Species Factsheet

Ondatra zibethicus


Complete name: Ondatra zibethicus, Linnaeus 1766
Taxonomy: Mammalia » Chordata » Mammalia » Rodentia » Muridae » Ondatra zibethicus
Authors: Piero Genovesi
Last updated: October 31st, 2006

Common Names



Ondatra zibethica
Ondatra zibethicus

Short Description

Large (410-620 mm; weight 680-1800 g), stocky aquatic rodent with large head, small eyes, very short rounded ears. Dark brown, with underside slightly paler in colour. Tail as long as the head and body (180-295 mm), hairless and flattened laterally. Common name refers to the musky odour. They eat almost any aquatic vegetation as well as crops. Also feed on crayfish, mussels, turtles, frogs and fish in ponds where vegetation is scarce.