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SPECIES Mus (Nannomys) neavei

Author:Thomas, 1910.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 8, 5: 90.
Common Name:Neave’s Mouse
Type Locality:SE Zambia, E Loangwe Dist., Petauke, 2400 ft (732 m; Ansell, 1978, provided coordinates).
Distribution:E Dem. Rep. Congo, SE Zambia (Ansell, 1978), S Zimbabwe, Limpopo Province of South Africa, W Mozambique, and S Tanzania; (range derived from Meester et al., 1986:282, and our study of material in AMNH, BMNH, and USNM). Distributional limits undocumented; supposed records of M. neavei from Malawi represent other species (Ansell and Dowsett, 1988).
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:Subgenus Nannomys. Originally described as a species, neavei was later treated as a subspecies of M. sorella (Verheyen, 1965a), an arrangement accepted by Ansell (1978), Meester et al. (1986), and Skinner and Smithers (1990). F. Petter (1981b), however, pointed out that while a member of the M. sorella group, neavei should be treated as a separate species; in morphology and body size it appears to be close to M. oubanguii (F. Petter, 1981b). Our study (series in AMNH, BMNH, and USNM) corroborates F. Petter's view. Mus neavei is a distinct species and easily distinguished from M. sorella by its richer tawny fur, much smaller size, more delicate cranium, and shorter molar rows (3.0-3.2 mm in seven examples of M. neavei, 3.2-3.7 mm in nine M. sorella). How M. neavei is related to M. oubanguii and the small-bodied M. baoulei (both in the M. sorella group) is unresolved.
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