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SPECIES Paramelomys platyops

Author:Thomas, 1906.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 7, 17: 327.
Common Name:Common Lowland Paramelomys
Type Locality:SE Papua New Guinea, Central Province, head of Aroa River.
Distribution:New Guinea, throughout lowlands and mid-mountain altitudes on the mainland except seasonally dry savanna forests of the southern lowlands; altitudinal range from sea level to 1500 m. Also occurs on islands of Yapen and Biak in Prov. of Papua (= Irian Jaya); New Britain in the Bismarck Arch.; and the islands of Normanby, Fergusson, and Goodenough in the D'Entrecasteaux Arch. (Flannery, 1995a; Menzies, 1996; specimens in AMNH).
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc) as Melomys platyops.
Comments:This species was thought to range primarily throughout N New Guinea (see map in Flannery, 1990b:224) but our reidentification of museum specimens and holotypes, along with Menzies’s revision (1996) reveals otherwise. The form intermedius was originally described as a subspecies of Melomys moncktoni (see Rümmler, 1938), but members of type series from Utakwa River (type locality) in SW Prov. of Papua (= Irian Jaya) have only one hair per scale (all P. moncktoni have three hairs per scale), as does P. platyops, and their cranial, dental, and other external traits are also characteristic of P. platyops, not P. moncktoni. Geographic variation in body size exists among samples of P. platyops, especially lowland versus highland samples (Menzies, 1996, and our observations) and mainland versus island populations (Flannery, 1995b), and a careful systematic revision of the species is required to assess its significance. Leary and Seri (1997) reported specimens and habitat information in the Kikori River Basin of S Papua New Guinea.



    fuscus (Rümmler, 1935)
    intermedius (Rümmler, 1935)
    jobiensis (Rümmler, 1935)
    mamberanus (Sody, 1937)

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