Banded Palm Civet

Hemigalus Derbyanus

Last updated: February 16, 2021
Verified by: AZ Animals Staff
© bobinoz, Cleanup: Yamavu / CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia Commons – License / Original

Markings give it camouflage!


Banded Palm Civet Scientific Classification

Scientific Name
Hemigalus Derbyanus

Read our Complete Guide to Classification of Animals.

Banded Palm Civet Conservation Status

Banded Palm Civet Locations

Banded Palm Civet Locations

Banded Palm Civet Facts

Main Prey
Rodents, Snakes, Frogs
Distinctive Feature
Elongated body and snout with sharp, pointed teeth
Tropical rainforest
Lions, Snakes, Leopards
Average Litter Size
  • Solitary
Favorite Food
Markings give it camouflage!

Banded Palm Civet Physical Characteristics

  • Brown
  • Grey
  • Yellow
  • Black
  • White
  • Tan
Skin Type
15 - 20 years
1.4kg - 4.5kg (3lbs - 10lbs)
43cm - 71cm (17in - 28in)

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View all of the Banded Palm Civet images!

“Banded palm civets were named for their tan and black striped coats which give the banded palm civet more camouflage in the surrounding jungle.”

The Banded Palm Civet is a rare civet species found in the rainforests and tropical jungles of Southeast Asia. However, the small, Asian animal is vulnerable due to habitat loss from deforestation. These Civets sleep in holes in trees and other dark places during the day. During the night, they are looking for food while avoiding predators. The civets are mainly carnivores, but they’ll also eat plants and fruit.

The scientific name of the Civets is Hemigalus Derbyanus, and while they’re the size of a domestic cat, they are not usually kept as a pet. They are solitary animals that are highly territorial. Their tan and black striped fur help them to blend into their surroundings at night and protect them from predators, which include crocodiles and tigers. They were discovered by John Edward Gray in 1837.

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Incredible Banded Palm Civet Facts!

  • With the right person and a lot of patience, a palm civet can make for a great pet. However, there are challenges to owning exotic animals.
  • The Banded Palm Civet will climb trees when they’re looking for food and protect themselves from predators.
  • Banded Palm Civet is a rare species of civet.
  • These palm civets are nocturnal animals that are solitary and extremely territorial
  • These palm civets are closely related to weasels and mongooses.

Banded Palm Civet Scientific Name

The kingdom the Banded Palm Civet belongs to is Animalia with Mammalia as the class. The family these Civets belong to is Viverridae, which includes several other types of civets, the binturong, several types of genets, the Central African Oyan, and the West African Oyan.

The scientific name of the Banded Palm Civet is Hemigalus derbyanus. Hemi, meaning ‘half’ and ‘galus’ from the Greek word galē meaning ‘weasel”. These Civets look very similar to their weasel relatives. In Spanish, the scientific name is “Hemigalo franjeado”, franjeado meaning “fringed”. In this case, the fringe refers to the curved black bands that run along the back of the civet.

Banded Palm Civet Appearance

The fur of these animals comes in a wide range of colors, such as black, brown, gray, tan, white, and yellow. They have an elongated body with a mouth full of sharp teeth that make it easy to consume their food. They weigh anywhere from 3 to 10 pounds and are 17 to 28 inches in length. They’re about the size of small domestic cats, and their partially retractable claws help them climb trees. They have seven or eight black curved markings on the dorsal side, and black rings around the tail.

Banded Palm Civet, zoo animal

©Greg Hume / CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia Commons – License

Banded Palm Civet Behavior

These civets sleep in caves, holes in trees, and other dark places during the day. They are solitary animals who are also highly territorial. Despite sleeping in holes they find in trees, they are a ground-dwelling animal. They are also secretive and relatively ferocious wild animals.

Banded Palm Civet Habitat

The Banded Palm Civet is found in the Asian rainforests and tropical jungles of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Burma. However, due to increasing deforestation efforts in these regions, these civets are experiencing habitat loss, making it vulnerable. They’re found in several national parks like Similajau National Park, Mount Kinabalu National Park, and the Temengor Forest Reserve; these areas are protected areas where these Palm Civets are safe.

