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SPECIES Lophuromys (Lophuromys) flavopunctatus

Author:Thomas, 1888.
Citation:Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1888: 14.
Common Name:Ethiopian Buff-spotted Brush-furred Rat
Type Locality:Ethiopia, Shoa (=Shewa) Province, probably obtained at Ankober, 100 mi. (161 km) NE Addis Ababa (Thomas, 1888d), 3000 m (coordinates given by W. Verheyen et al., 2002).
Distribution:Endemic to Ethiopian plateau west of the Rift Valley (Osgood, 1936; W. Verheyen et al., 2002).
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:Subgenus Lophuromys, L. flavopunctatus species group (W. Verheyen et al., 2002). Originally described as a species, which later came to embrace Ethiopian brunneus, simensis, and zaphiri (Osgood, 1936; G. M. Allen, 1939; Ellerman, 1941), and eventually a dozen taxa representing a geographic range with an isolated segment in highlands of Ethiopia, and a vast distribution outside of that region, extending from NE Angola through the Congo basin to Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, and south to Malawi, N Zambia and N Mozambique (Dieterlen, 1976b; Misonne, 1974; Musser and Carleton, 1993). The peculiar range and appreciable morphological variation among samples prompted Musser and Carleton (1993) to suggest that more than one species was present, which has been demonstrated by recent analyses of allozymic (Lavrenchenko et al., 2000), chromosomal (Aniskin et al., 1997), and morphological, morphometric, and molecular data (Lavrenchenko et al., 1998b; W. Verheyen et al., 2002). What was once considered a single species is now a complex containing at least 11 species, with L. flavopunctatus being restricted to the Ethiopian plateau west of the Rift Valley (W. Verheyen et al., 2002), as Osgood (1936) had earlier defined it. Association of the two synonyms with L. flavopunctatus demonstrated by Lavrenchenko et al. (1998b) and W. Verheyen et al. (2002). Closest relatives of L. flavopunctatus are the Ethiopian endemics L. brevicaudus and L. melanonyx; all other species in the complex are members of the L. aquilus species group (W. Verheyen et al., 2002). See account of L. brevicaudus.
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Offspring:

Synonyms:

    giaquintoi (Toschi, 1946)
    zaphiri Thomas, 1906

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