2001; International and Union, 2001)
Annamite striped rabbits live in rainforests. The specific range of elevations they inhabit is currently unknown. Their sister species, Sumatran striped rabbits (Nesolagus netscheri) are found from 600 to 1400 m above sea level. Annamite striped rabbits have been found within this range except one specimen that was found at an altitude of 200 m. (Can, et al., 2001; Jin, et al., 2010)
- Terrestrial Biomes
Annamite striped rabbits are very similar in appearance to their sister species Sumatran striped rabbits. They have gray hair with seven dorsal stripes on the head and body that are black or dark brown in color. Striped rabbits have reddish-brown rumps, and body length ranges from 350 to 400 mm. Compared to members of the genus Lepus, striped rabbits have relatively short ears, tails and limbs; ear length of Nesolagus is half that of Lepus.
Annamite striped rabbits have a relatively primitive dental structure with a dental formula: I 2/1 P 3/2 M 3/3, and a simplified paedomorphic pattern on P3. Several skull features distinguish this species from its sister species *N. netscheri*; the foramen lacerum is smaller and narrower mediolaterally, P2 is 93% the length of P3 and has two folds on its anterior side (only 73% with one fold in N. netscheri), and the greatest skull length is 12% larger than N. netscheri (78.9 mm vs. 70 mm). (Averianov, et al., 2000; Jin, et al., 2010; Surridge, et al., 1999)
- Range length
- 350 to 400 mm
- 13.78 to 15.75 in
Little is know regarding the mating systems of Annamite striped rabbits or its sister species, Sumatran striped rabbits.
Little is know regarding the reproduction of Annamite striped rabbits or its sister species, Sumatran striped rabbits, as few individuals have been observed.
- Key Reproductive Features
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
Little is know regarding the reproduction of Annamite striped rabbits or its sister species, Sumatran striped rabbits. As mammals, mothers provide nourishment until weaning.
- Parental Investment
The lifespan of Annamite striped rabbits is currently unknown.
Annamite striped rabbits are nocturnal and rest during the day in burrows made by other animals. Their short limbs and relatively weak claws make them poor runners and burrowers. (Averianov, et al., 2000; Jin, et al., 2010)
Little is know about the home range of Annamite striped rabbits.
Communication and Perception
Little is know regarding communication or perception methods of Annamite striped rabbits.
All lagomorphs are herbivores that use hindgut fermentation to metabolize food, and they reingest their own soft feces in order to extract remaining nutrients. The specific diet of Annamite striped rabbits is not yet known. Its sister species Nesolagus netscheri feeds at night on plants that make up the forest understory. They remain hidden the understory while foraging rather than foraging in exposed clearings. (Flux, 1990; Lumpkin and Seidensticker, 2011)
Natural predators of Annamite striped rabbits are widely unknown, though they are trapped by hunters in the Annamite Mountains. Annamite striped rabbits are killed in ground snares along hunting lines and by dogs that accompany hunters. (Abramov, et al., 2008; Can, et al., 2001)
The impact of the Annamite striped rabbits on their ecosystem is unknown. As herbivores, they may act as seed dispersers.
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Annamite striped rabbits have been used as a source of food and income by local residents of the Annamite Mountains in Laos and Vietnam. This species was first discovered being sold in a food market in Ban Lak, Laos between December 1995 and February 1996. (Surridge, et al., 1999)
- Positive Impacts
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known adverse effects of Annamite striped rabbits on humans.
Annamite striped rabbits are listed as Data Deficient on the IUCN Red List. Even with the acquisition of more information, however, this species is not likely to be listed as a species of Least Concern but rather somewhere from Near Threatened to Endangered because of habitat loss due to agriculture and logging as well as hunting pressures. Annamite striped rabbits are found in nature reserves within their natural geographic range such as Umat and Phong Nha and also the Nakai-Nam Theun conservation areas. They are also found in the Vietnam provincial protected area Nam Chat/Nam Pan and Xe Sap in Laos. However the Vietnamese and Laotian governments do not presently maintain any conservation plans for this species. (Abramov, et al., 2008)
- IUCN Red List
- Data Deficient
Annamite striped rabbits were first discovered in 1995. Only ten specimens have been collected and only a single live rabbit has been photographed in nature. Surridge et al. (1999) distinguished N. timminsi as a new species in 1999. Sumatran striped rabbits (Nesolagus netscheri) and Annamite striped rabbits (N. timminsi) are sister taxa within the monophyletic genus Nesolagus. (Averianov, et al., 2000; Surridge, et al., 1999)
Amanda Hoedl (author), University of Manitoba, Jane Waterman (editor), University of Manitoba, Gail McCormick (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
an animal that mainly eats the dung of other animals
animals that use metabolically generated heat to regulate body temperature independently of ambient temperature. Endothermy is a synapomorphy of the Mammalia, although it may have arisen in a (now extinct) synapsid ancestor; the fossil record does not distinguish these possibilities. Convergent in birds.
an animal that mainly eats leaves.
A substance that provides both nutrients and energy to a living thing.
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
active during the night
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
rainforests, both temperate and tropical, are dominated by trees often forming a closed canopy with little light reaching the ground. Epiphytes and climbing plants are also abundant. Precipitation is typically not limiting, but may be somewhat seasonal.
offspring are all produced in a single group (litter, clutch, etc.), after which the parent usually dies. Semelparous organisms often only live through a single season/year (or other periodic change in conditions) but may live for many seasons. In both cases reproduction occurs as a single investment of energy in offspring, with no future chance for investment in reproduction.
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
uses touch to communicate
Living on the ground.
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
reproduction in which fertilization and development take place within the female body and the developing embryo derives nourishment from the female.
2012. "Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park" (On-line). Vietnam Beauty. Accessed January 05, 2012 at http://www.vietnam-beauty.com/vietnam-world-heritages/natural-world-heritage-sites/2-natural-world-heritage-sites/24-phong-nha-ke-bang-national-park.html.
Abramov, A., R. Timmins, D. Touk, J. Duckworth, R. Steinmetz. 2008. "Nesolagus timminsi" (On-line). In: IUCN 2011. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2011.2. Accessed November 06, 2011 at http://www.iucnredlist.org/apps/redlist/details/41209/0.
Averianov, A., A. Abramov, A. Tikhonov. 2000. A new species of Nesolagus (Lagomorpha, Leporidae) from Vietnam with osteological description. Zoological Institute Russian Academy of Sciences, 3: 1-22.
Can, D., A. Abramov, A. Tikhonov, A. Averianov. 2001. Annamite striped rabbit Nesolagus timminsi in Vietnam. Acta Theriologica, 46(4): 437-440.
Flux, J. 1990. The Sumatran Rabbit Nesolagus netscheri. Pp. 137-139 in J Chapman, J Flux, eds. Rabbits, hares and pikas: status survey and conservation action plan. Oxford, U. K.: Information Press.
International, B., E. Union. 2001. Pu Mat Nature Reserve. Sourcebook of Existing and Proposed Protected Areas in Vietnam, 1: 1-5. Accessed January 05, 2012 at http://www.iapad.org/publications/profiles/pu_mat_profile.pdf.
Jin, C., Y. Tomida, Y. Wang, Y. Zhang. 2010. First discovery of fossil Nesolagus (Leporidae, Lagomorpha) from Southeast Asia. Science China, 53(8): 1134-1140.
Lumpkin, S., J. Seidensticker. 2011. Rabbits: The Animal Answer Guide. Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.: John Hopkins University Press.
Surridge, A., R. Timmins, G. Hewitt, D. Bell. 1999. Striped rabbits in Southeast Asia. Nature, 400: 726.