Nesolagus netscheriSumatran rabbit

Geographic Range

This rabbit has been recorded only from the highlands of the Barisan range in southwestern Sumatra.


The Sumatra short-eared rabbit lives in forests at 600 to 1400m.

Physical Description

Head and body length ranges from 350 to 400mm. Tail length is approximately 15mm. The background coloration of Nesolagus is a buffy gray. Striking brown stripes, including a mid-dorsal stripe from the shoulders to the rump, pattern the face, legs, and body. The underfur is soft and dense. The rump and tail are bright red, and the undersides white.


Nothing is known about the reproduction of these rabbits.

  • Key Reproductive Features
  • gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
  • sexual


Nesolagus is nocturnal. It rests during the day on the forest floor in burrows dug by other animals.

Communication and Perception

Food Habits

Nesolagus feeds on succulent stalks and leaves of understory plants. Captive rabbits ate rice, corn, bread, bananas, and pineapple.

Conservation Status

Nesolagus is listed as IUCN-Indeterminate and is "...apparently the rarest lagomorph. About a dozen museum specimens exist, collected between 1880 and 1916, and there has been only one confirmed sighting sice then, in 1972." The rarity of Nesolagus may be the result of deforestation and habitat loss.


Antonia Gorog (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.


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


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.


An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.

island endemic

animals that live only on an island or set of islands.


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.


found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.

World Map


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.


reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female


uses touch to communicate


Nowak, Ronald M. and Paradiso, John L. 1983. Walker's Mammals of the World, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore and London, p 478.