Hose's palm civet

Hose's palm civet (Diplogale hosei), also known as Hose's civet, is a viverrid species endemic to the island of Borneo. It is listed on the IUCN Red List as Vulnerable because of an ongoing population decline, estimated to be more than 30% over the last three generations (inferred to be 15 years) and suspected to be more than 30% in the next three generations due to declines in population inferred from habitat destruction and degradation.[1]

Diplogale is a monospecific genus.[2] Hose's palm civet was named after the zoologist Charles Hose by Oldfield Thomas in 1892. Hose collected the first specimen in Sarawak in 1891.[3]

What little is known of the species comes primarily from 17 museum specimens worldwide. Only in 1997, the first living specimen was obtained and released after 2 months – there remains no Hose’s civet in captivity anywhere in the world.[4]

Hose's palm civet
Scientific classification

Thomas, 1912
D. hosei
Binomial name
Diplogale hosei[2]
(Thomas, 1892)[3]
Hose's Palm Civet area
Hose's palm civet range


The upperparts (from nose to tail tip, including outer surfaces of the four limbs) are dark brown to blackish brown and the underparts (from the chin to the tip of the tail and the inner surface of all four limbs) are white or slightly brownish white.[4][5] The face has dark rings around the eyes and very long, white facial whiskers (sensory hairs) and the large, wet snout (rhinarium) has a contrasting flesh colour. The two nostrils protrude widely, diverging to open on both sides.[4] The under surfaces of the feet are pale and the footpads are brown. The feet are partly webbed, with patches of short hair between the footpads.[5]

The Hose’s civet has a head-body length of 472–540 millimetres (18.6–21.3 in), a tail of 298–346 millimetres (11.7–13.6 in), a hind foot length of 74–81 millimetres (2.9–3.2 in) and an ear length of 36–39 millimetres (1.4–1.5 in); it is estimated to weigh about 1.4–1.5 kilograms (3.1–3.3 lb) and has 40 teeth.[4][5]

Distribution and habitat

Hose's civet has been recorded in a few localities in Sarawak and Sabah in Malaysian Borneo, and in Brunei.[1] It has been recorded in Kalimantan at an elevation of 325 m (1,066 ft).[6]

Very few field sightings of the species were mainly in lower montane forest and mature mixed dipterocarp forest.[7]

A few recent sightings exist, including a capture in Brunei (which was subsequently released)[4] and a photo taken by a camera trap in lowland forest of Kinabalu National Park in Sabah.[8] Another camera trap picture taken in Kalimantan may represent this species, but has been the subject of controversy.[9]

The highest encounter rate of the species so far has been in the Sela’an-Linau Forest Management Unit (FMU), a logging concession in the Upper Baram, Sarawak, where fourteen images of the Hose's civet were obtained between 2004 and 2005 from four different sites in the concession.[10] The previous largest series of encounters from one locality consisted of four specimens collected between 1945 and 1949 by Tom Harrisson in the nearby Kelabit Highlands,[11] suggesting that this part of Sarawak may be the prime habitat of the species.[10][12]

The few records of Hose’s civet from across its range have been mainly from montane forest sites,[4][5][12][13] giving rise to the assumption that it is a montane species. However, it has been recorded at an altitude of only 450 m (1,480 ft) in Brunei[14] and 600 m (2,000 ft) in Batu Song, Sarawak;[5] an individual was camera trapped in the lowland forest of Mount Kinabalu National Park, Sabah, also at an altitude of 600 m (2,000 ft),[8] and one of the 14 images from the Sela’an-Linau FMU was from an altitude of 730 m (2,400 ft).[10][12]

It is possible that the preferred habitat of Hose's civet is highly humid, such as mossy forests, near mossy boulders and streams.[10]

Ecology and behaviour

The Hose’s civet is both crepuscular and nocturnal by nature and is thought to be of a more ground dwelling nature than other palm civets.[10][12] It is thought to make dens in holes between rocks and/or tree roots.[4]


