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SPECIES Praomys obscurus

Author:Hutterer and Dieterlen, 1992.
Citation:Bonn. Zool. Beitr., 43: 402.
Common Name:Gotel Mountain Praomys
Type Locality:SE Nigeria, Mambilla Plateau, Gotel Mtns, Gangirwal, 2300 m (coordinates and habitat information provided by Hutterer et al., 1992a).
Distribution:Recorded only from fern-grassland, swamp and gallery forest, and along forest streams at the type locality and nearby Chappal Waddi.
Status:IUCN – Endangered.
Comments:Hutterer et al. (1992a) described obscurus as a subspecies of P. hartwigi. Those authors were also impressed with the morphological distinctions between typical P. hartwigi from Mt. Oku and obscurus from the Gotel Mtns and were unsure whether to treat the latter as a subspecies of P. hartwigi (Dieterlen’s opinion) or a separate species (Hutterer’s view). We treat obscurus as a separate species because contrasted with P. hartwigi it has much darker pelage, larger body measurements, but significantly smaller cranial and dental measurements (Hutterer et al., 1992a); this proposal was recently advocated by Hutterer (in litt., 2003). Praomys obscurus is morphologically and phylogenetically most closely related to P. hartwigi (see that account), which occurs in mountain forest on the Bamenda Plateau to the southwest of the Gotel Mtns; both species are members of the P. tullbergi complex (Hutterer et al., 1992a).
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