Mammal Species of the World Logo



FAMILY Nesophontidae

Author:Anthony, 1916.
Citation:Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist., 35: 725.
Comments:Known mainly from sub-Recent fossils from the Greater Antilles. Remains of a Nesophontes sized mammal were found in a piece of late Oligocene/early Miocene Dominican amber (MacPhee and Grimaldi, 1996). One genus and nine taxa have been named; Hall (1981) recognized six and Morgan and Woods (1986) eight species. Efforts to locate surviving populations have been unsuccessful (Woods et al., 1985). MacPhee et al. (1999) concluded that the genus has probably been extinct for five hundred years or more, although Fischer (1977) speculated about a more recent survival. The relationships of the Nesophontidae to the Solenodontidae are not well established. Van Valen (1967) placed the Nesophontidae near the Soricidae in the order Insectivora, and the Solenodontidae near the Tenrecidae in the order Deltatheria. Whidden and Asher (2001) reviewed the relevant literature and discussed biogeographical hypotheses to explain the presence of Nesophontes and Solenodon in the West Indies. Comprehensive cladistic analyses (Asher, 1999, Asher et al., 2002) of up to 118 morphological characters found support for affinities between Solenodon and Nesophontes, and also between the two Carribean taxa and tenrecs.


GENUS Nesophontes

SPECIES edithae

SPECIES hypomicrus

SPECIES longirostris


SPECIES micrus

SPECIES paramicrus

SPECIES submicrus

SPECIES superstes

SPECIES zamicrus


  Bucknell Home Page   Biology Department Home Page


©Bucknell Univesity All Rights Reserved
Comments and questions to