Little is known about the diet of Hose’s civet in the wild, though it is thought to forage on small fish, shrimps, crabs, frogs and insects[4][11] among mossy boulders and streams. The sole individual ever in captivity ate only meat and fish and not fruit, the preferred diet of all other civets in Borneo.[4]


Habitat loss and degradation have been assumed to be major threats to this species.[15] Hose’s civet may be intolerant to disturbance caused by logging, though whether it is able to persist and/or disperse through forest fragmented by slash and burn fields and logging roads is still unknown.[10][12] Hunting could increasingly be a threat to the species as population numbers and trends are completely unknown. It is possible that the species could qualify for a higher threat category once more information is available on its ecology and threats. It is considered urgent to promote and conduct further research on this species.[1]


Currently, the basic factors likely to determine the long-term future of the Hose’s civet, such as population densities, degree of dependency on old-growth forest, ranging and dispersal patterns and others, are entirely unknown, making specific conservation measures impossible.[10][12] No protected area within its range is known to hold a large population,[12] although in Brunei and Sabah, individuals have been recorded in Ulu Temburong National Park and Mount Kinabalu National Park, respectively. In Sarawak, no protected area is known to hold a population of the species. a listing which is completely inferential, based on its highly restricted range and extensive habitat loss (deforestation) and degradation within that range due to logging and conversion to non-forest land uses.[12]

Similar species

The Hose's civet is similar to the banded palm civet (Hemigalus derbyanus). Hose’s civet was first described as Hemigalus hosei in 1892 by Oldfield Thomas and it was only in 1912 that he found that the difference in shape of muzzle and teeth, as well as the obvious difference in the pattern of colouration, implied the necessity of distinguishing Diplogale from Hemigalus.[7] Like the Hose’s civet, the banded palm civet is strictly nocturnal and more ground dwelling;[12] the distribution of Hose’s civet, however, is much more restricted and more confined to higher altitude forest.

The large snout and long facial whiskers of Hose’s civet is similar to that of the otter civet (Cynogale bennettii). The otter civet is known to be semiaquatic and has webbed feet; it occurs mainly in lowland rain forest.[5]


  1. ^ a b c d Mathai, J.; Duckworth, J.W.; Wilting, A.; Hearn, A. & Brodie, J. (2015). "Diplogale hosei". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN. 2015: e.T6635A45197564. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2015-4.RLTS.T6635A45197564.en. Retrieved 30 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b Wozencraft, W.C. (2005). "Order Carnivora". In Wilson, D.E.; Reeder, D.M. Mammal Species of the World: A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference (3rd ed.). Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 552. ISBN 978-0-8018-8221-0. OCLC 62265494.
  3. ^ a b Thomas, O. (1892). "On some Mammals from Mount Dulit, North Borneo". Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London: 221–227.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i Yasuma, S. (2004). "Observations of a live Hose's Civet Diplogale hosei" (PDF). Small Carnivore Conservation. 31: 3–5. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Payne, J.; Francis, C. M.; Phillips, K. (1985). A field guide to the mammals of Borneo. Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: The Sabah Society with World Wildlife Fund Malaysia.
  6. ^ Samejima, H. and Semiadi, G. (2012). First record of Hose’s Civet Diplogale hosei from Indonesia and records of other carnivores in the Schwaner Mountains, Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Small Carnivore Conservation 46: 1–7.
  7. ^ a b Van Rompaey, H.; Azlan, M. J. (2004). "Hose's Civet, Diplogale hosei" (PDF). Small Carnivore Conservation. 30: 18–19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26.
  8. ^ a b Wells, K.; Bium, A.; Gabin, M. (2005). "Viverrid and herpestid observations by camera and small cage trapping in the lowland rainforests on Borneo including a record of the Hose's Civet, Diplogale hosei" (PDF). Small Carnivore Conservation. 32: 12–14. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26.
  9. ^ Chapron, G.; Veron, G.; Jennings, A. P. (2006). "New carnivore species in Borneo may not be new. Conservation News". Oryx. 40 (2): 134. doi:10.1017/S0030605306000688.
  10. ^ a b c d e f g Mathai, J. (2010). "Hose's Civet: Borneo's mysterious carnivore". Nature Watch. 18/4: 2–8.
  11. ^ a b Davis, D. D. (1958). "Mammals of the Kelabit plateau, northern Sarawak". Fieldiana Zoology. 39: 119–147. doi:10.5962/bhl.title.3475.
  12. ^ a b c d e f g h i Mathai, J.; Hon, J.; Juat, N.; Peter, A.; Gumal, M. (2010). "Small carnivores in a logging concession in the Upper Baram, Sarawak, Borneo" (PDF). Small Carnivore Conservation. 42: 1–9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-05-09.
  13. ^ Dinets, V. (2003). "Records of small carnivores from Mount Kinabalu, Sabah, Borneo" (PDF). Small Carnivore Conservation. 28: 9. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26.
  14. ^ Francis, C. M. (2002). "An observation of Hose's Civet in Brunei" (PDF). Small Carnivore Conservation. 26: 16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-04-26.
  15. ^ Schreiber, A.; Wirth, R.; Riffel, M.; Van Rompaey, H. (1989). Weasels, civets, mongooses, and their relatives: an action plan for the conservation of mustelids and viverrids. Gland, Switzerland: IUCN.
Asiatic linsang