Banded Palm Civet Diet

The Banded Palm Civet is a carnivore, and therefore, it mainly survives on a diet based on meat, but it does eat plants and fruit on occasion. They will eat rodents, lizards, frogs, insects, earthworms, and small snakes. They will also eat spiders, ants, snails, locusts, and crustaceans found in their territory. They also eat flowers and fruits from mangoes, palm trees, and coffee plants. They also occasionally eat bananas.

Once they catch their prey, they bite the back of the neck and shake it to break its neck. They hold their food in their front paws while tearing into the flesh with their teeth. When they swallow, they tilt their heads upward.

Speaking of civets eating coffee beans, there are a few blends of coffee that use the beans picked out from the droppings of a civet. These beans are part of the rarest and most expensive cups of coffee you’ll ever have. A cup of Kopi Luwak sells for $42 a cup. The civets are used to choose the best berries, but wild civets’ droppings are difficult to harvest.

The digested juices of the civets change the beans’ chemical balance so that they lose the bitterness that coffee normally has and has a softer flavor. This effect they have on coffee beans has led to the trapping of civets, removing them from their natural habitats, and relocating them to coffee plantations.

Banded Palm Civet Predators and Threats

One of the main threats that these Civets face is the deforestation of their native rainforest and tropical jungle habitats. This leads to habitat loss where they can no longer rely on their normal food sources in the area they know, and they no longer have access to trees to keep safe from predators. Their daytime sleeping areas are also destroyed, making them vulnerable to predators when searching for a new place to stay during the day.

Hunting is another threat they face as they’re likely to become caught in traps and snares. Also, civets are taken from the wild to coffee plantations where they are kept for their droppings to grow coffee. Most civet plantations have anywhere from 40 to 150, or more, civets.

The natural predators of the banded civet include crocodiles, large snakes, some Bengal Tigers, and leopards. Bengal Tigers can climb trees, but they hardly ever do so, except when the cubs are young. Leopards love being high up and will even eat their food in trees. Leopards also hunt exclusively at night, which is when the Banded Palm Civet is most active.

Banded Palm Civet Reproduction and Lifespan

The pregnancy of a Banded Palm Civet lasts anywhere from 32 to 64 days. These civets typically give birth to one or two babies that are deaf, blind, and completely helpless at the time of birth. Eighteen days after the babies are born, they have already learned to walk, and by four weeks of age, they already know how to climb trees, a useful survival skill.

The nursing period of these animals lasts 70 days, at the end of which the babies can find food on their own. It takes two years for them to reach sexual maturity. The natural lifespan of the Banded Palm Civet is anywhere from 15 to 20 years. In captivity as a pet, or on coffee plantations, they live longer, up to 25 years of age.

Banded Palm Civet Population

The decline in the population of Banded Palm Civets, over 30% in the last 15 years, is why they are listed as vulnerable. Throughout its native habitat, these civets are protected in Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Myanmar, and Indonesia.

Among these, it’s protected in Temengor Forest Reserve and Mount Kinabalu National Park. The exact numbers of these Civets are unknown, nor has there been an exact count, but what is known is that the population of Banded Palm Civets is decreasing.

Banded Palm Civet in the Zoo

There are zoos that house Banded Palm Civets. The Nashville Zoo in Tennessee is one such zoo, and they were the first zoo to experience the first Banded Palm Civet birth in September of 2015. The Nashville Zoo is the only AZA-accredited facility to breed this species.

There are 11 Banded Palm Civets in AZA’s collection, only one of which is at the Cincinnati Zoo and the other ten are at the Nashville Zoo. The Nashville Zoo is using its breeding research project to determine if these civets are seasonal breeders and other factors that lead to their fertility needs. to their fertility needs.

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Banded Palm Civet FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

Why Is The Banded Palm Civet Important?

All animals in nature play a role in keeping a balance. The Banded Palm Civet’s diet plays a role in controlling the population of what it eats, such as spiders, frogs, and other food it finds. Scientists have not yet fully explored this animal’s role as it’s one of the rarer species of civets.

