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SPECIES Melomys paveli

Author:Helgen, 2003.
Citation:J. Zool. London, 261: 168.
Common Name:Pavelís Seram Melomys
Type Locality:Indonesia, coast of S Pulau Seram, Piliana, 400 m (see Helgen, 2003b, for coordinates and additional information).
Distribution:Known only from the type locality.
Comments:Represented only by the holotype. Member of the M. rufescens group as defined by Menzies (1996) and originally described as a subspecies of M. rufescens that in body size and pelage coloration is most similar to M. r. niviventer occurring in forest and savannas of the lower Fly and Digul Rivers in S New Guinea (see Menzies, 1996, and Tate, 1951 for characteristics of niviventer). A better hypothesis recognizes paveli as a species related to M. rufescens, M. bougainville, and M. matambuai (see those accounts), for Helgen (2003b:169) noted that paveli "differs in several ways from other mosaic-tailed rats placed in M. rufescens and can probably be considered as distinctive as M. matambuai or M. bougainville, both of which are currently separated from M. rufescens as distinct species." Analyses of additional specimens of paveli using morphological traits and gene sequences may resolve the question of whether the resemblance between it and M. r. niviventer reflects close genetic alliance as an island population of M. rufescens or traits independently acquired during evolution in insular isolation.
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