New Zealand Journal of Ecology (1980) 3: 141- 145

Ship rats (Rattus rattus L.) in a Pinus radiata plantation [in New Zealand]

Research Article
M. N. Clout 1,2
  1. Zoology Department, University of Auckland, New Zealand
  2. Present address: Ecology Division, DSIR, Private Bag, Nelson, New Zealand

Unusually heavy rodent interference with apple-baited live-traps set for brush-tailed possums (Trichosurus vulpecula Kerr) in a 15-year-old Pinus radiata stand prompted an attempt to reduce the local rodent population by snap-trapping. Twenty-two ship rats (Rattus rattus L.) were caught in 192 trap-nights in late July 1975 and seventeen of them were collected for autopsy. Stomach contents consisted largely of invertebrate remains, with lepidopteran larvae, wetas (Rhaphidophoridae) and bibionid larvae predominating.