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SPECIES Melomys howi

Author:Kitchener, in Kitchener and Suyanto, 1996.
Citation:Rec. West. Aust. Mus., 18: 113.
Common Name:Riama Island Melomys
Type Locality:Indonesia, Maluka Tenggara, Tanimbar Isls, Pulau Riama, sea level (see Kitchener and Suyanto, 1996, for additional information).
Distribution:Known only from Riama, a small island off the west coast of the larger Pulau Selaru in the Tanimbar Isls.
Comments:In its morphology and body size, M. howi is closely related to the New Guinea M. lutillus; its description recalls those in samples from Woodlark, Misima, and Sudest islands east of the Papua New Guinea mainland, which resemble mainland M. lutillus but are larger in body size. Those samples, the specimens from Riama Isl, and series of M. lutillus from mainland New Guinea need to be reanalyzed to determine how many species are actually present in the complex and their relationship to one another. Melomys howi is not closely related to M. cooperae from the large Pulau Yamdena in the Tanimbar Isls; that distinct species is a member of the New Guinea M. rufescens-M. leucogaster complex. Kitchener and Suyanto (1996) provided habitat and other information about M. howi.
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