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SPECIES Oryzomys caracolus

Author:Thomas, 1914.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 8, 14: 242.
Common Name:Costa Central Oryzomys
Type Locality:Venezulea, Distrito Federal, Cerro del Avila, Galiparé, 6000 ft (1830 m).
Distribution:Costa Central cordilleras, NC Venezuela (Aragua, Miranda, Distrito Federal).
Comments:Although long ranked as a species (Ellerman, 1941; Gyldenstolpe, 1932), caracolus was considered a synonym of O. capito (= O. megacephalus) by Hershkovitz (1960) and Cabrera (1961) and of O. albigularis by Musser and Carleton (1993). Karyotypic and morphometric assessments among Venzuelan populations led Aguilera et al. (1995) and Márquez et al. (2000) to view O. caracolus and O. meridensis as distinct species. Rivas and Pefaur (1999a) obtained similar but not wholly concordant geographic patterns of morphometric differentiation and elected to maintain the taxa as subspecies of O. albigularis. These differing interpretations advise continued study of populations in the Venezuelan Andes and verification of their taxonomic status and distributions.



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