One of the few reasons the Banded Palm Civet is important to humans is the role it plays with coffee beans. Plus, the oily substance the Banded Palm Civet produces is used in the perfume industry and it’s also used to treat skin disorders and excessive sweating.

Is the Banded Palm Civet Nocturnal?

Yes, the Banded Palm Civet is a nocturnal animal that spends its days hidden inside man-made objects, holes in trees, and in caves.

Is The Banded Palm Civet Extinct?

The Banded Palm Civet is not extinct. However, its status is classified as Near Threatened due to habitat loss from deforestation.

Is The Banded Palm Civet a Cat?

Despite their cat-like appearance and behaviors they share with cats, the Banded Palm Civet is not a cat. In fact, they are closely related to weasels, mongooses, and binturongs.

Where Can The Banded Palm Civet be Found?

The Banded Palm Civet is found in the rainforests and tropical jungles of Southeast Asia. They are native to Myanmar, Peninsular Malaysia, Peninsular Thailand, the Sunda Islands of Sipura, Sumatra, Borneo, and Brunei. Sometimes people find them on top of their house, or barns, looking for food or a place to sleep.

Why Is The Banded Palm Civet Endangered?

The Banded Palm Civet is endangered for a few reasons. One reason is that it’s a rarer species of civet, which means there were fewer of them since their discovery. Secondly, the Banded Palm Civet suffers from habitat loss due to deforestation in their natural habitats. Another reason they’re endangered in the wild is due to trapping for perfume from the oil they secrete and for coffee growers to keep them on their plantations.

Is The Banded Palm Civet Dangerous?

The Banded Palm Civet is not a dangerous animal as it won’t go attack humans unless cornered or provoked. When they do feel provoked or cornered, they will feel the need to protect themselves. As with most animals, civets are shy around people and it is fine to observe them from afar.

Are Banded Palm Civets herbivores, carnivores, or omnivores?

Banded Palm Civets are Carnivores, meaning they eat other animals.

What Kingdom do Banded Palm Civets belong to?

Banded Palm Civets belong to the Kingdom Animalia.

What phylum do Banded Palm Civets belong to?

Banded Palm Civets belong to the phylum Chordata.

What class do Banded Palm Civets belong to?

Banded Palm Civets belong to the class Mammalia.

What family do Banded Palm Civets belong to?

Banded Palm Civets belong to the family Viverridae.

What order do Banded Palm Civets belong to?

Banded Palm Civets belong to the order Carnivora.

What type of covering do Banded Palm Civets have?

Banded Palm Civets are covered in Fur.

What is the main prey for Banded Palm Civets?

Banded Palm Civets prey on rodents, snakes, and frogs.

What are some predators of Banded Palm Civets?

Predators of Banded Palm Civets include lions, snakes, and leopards.

What are some distinguishing features of Banded Palm Civets?

Banded Palm Civets have elongated bodies and snouts with sharp, pointed teeth.

How many babies do Banded Palm Civets have?

The average number of babies a Banded Palm Civet has is 2.

What is an interesting fact about Banded Palm Civets?

The Banded Palm Civet’s markings give it camouflage!

What is the scientific name for the Banded Palm Civet?

The scientific name for the Banded Palm Civet is Hemigalus Derbyanus.

What is the lifespan of a Banded Palm Civet?

Banded Palm Civets can live for 15 to 20 years.

How to say Banded Palm Civet in ...
Banded Palm Civet
Hemigalus derbyanus
Civette palmiste à bandes
Hemigalus derbyanus
Bandad palmmård

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

  1. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2011) Animal, The Definitive Visual Guide To The World's Wildlife
  2. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals
  3. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia
  4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species
  5. David Burnie, Dorling Kindersley (2008) Illustrated Encyclopedia Of Animals
  6. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals
  7. David W. Macdonald, Oxford University Press (2010) The Encyclopedia Of Mammals
  8. Wildlife Conservation Society, Available here:
  9. Facts and Details, Available here:
  10. Wildlife Arkive, Available here:
  11. IUCN Redlist, Available here:
  12. EOL, Available here:
  13. National Parks, Available here:

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