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SPECIES Dasymys rufulus

Author:Miller, 1900.
Citation:Proc. Wash. Acad. Sci., 2: 639.
Common Name:West African Dasymys
Type Locality:Liberia, Mt Coffee (0630N, 1035W, as per W. Verheyen et al., 2003).
Distribution:Senegal (Duplantier and Granjon, 1992; Granjon et al., 1992, as incomtus), Guinea (Ziegler et al., 2002), Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and W Nigeria (see Carleton and Martinez, 1991:429).
Status:IUCN Data Deficient.
Comments:Originally described as a species, but subsequently treated as a subspecies of D. incomtus (Ellerman, 1941; Happold, 1987; Misonne, 1974; Rosevear, 1969) until Carleton and Martinez (1991) used multivariate analyses to discriminate the smaller-bodied D. rufulus from the larger-bodied Nigerian D. foxi (see that account). Multivariate analyses of craniometric data by W. Verheyen et al. (2003) along with mtDNA cytochrome b sequences also identified rufulus as a separate species and prompted W. Verheyen et al. (2003:48) to speculate that its geographic range is ". . . more or less limited to the enclosed savannahs near the coast," and that the populations found in the "the fringes of the rainforest and the adjacent guinean savannahs may be a new taxon related to the bentleyae group. These conclusions conflict with those of Carleton and Martinez (1991) who identified only D. rufulus in West Africa (except on the Jos Plateau where D. foxi occurs). Grubb et al. (1998) reviewed populations in Gambia, Sierra Leone, and Ghana. Chromosomal data from Senegal samples (2n = 36, FN = 48) documented by Granjon et al. (1992, as incomtus).
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