The Asiatic linsang (Prionodon) is a genus comprising two species native to Southeast Asia: the banded linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the spotted linsang (Prionodon pardicolor). Prionodon is considered a sister taxon of the Felidae.

Banded palm civet

The banded palm civet (Hemigalus derbyanus), also called the banded civet, is a civet found in the Sundaic region and occurs in peninsular Myanmar, peninsular Malaysia, peninsular Thailand and in Indonesia on the islands of Sipura, Sumatra and Borneo. It is listed as Near Threatened on the IUCN Red List because of its large geographic and elevation range and tolerance to some habitat disturbance.Hemigalus is a monospecific genus that was first named and described by the French zoologist Claude Jourdan in 1837.


The cat-fox is a possible new species of carnivoran discovered on the Indonesian part of the island of Borneo.

It was first discovered by Swiss-based environmental group WWF in 2003, using a night-time camera trap in Kayan Mentarang National Park. The mammal is slightly larger than a cat, with red fur, a long tail, and hind legs that are longer than the front legs. Its overall appearance is something between a cat and a fox. In some ways it resembles the fossa (Cryptoprocta ferox) of Madagascar.

The WWF plans to set traps to capture and study the animal. If this proves to truly be a new species, it will be the first new carnivore discovered on Borneo since the Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti) in 1895. Other new mammals are discovered in Borneo with some regularity, for example the rodent Pithecheirops otion in 1993 and the bat Myotis gomantongensis in 1998. Some individuals have speculated that the animal in the photographs is a known (but exceedingly rare) species, Hose's palm civet (Diplogale hosei).

However, a new report published by Erik Meijaard, Andrew C. Kitchener, and Chris Smeenk in 2007 suggests the animal photographed may not be a carnivoran after all, but one of the area's large flying squirrels of the genus Aeromys, possibly Thomas's flying squirrel (A. thomasi). Other skeptics claim that it may be a red giant flying squirrel (Petaurista petaurista).


Catopuma is a genus containing two Asian small wild cat species, the bay cat (C. badia) and the Asian golden cat (C. temminckii).

Both are typically reddish brown in colour, with darker markings on the head. They inhabit forested environments in Southeast Asia. The bay cat is restricted to the island of Borneo. Originally thought to be two subspecies of the same animal, recent genetic analysis has confirmed they are, indeed, separate species.The two species diverged from one another 4.9-5.3 million years ago, long before Borneo separated from the neighboring islands. Their closest living relative is the marbled cat, from which the common ancestor of the genus Catopuma diverged around 9.4 million years ago.

Charles Hose

Charles Hose FRGS. FLS (12 October 1863 – 14 November 1929) was a British colonial administrator, zoologist and ethnologist.

