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SPECIES Lemniscomys griselda

Author:Thomas, 1904.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 7, 13: 414.
Common Name:Griseldaís Lemniscomys
Type Locality:Angola, Jinga country, Muene Coshi.
Distribution:Known only from Angola as the species is currently defined; Crawford-Cabral (1998) reviewed and mapped Angolan records and thought the range may extend into Dem. Rep. Congo and Zambia. Because there is currently no unambiguous morphological, chromosomal, or molecular definition of L. griselda, its geographic distribution is impossible to define.
Status:IUCN Ė Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:Morphometrically related to L. rosalia, L. roseveari, and L. linulus (Van der Straeten (1980a, b). Before Van der Straeten (1980b) described roseveari and removed rosalia from L. griselda, that species was considered to have a wide distribution extending from Angola through southern Africa and up E Africa to S Kenya. Results of Van der Straetenís (1980b) multivariate analyses of craniodental measurements produced three slightly overlapping clusters of samples. Specimens from Balovale, Zambia, were described as L. roseveari; most population samples representing several described subspecies formed another cluster, which was identified as L. rosalia; and the third group represented L. griselda. No qualitative traits were used to distinguish the three. Furthermore, except for L. roseveari, geographic ranges of the other two species were not outlined. We have examined large series of specimens in the L. griselda complex from Angola, Zambia, and southern Africa (in AMNH and USNM), are impressed with the range of intra-and intersample variation in craniodental dimensions, and had difficulty sorting the specimens into Van der Straetenís three groups. There is a very large series from Balovale, Zambia, in AMNH, which were not examined by Van der Straeten and we assume represent his L. roseveari. These are somewhat smaller and brighter than the slightly larger and darker Angolan L. griselda, but the chromatic and craniodental differences between the Balovale series and all other samples Van der Straeten would identify as rosalia are unimpressive (our examination was restricted to inspection and not morphometric analyses). Also uneasy about Van der Straetenís definition of L. griselda, Crawford-Cabral (1998:71) advised "that the taxonomic status (species versus subspecies) of the Southern African forms of this complex be re-evaluated." We agree. While provisionally accepting Van der Straetenís results here, we await a rigorous new revision of the L. griselda complex incorporating samples from throughout its geographic range and clear definition of geographic distributions for whatever species are recognized.



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