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SPECIES Neotoma (Neotoma) mexicana

Author:Baird, 1855.
Citation:Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. Philadelphia, 7: 333.
Common Name:Mexican Woodrat
Type Locality:México, Chihuahua, mountains near Chihuahua.
Distribution:SE Utah and C Colorado, USA, southwards through W and interior México, to highlands of Guatemala, El Salvador, and W Honduras.
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc).

Subgenus Neotoma, mexicana species group (sensu Edwards and Bradley, 2002b). Goldman (1910) recognized the synonyms listed here under seven species, an early view on diversity uncritically overturned during the broad-brushed application of the biological species concept (Hall, 1955; Hooper, 1955). However, a composite of three or more species, e.g., as indicated by the comments of Sánchez-Hernández et al. (1999) on the morphological distinctiveness of tenuicauda and torquata in Michoacán, and by the findings of Edwards and Bradley (2002a) on the large genetic distances recorded among US and Méxican populations. Using mitochondrial DNA sequences, Edwards and Bradley (2002b) subsequently elevated two epithets, isthmica and picta, to species, but the few specimens examined and very limited geographic representation of each raise questions about their eventual application to the genetic groups identified. The status of these forms, and others such as ferruginea, sinaloae, and torquata, merits reconsideration in the context of a full systematic revision that treats N. angustapalata and N. chrysomelas, that broadens sampling to include pivotal older names, and that integrates morphological and molecular information.

Nearly all species-group epithets are recognized as subspecies (e.g., Hall, 1955, 1981), a formality that is unwarranted given the stronger need for basic specific revision. Using allozymic data, Sullivan (1994) studied genetic divergence and biogeographic patterns among montane populations in Arizona and New Mexico; low-elevation records in Utah and their implications for inter-mountain colonization and Great Basin biogeography discussed by Grayson et al. (1996). See Cornely and Baker (1986, Mammalian Species, 262).




    atrata Burt, 1939
    bullata Merriam, 1894
    chamula Goldman, 1909
    distincta Bangs, 1903
    eremita Hall, 1955
    fallax Merriam, 1894
    ferruginea Tomes, 1862
    fulviventer Merriam, 1894
    griseoventer Dalquest, 1951
    inopinata Goldman, 1933
    inornata Goldman, 1938
    isthmica Goldman, 1904
    madrensis Goldman, 1905
    navus Merriam, 1903
    ochracea Goldman, 1905
    orizabae Merriam, 1894
    parvidens Goldman, 1904
    picta Goldman, 1904
    pinetorum Merriam, 1893
    scopulorum Finley, 1953
    sinaloae J. A. Allen, 1898
    solitaria Goldman, 1905
    tenuicauda Merriam, 1892
    torquata Ward, 1891
    tropicalis Goldman, 1904
    vulcani Sanborn, 1935

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