Rakali Conservation status Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Order: Rodentia Family: Muridae Genus: Hydromys Species: H. chrysogaster Binomial name Hydromys chrysogaster
Distribution of the Water Rat
Hydromys chrysogaster, commonly known as Rakali or Water-rat, is an Australian native rodent. The species lives in burrows on the banks of rivers, lakes and estuaries and feeds on aquatic insects, fish, crustaceans, mussels, snails, frogs, birds' eggs and water birds. Rakali have a body 231–370 millimetres (9.1–15 in) in length, weigh 340–1,275 grams (0.75–2.81 lb), and have a thick tail measuring around 242–345 millimetres (9.5–13.6 in). They have webbed hind legs, waterproof fur, a flattened head, a long blunt nose, many whiskers and small ears and eyes. They are black to brown in colour with an orange to white belly, and dark tail with a white tip.
Until the 1980s, this species was commonly known as Water-rat, but during the 1990s there was a push for such descriptive English common names to be replaced with indigenous names. In 1995 the Australian Nature Conservation Agency released a document in which the following indigenous names were recorded for H. chrysogaster. They recommended that the name Rakali be adopted as the common name, and the Australian Department of Environment and Heritage has taken up this suggestion. Both common names are now widespread.
Indigenous names for Hydromys chrysogaster Indigenous name Linguistic group or area Ayam Miyanmin Bud-bud Ngarigu Dalgan Djubugay Dhulurryamba East Arnhem Djinnjokma Daly River Durrgin Guugudic Galiba:y Yawaalaraay Guma:y Yawaalaraay Gurrumu Yolngu Jawurrk Kamu Kal Wik-Mungkan Kathi thukathayini Innamincka Kirnrti Kalkatungu Kumbuna Nyikina, Kayardild Mamgericht Nyungor Minha watha Kugu Nganhcara Moinah Tasmania Moo'nyp Wik-Ngathana Mu-mun Murrinh Mulundarru Upper Barcoo Murit-ya Nyungar Muuruung Kuurnkopan Namurr Yanyuwa Ngaljatbil Jawoyn Ngoor-joo, Ngurju Nyungar Ngwir-ri-gin King George Sound Njimba'rrolbumbu Mayali, Gunwinjku Nurn Warray Otol Gnog Pikun Ngiyampaa Pikunra Kalkatungu Pwampungini Tiwi Rakali Murray River Rekaldi Ngarrindjeri Renah Tasmania Riyariyangkanu Yanyuwa Thaargh Kurtjar Wambu Wunambal Wamp-wamp Nyungar Wampi Ungaringyin Wapu-nu Gupaguyngu Wapun-u Yolngu Wardunda Kayardild, Nyikina Warunu East Arnhem Wath Wik-Mungkan Wirrkup Maung Wubui Yidiny Wungujang wara Nunggubuyu Wurriyangkirraburna Groote Eylandt Yanjuna Wanyi Yerr-ek Wada wurrung Yirrku Gagadju Yurru Mangarrayi
- ^ Aplin, K., Copley, P., Robinson, T., Burbidge, A., Morris, K., Woinarski, J., Friend, T., Ellis, M. & Menkhorst, P. (2008). PHydromys chrysogaster. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Downloaded on 10 October 2008.
- ^ a b Braithwaite R. W. et al. (1995). Australian names for Australian rodents. Australian Nature Conservation Agency. ISBN 0642213739.