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GENUS Desmomys

Author:Thomas, 1910.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 8, 5: 284.
Type Species:Pelomys harringtoni Thomas, 1902.
Comments:ArvicanthisDivision. Listed as a genus by G. M. Allen (1939), but usually treated as a subgenus of Pelomys (Corbet and Hill, 1991; Ellerman, 1941; Rupp, 1980; Yalden et al., 1976). Most of the diagnostic traits described by Thomas (1910b) are outside the range of morphological variation seen among species of Pelomys. Our study of specimens revealed that general external traits and cranial conformation of D. harringtoni resemble species of Mylomys and Pelomys, but that Desmomys has its own derived dental patterns (ridge-like cusp t9 connecting central cusp t8 with labial cusp t6 on M1 and M2, ridge-like cusp t7 on M2). Chromosomal data also support the extraction of D. harringtoni from Pelomys (Capanna et al., 1996a). Analyses of mtDNA sequences of cytochrome b, along with 12S and 16S ribosomal rRNA gene fragments support membership of Desmomys in an Arvicanthis Group and indicate it to be in the same lineage as Rhabdomys, which is distinct from a lineage containing Lemniscomys, and another formed by Arvicanthis, Mylomys, and Pelomys (Ducroz et al., 2001). See account of Mylomys for status of rex, which is usually placed in Desmomys (Yalden et al., 1976).
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SPECIES harringtoni

SPECIES yaldeni


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