Male porcupines will “sing” either in a low or a high pitched whine when they are sexually excited. Mothers will communicate with their young using voice sounds to direct their offspring where to go. Sometimes the offspring will answer with whimperings. Specific information on communication for T. fasciculata was not found.
Communication Channels: tactile ; acoustic ; chemical
Perception Channels: tactile ; acoustic ; chemical
Long-tailed porcupines are not currently threatened. However, under the Protection of Wildlife Act 1972/1976, long-tailed porcupines are cited as “Totally Protected” in the Malaysian Peninsula.
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern
Long-tailed porcupines are sometimes considered nuisance species because they destroy certain crops (i.e. pineapple crops). By eating the cambium layer of a tree, they can also cause the death of trees.
Negative Impacts: crop pest
Some native people believe that the tail of long-tailed porcupines has some value. They remove it from the rest of the porcupine hide. The use of the tail by native peoples has never been fully documented.
Positive Impacts: body parts are source of valuable material
Because porcupines feed on the cambium layer of a tree, the tree will then die. The death of a tree is ecologically significant. For example, dead trees may be important habitats for several species of birds.
Ecosystem Impact: creates habitat
Long-tailed porcupines are mainly herbivorous, eating fruits, seeds, bamboo shoots, and the cambium layer of trees, although their diet can also include invertebrates. They will climb trees and shrubs in search of food
Animal Foods: insects; terrestrial non-insect arthropods
Plant Foods: leaves; wood, bark, or stems; seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit
Primary Diet: herbivore (Folivore , Lignivore)
Long-tailed porcupines are endemic to southeast Asia. They are found in the entire area bordered on the west and south by Sumatra and bordered on the east and south by Borneo. Their distribution is bordered to the north by the Malay peninsula.
Biogeographic Regions: oriental (Native )
Long-tailed porcupines live in several different habitats and are predominantly terrestrial, preferring to live in burrows, caves, and fissures in or around fallen trees. Although they also climb trees and shrubs in search of food. They inhabit subtropical and tropical moist broadleaf forests such as rain forests, peat swamp forests, freshwater swamp forests, lowland rain forests, montane rain forests, and heath forests. They also inhabit montane alpine meadows and shrublands, along with subtropical and tropical coniferous forests. They sometimes occur in mangrove forests. They have been found at elevations as high as 1159 m.
Range elevation: 0 to 1159 m.
Habitat Regions: tropical ; terrestrial
Terrestrial Biomes: savanna or grassland ; forest ; rainforest
A captive individual lived more than 10 years, no information on wild longevity is available. Other porcupine species often live 5 to 6 years in the wild.
Status: captivity: 11 (high) years.
Status: captivity: 10.1 years.
Long-tailed porcupines are the smallest members of the family Hystricidae, resembling spiny rats. They can weigh from 1.7 kg to 2.3 kg, and can be up to 48 cm long from the head to the base of the tail. Tail length can be up to 23 cm long. The long tail can break off from the rest of the body, potentially saving its owner from predation. More females than males are found without their tails. Perhaps the males hold the females by their tail during mating, causing the tail to come off. Once lost, the tail cannot be regenerated. Long-tailed porcupines have four toes on their front legs and five toes on their back legs. Long-tailed porcupines are good climbers, because of their broad paws.
Long-tailed porcupines are black or brown on the upper body and white on the under body. Except for the head and underside, which are covered with hair, long-tailed porcupines are covered with flattened spines that are dark brown in color at the ends and white at the tip. This species has the shortest spines in the family Hystricidae. None of the quills are more than 5 cm long. There are hairs, similar to bristles, between the spines. Scales cover most of the length of the brown tail, which is tipped with hollow quills. These brush-like quills are concentrated at the rear and the hindquarters. Unlike other porcupines, when shaken, these quills do not produce any rattling sound. No information was found on physical differences, such as size, between males and females.
Range mass: 1.5 to 2.3 kg.
Range length: 27.9 to 48 cm.
Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry
Long-tailed porcupines seem to have the ability to lose their tail, potentially enabling them to escape predation when the tail is grabbed. There are no documented predators of long-tailed porcupines, but many larger mammals, snakes, or birds of prey are potential predators,
The size of the male and the density of his quills seem to be a determining factor for females in choosing a mate. However, chemical cues are also expected to play a large role for the female in choosing a mate. The strong decaying-wood odor of porcupines probably attracts males and females to each other during the breeding season. When a female is ready to mate, she vocalizes a mating call, which attracts males to her. The males must then fight each other to be her mate. Males that win battles with other males may then be chosen by a female to be her mate. The winner is normally the largest and oldest porcupine, and he must guard the female from other suitors for three days. No specific information on mating systems has been found for T. fasciculata, other than that it is similar to other porcupines in its family.
The breeding season for porcupines is between September and November, but females are only sexually active for about a month (if they breed within that month). If the female does not breed within that month, she becomes sexually active again in another month. Females begin breeding at one year of age, ovulation often begins at 18 months of age. Leading up to the breeding season, females exhibit anxiousness and anticipation by gnawing their teeth on objects. They are also more vocal; chattering their teeth more than usual. Males also exhibit unusual behavior during this time period. They whine louder, and they travel farther than normal. These porcupines mate at night. After a gestation period of about seven months, one or two young "porcupettes" are born. Specific information for T. fasciculata is not known, but it is thought to be similar to other members of its family.
Breeding interval: Breeding intervals may be up to two litters per year.
Breeding season: Breeding occurs from September to November.
Range number of offspring: 1 (low) .
Average number of offspring: 1-2.
Average gestation period: 7 months.
Range weaning age: 6 to 8 weeks.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 9 to 16 months.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 12 months.
Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 8 to 18 months.
Average age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 12 months.
Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous
No specific information on parental investment in T. fasciculata is available, but their reproduction is thought to be similar to other Old World porcupines Hystricidae. In related species, young are born with their eyes open and quills, incisors, and premolar teeth present. The mother takes care of her newborn though the summer months. Females nurse their young, which also begin to incorporate other foods into their diets relatively early.
Parental Investment: precocial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female)