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SPECIES Niviventer culturatus

Author:Thomas, 1917.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 8, 20: 198.
Common Name:Soft-furred Taiwan Niviventer
Type Locality:Taiwan, Mt Arizan, 8000 ft (2440 m).
Distribution:Endemic to highlands of Taiwan, 2000-3000 m (H.-T. Yu, 1994; M.-J. Yu, 1996).
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (nt).
Comments:Historically listed as a species (Ellerman, 1941), a subspecies of N. niviventer (Ellerman, 1961; Ellerman and Morrison-Scott, 1951; Wang and Zheng, 1981), or included in N. confucianus (Musser, 1981b; Corbet and Hill, 1992). Niviventer culturatus is a distinctive insular form that in morphology superficially resembles mainland N. confucianus, but differs sufficiently that it should be treated as a species, as revealed by multivariate analysis of morphometric traits by Musser and Lunde (ms), which also clusters N. culturatus with the Javan N. lepturus, Chinese N. andersoni and N. excelsior, and Burmese N. brahma, but not with N. confucianus. Analyses of mitochondrial cytochrome b sequences also highlights the specific integrity of N. culturatus but places it with N. confucianus, N. coninga, and N. tenaster in a monophyletic clade (J. L. Patton, in litt., 2000; N. langbianis and N. fulvescens were the only other Niviventer sampled). Chromosomal data documented by H.-T. Yu et al. (1996) and compared with karyotype of N. coninga (see account of that species). Ecology, distribution and abundance along an elevational gradient, and genetic population structure documented by H.-T. Yu (1993, 1994, 1995); microhabitat use reported by Adler (1996).
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