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SPECIES Paramelomys mollis

Author:Thomas, 1913.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 8, 12: 210.
Common Name:Montane Soft-furred Paramelomys
Type Locality:New Guinea, Prov. of Papua (= Irian Jaya), Nassau Range, upper Utakwa River, S slope Mount Carstenz, Camp Padang, 6c, 5500 ft (1676 m).
Distribution:New Guinea; scattered in montane forest throughout Central Cordillera from Arfak Mtns in Vogelkop and Weyland Range of Prov. of Papua (= Irian Jaya) to Mt Dayman at end of the Owen Stanley Range in extreme E Papua New Guinea; above 1200 m to 2500 m or more; not recorded from N coastal ranges or the Huon Peninsula (Flannery, 1995a; Menzies, 1996; and specimens we studied).
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc) as Melomys mollis.
Comments:Specimens representing P. mollis have been identified as P. levipes in the literature (usually as Melomys levipes), and the synonyms listed here have also been associated with that species. However, judged by Musser’s study of specimens in AMNH and BMNH, P. mollis is a distinct species tied to montane forest formations and differs from P. levipes in habitat and morphology. Specimens from W Prov. of Papua (= Irian Jaya) are more darkly pigmented than those from E Papua New Guinea, but series from Papua New Guinea Central and Eastern highlands bridge this chromatic gap. Menzies’s (1996:416) concept of the species is much the same as ours (Musser and Carleton, 1993) and he noted, "As this rat has a wide altitudinal range. . . and occurs on discontinuous mountain ranges, some geographical variation is to be expected."



    arfakianus (Rümmler, 1935)
    clarae (Rümmler, 1935)
    meeki (Rümmler, 1935)
    stevensi (Rümmler, 1935)
    weylandi (Rümmler, 1935)

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