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SPECIES Rattus colletti

Author:Thomas, 1904.
Citation:Novit. Zool., 11: 599.
Common Name:Australian Dusky Rat
Type Locality:Australia, Northern Territory, South Alligator River (see Mahoney and Richardson, 1988).
Distribution:Australia; known only from the coastal floodplains of the Northern Territory, the most restricted range of all the native Australian Rattus (Watts and Aslin, 1981; Williams, 1995).
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:Rattus fuscipes species group. Arranged as a subspecies of R. sordidus by Taylor and Horner (1973), but subsequently treated as a separate species (Mahoney and Richardson, 1988; Watts and Aslin, 1981; Williams, 1995). Although diploid counts are very different, Rattus colletti (2n = 42) is genetically very close to R. villosissimus (2n = 50); the two hybridize in the laboratory, but the offspring exhibit severely reduced fertility (Baverstock et al., 1983a, 1986). An undescribed species related to R. colletti and R. villosissimus is known from a small area in C Queensland (Aplin, in litt., 2004). Fertile hybrids have also been obtained between laboratory crosses of R. colletti and R. tunneyi (Baverstock et al., 1983a).
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