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SPECIES Sorex (??See comments) thibetanus

Author:Kastschenko, 1905.
Citation:Izv. Tomsk. Univ., 27: 93.
Common Name:Tibetan Shrew
Type Locality:"Tsaidam" [NE Tibet, China].
Distribution:Himalyas and NE Tibet.
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:The pygmy shrews of the Himalayas are still a subject of controversy. The original description of thibetanus (as a subspecies of minutus) is not very informative; the holotype in the Tomsk Academy was considered to be lost (Yudin, pers. comm. 1977), which is why Hutterer (1979) regarded thibetanus as a nomen dubium. Dolgov and Hoffmann (1977) and later Hoffmann (1987) used thibetanus to define a Himalayan species in which they included buchariensis, kozlovi, planiceps, and specimens from Nepal and China reported as minutus by various authors. Hutterer (1979) instead recognized three species, buchariensis, planiceps, and minutus as occurring in the Himalayas and regarded kozlovi and thibetanus as indeterminable. Zaitsev (1988) pointed out differences between buchariensis and thibetanus. Surprisingly, the holotype of thibetanus turned up in the Zoological Museum of Moscow (Baranova et al., 1981) and Hoffmann (1987) reported on its measurements. Hoffmann (1996a, b) provided a distribution map for all known specimens of thibetanus, kozlovi, buchariensis, and planiceps, which he understood as subspecies of S. thibetanus. However, in the light of drastic size and tooth shape differences among these taxa, and in the light of subtle differences between better-known small Sorex species (minutus and volnuchini, caecutiens and shinto), I prefer to list buchariensis, kozlovi, planiceps, and thibetanus as separate species until a more complete analysis is available.
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