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GENUS Leptomys

Author:Thomas, 1897.
Citation:Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova, 18: 610.
Type Species:Leptomys elegans Thomas, 1897.

XeromysDivision. Member of the New Guinea Old Endemics (Musser, 1981c). Microcomplement fixation of albumin studies (Watts and Baverstock, 1994a, 1995b, 1996) and spermatozoal morphology (Breed, 1997; Breed and Aplin, 1994) support membership of Leptomys in a larger clade containing members of our Hydromys, Xeromys, Pseudomys, and Uromys Divisions (the "Australasian clade" of Watts and Baverstock, 1995b, 1996), excluding the New Guinea endemics in the Pogonomys Division (Anisomyini of Watts and Baverstock, 1994a) and Lorenztimys Division. A derived cephalic arterial pattern, along with other morphological features, is shared by Leptomys, Pseudohydromys (which includes Mayermys and Neohydromys), and Lorentzimys (Musser and Heaney, 1992). Certain phallic traits (Lidicker and Brylski, 1987), also united Leptomys and Lorentzimys, but that association conflicts with analyses of albumin immunology (Watts and Baverstock, 1994) and spermatozoal structure (Breed and Aplin, 1994). Chromosomal data provided by Donnellan (1987), but whether the sampled species was L. elegans or L. ernstmayri is unclear.

Most lists and faunal studies published since 1951 recognized only one species in Leptomys (Flannery, 1990b; Laurie and Hill, 1954; Menzies and Dennis, 1979; Tate, 1951), but Rümmler's (1938) revision in which he identified two species (L. elegans and L. ernstmayri), Tate and Archbold's (1938) description of a third (L. signatus), and a fourth being described elsewhere (Musser and Lunde, in ms.) accurately reflect the known diversity (Musser’s study of specimens in AMNH and BMNH).

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SPECIES elegans

SPECIES ernstmayri

SPECIES signatus


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