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SPECIES Paramelomys levipes

Author:Thomas, 1897.
Citation:Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Genova, 18: 617.
Common Name:Papuan Lowland Paramelomys
Type Locality:New Guinea, Papua New Guinea, Central Province, Sogeri Plateau, Haveri, 700 m (additional information provided by Laurie and Hill, 1954:121, and Menzies, 1989).
Distribution:Papua New Guinea, S Central Province; the only specimens we have seen are from the Sogeri Plateau and Astrolabe Range near Port Moresby, below about 700 m. Leary and Seri (1997) reported two examples at Omo (06°58'41" S 144°18'15" E), 170 m in the Kikori River Basin in S Papua New Guinea. Menzies (1996:415) gave the range as "Lowlands of eastern New Guinea, probably not over 1200 m. Lack of specimens prevents defining precise distribution."
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc) as Melomys levipes.
Comments:A lectotype was designated by Menzies (1989), but Rümmler (1938) had already indicated which of Thomas' two cotypes should be considered the holotype. Our examination of series indicated that true P. levipes is documented by the holotype and Tate's (1951:291) series from Baruari and Itiki in the Astrolabe Range (other material Tate listed as P. levipes are examples of either P. platyops or P. mollis). All other records usually associated with P. levipes (Laurie and Hill, 1954; Tate, 1951) represent either Mammelomys lanosus and M. rattoides or Paramelomys lorentzii and P. mollis. In morphology and altitudinal distribution, P. levipes is morphologically very similar to P. naso from SW lowlands of Prov. of Papua (= Irian Jaya) and may represent the SE Papuan New Guinea relative of that species. A skull only from New Britain (AMNH 194397) is cranially and dentally similar to P. levipes, but has slightly wider molars. Flannery (1995b) also examined that specimen and referred it to P. levipes. Neither Flannery nor we are sure about this identification; better material and a larger series are needed to determine actual identity of the skull.



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