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SPECIES Lophuromys (Lophuromys) zena

Author:Dollman, 1909.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 8, 4: 550.
Common Name:Zena’s Brush-furred Rat
Type Locality:East Africa, S Kenya, near Nyeri, east side of Aberdare Range, 9581 ft (2920 m; coordinates given by W. Verheyen et al., 2002).
Distribution:Recorded only from montane habitats in the Aberdare Range and on Mt Kenya in S Kenya (W. Verheyen et al., 2002).
Comments:Subgenus Lophuromys, L. aquilus species group (W. Verheyen et al., 2002). Originally described as a species, later treated as a subspecies of L. aquilus (G. M. Allen, 1939; Ellerman, 1941), and finally included in synonymy of L. flavopunctatus (Misonne, 1974; Musser and Carleton, 1993). Recent analyses of morphometric data and mtDNA cytochrome b sequences distinguish the montane Aberdare Range and Mt Kenya samples as a separate and distinct species from all the other samples formerly included in either L. aquilus or L. flavopunctatus, and identifies samples from lower slopes of those mountains as L. aquilus (W. Verheyen et al., 2002). Morphometric analyses place L. zena in a clade with Ethiopian L. chrysopus and L. brunneus separate from the clade containing geographic samples of L. aquilus (W. Verheyen et al., 2002). Holotypes of L eisentrauti, L. dieterleni, Mt Elgon L. rubecula, and L. zena cluster with samples of L. chrysopus, suggesting all represent the same species, a possibility requiring testing by analyses of morphometric, chromosomal, and molecular variation in geographic samples from the region between Ethiopia and the Cameroon and Kenyan highlands (W. Verheyen et al., 2002).



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