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SPECIES Acomys (Acomys) wilsoni

Author:Thomas, 1892.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 6, 10: 22.
Common Name:Wilson’s Spiny mouse
Type Locality:Kenya, Mombasa.
Distribution:S Sudan, S Ethiopia, S Somalia, Uganda, Kenya, and south to EC Tanzania (Kondoa; specimens in AMNH); see Bates (1994); limits unknown.
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:Subgenus Acomys. Formerly included in A. subspinosus by Setzer (1975) but considered a species by most systematists (Corbet and Hill, 1991; Ellerman, 1941; Hollister, 1919; Matthey, 1968; Musser and Carleton, 1993; F. Petter, 1983; F. Petter and Roche, 1981; Rupp, 1980; Yalden et al., 1976). Genetically most similar to A. percivali (Janecek et al., 1991) with which it occurs sympatrically (Neal, 1983, for example, studied the breeding patterns in both species from the same locality in C Kenya); Denys et al. (1994) noted a close similarity in molar patterns between the two species. Specimens of nubilus are larger and longer-tailed than wilsoni and may represent a separate species; de Beaux's (1934) description of boronei recalls nubilus. Those two names possibly represent the closely related A. percivali, which has a longer tail relative to head and body length than does A. wilsoni. The need to revise the A. wilsoni-A. percivali species complex was stressed by Denys et al. (1994). Matthey (1968) documented chromosomal traits (2n = 50). Our study of specimens indicates A. wilsoni (and A. percivali) to be very different from species in the A. cahirinus-A. dimidiatus group, and all other species of Acomys, a conclusion reinforced by phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA cytochrome b gene sequences among species of Acomys (Barome et al., 2000).
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    ablutus Dollman, 1911
    argillaceus Hinton and Kershaw, 1920
    boronei De Beaux, 1934
    enid St. Leger, 1932
    nubilus Dollman, 1914

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