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SPECIES Mastomys huberti

Author:Wroughton, 1909.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 8, 1: 255.
Common Name:Hubertís Mastomys
Type Locality:N Nigeria, Zungeru.
Distribution:Recorded from S coastal Mauritania (Granjon et al., 1997a, 2002b), Senegal, Mali, Burkina-Faso, and N Nigeria (Granjon et al., 1997b); limits unresolved.
Comments:

Characterized by 2n = 32, FNa = 44-46 (Hubert et al., 1983; Duplantier et al., 1990a; Britton-Davidian et al., 1995) or 2n = 32, FNa = 42 (Volobouev et al., 2002b). This is not the same species as M. natalensis, which is also characterized by 2n = 32, but a different FN (52-54; Britton-Davidian et al., 1995), hemoglobin pattern (C. B. Robbins et al., 1983), and apparently serum proteins (Robbins and Van der Straeten, 1989). Duplantier et al. (1990a, b) contrasted results of protein electrophoresis and chromosomal traits derived from Senegalese samples of M. huberti, M. natalensis, and M. erythroleucus. Reproductive distinctions among M. huberti, M. erythroleucus, and M. natalensis in Senegal are documented by Duplantier et al. (1996). Phylogenetic analysis of chromosomal data by Britton-Davidian et al. (1995) indicated that M. huberti is more closely related to M. natalensis than to M. coucha and M. erythroleucus, the other two species analyzed.

Qumsiyeh et al. (1990) reported a 2n = 32, FNa = 50-54 from Kenyan samples they considered to be different from that of M. natalensis and regarded them as the same species having a similar karyotype from Somalia reported by Capanna et al. (1982), who identified their material as M. huberti. Qumsiyeh et al. also claimed (without examining holotypes) that hildebrandtii (Ndi, Taita, Kenya, is type locality) is an older name for huberti; their allocation was followed by Musser and Carleton (1993). Granjon et al. (1997b) explained that the karyotype characteristic of M. huberti (2n = 32, FNa = 44-46) has not been found in samples from East Africa and is restricted to West Africa, and the samples reported by Qumsiyeh et al. (1990) do not represent M. huberti. Granjon et al. also noted (p. 8) "The existence of an East African species distinct from M. natalensis, and that may be M. hildebrandtii is not sufficiently supported to date." Van der Straeten and Robbins (1997) considered the holotype of hildebrandtii to be a Mastomys, not an example of Praomys, but did not allocate it to species. We place hildebrandtii in the synonymy of M. natalensis (see also Lecompte, 2003).

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