Egyptian weasel

The Egyptian weasel (Mustela subpalmata) is a species of weasel that lives in northern Egypt. It is rated "Least Concern" by the IUCN Red List.


Ferret-badgers are the five species of the genus Melogale, which is the only genus of the monotypic mustelid subfamily Helictidinae.

Bornean ferret-badger (Melogale everetti)

Chinese ferret-badger (Melogale moschata)

Javan ferret-badger (Melogale orientalis)

Burmese ferret-badger (Melogale personata)

Vietnam ferret-badger (Melogale cucphuongensis)


Ictonyx is a genus in the family Mustelidae (weasels). It contains two species :

Saharan striped polecat (Ictonyx libycus)

Striped polecat (Ictonyx striatus)

Kayan Mentarang National Park

Kayan Mentarang National Park is a densely forested national park in North Kalimantan province, Borneo Island, Indonesia. The national park is named after a great dispersed Mentarang mountain trails plateau of Apau Kayan which covers the entire park from Datadian area in south region to Apau Ping area in mid region until Long Bawan in north region.


Lontra is a genus of otters from the Americas.


Lutrogale is a genus of otters, with only one extant species—the smooth-coated otter.

Mount Dulit

Mount Dulit is a mountain in Borneo. It peaks at 1,311 metres (4,301 ft) above sea level and stands at the head of the Baram River in northern Sarawak, Malaysia. It is a western outlier of the Bornean cordillera and is largely covered with tropical rainforest. It has given its name to various plants and animals including the Dulit frogmouth (Batrachostomus harterti), Dulit partridge (Rhizothera dulitensis), the frog Rhacophorus dulitensis, the caecilian Ichthyophis dulitensis, and to the trilobite beetle genus Duliticola. It is the site from which Charles Hose collected the holotype specimen of the rare and elusive Hose's palm civet (Diplogale hosei) in 1891.


Nyctereutes is an Old World genus of the family Canidae, consisting of just one living species, the raccoon dog of East Asia. Nyctereutes appeared about 9.0 million years ago (Mya), with all but one species becoming extinct before the Pleistocene.

Native to East Asia, the raccoon dog has been intensively bred for fur in Europe and especially in Russia during the twentieth century. Specimens have escaped or have been introduced to increase production and formed populations in Eastern Europe. It is currently expanding rapidly in the rest of Europe, where its presence is undesirable because it is considered to be a harmful and invasive species.

Otter civet

The otter civet (Cynogale bennettii) is a semiaquatic civet native to Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. It is listed as Endangered because of a serious ongoing population decline, estimated to be more than 50% over the past three generations (estimated to be 15 years), inferred from direct habitat destruction, and indirect inferred declines due to pollutants.Cynogale is a monospecific genus.


Paradoxurus is a genus within the viverrid family that was denominated and first described by Frédéric Cuvier in 1822. As of 2005, this genus was defined as comprising three species native to Southeast Asia:

the Asian palm civet (P. hermaphroditus)

the golden palm civet (P. zeylonensis)

the brown palm civet (P. jerdoni)In 2009, it was proposed to also include the golden wet-zone palm civet (P. aureus), the Sri Lankan brown palm civet (P. montanus) and the golden dry-zone palm civet (P. stenocephalus), which are endemic to Sri Lanka.


Viverridae is a family of small to medium-sized mammals, the viverrids (), comprising 15 genera, which are subdivided into 38 species. This family was named and first described by John Edward Gray in 1821. Members of this family are commonly called civets or genets. Viverrids are found in South and Southeast Asia, across the Wallace Line, all over Africa, and into southern Europe. Their occurrence in Sulawesi and in some of the adjoining islands shows them to be ancient inhabitants of the Old World tropics.

Western lowland olingo

The western lowland olingo (Bassaricyon medius) is a species of olingo from Central and South America, where it is known from Panama and from Colombia and Ecuador west of the Andes.

Extant Carnivora species

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.