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SPECIES Peromyscus mexicanus

Author:Saussure, 1860.
Citation:Rev. Mag. Zool. Paris, Ser. 2, 12: 103.
Common Name:Mexican Deermouse
Type Locality:México, Veracruz, 10 km E Mirador (as restricted by Dalquest, 1950:8).
Distribution:In México, along the Atlantic coast from S San Luis Potosí to the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, and along the Pacific coast, from the Guerrero-Oaxaca border to C Chiapas; upper foothills and middle-elevation mountains in Guatemala, through El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua, to highlands in Costa Rica and W Panamá (Chiriquí region).
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc).

P. mexicanus species group. Geographic range, variation, and taxonomic synonymy summarized by Huckaby (1980), the species construct followed here. Includes forms formerly viewed as members of Osgoodomys banderanus (angelensis, coatlanensis, and sloeops—see Musser, 1969), P. guatemalensis (tropicalis—see Musser, 1969), and P. megalops (azulensis—see Huckaby, 1980); and see account of P. gymnotis, which had been arranged as a race of P. mexicanus. Euchromatic banding patterns identical in P. mexicanus and related species so far examined (Smith et al., 1986), and levels of genic divergence are similarly unremarkable (Rogers and Engstrom, 1992).

The conspecific status of populations now arranged under P. mexicanus direly needs corroboration. For one, the status of altilaneus, described by Osgood (1904) from Todos Santos, Guatemala, also the type locality of P. guatemalensis, remains problematic. The taxon was synonymized under guatemalensis by Huckaby (1980; also see Carleton and Huckaby, 1975) but listed as a species by Hall (1981), who followed Osgood (1909) and Hooper (1968). Carleton (1989) noted the cranial resemblance of altilaneus to P. mexicanus, and while a high-elevation occurrence for the latter, the type locality of altilaneus does fall within the elevational range as known for P. mexicanus sensu lato (Huckaby, 1980). Critical testing of this provisional synonymy is required. For another, southern populations identified as nudipes have been arranged as a synonym by some (Carleton, 1989; Huckaby, 1980) or considered a distinct species by others (Hooper, 1968; Osgood, 1909), including recent studies (Rogers and Engstrom, 1992; Smith et al., 1986). Based on specimens from a single locality, the latter studies leave unanswered the status of other regional epithets (cacabatus Bangs, hesperus Harris, and orientalis Goodwin), the distributional extent of nudipes, assuming that this is the applicable name, and whether P. mexicanus proper occurs within the same region. While we expect that a separate mexicanus like species will be shown to inhabit these Mesoamerican southern highlands, its documentation will require denser geographic and altitudinal sampling and more critical analyses than so far mustered. For a third, the status of angelensis, found along the lower and dry Pacific-facing slopes in Oaxaca, deserves investigation; reassigned from banderanus to mexicanus (Musser, 1969), these populations contrast in pelage color and cranial form with those inhabiting higher elevations in Oaxaca, notably totontepecus (see discussion in Carleton, 1989:89). Lastly, see remarks above under P. gymnotis on the need to clarify distributions and species-group synonyms of populations occurring in the lowlands of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec.




    altilaneus Osgood, 1904
    angelensis Osgood, 1904
    azulensis Goodwin, 1956
    cacabatus Bangs, 1902
    coatlanensis Goodwin, 1956
    hesperus Harris, 1940
    nicaraguae J. A. Allen, 1908
    nudipes (J. A. Allen, 1891)
    orientalis Goodwin, 1938
    orizabae Merriam, 1898
    philombrius Dickey, 1928
    putlaensis Goodwin, 1964
    salvadorensis Dickey, 1928
    sloeops Goodwin, 1955
    teapensis Osgood, 1904
    tehuantepecus Merriam, 1898
    totontepecus Merriam, 1898
    tropicalis Goodwin, 1932

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