Mammal Species of the World Logo



SPECIES Lama glama

Author:Linnaeus, 1758.
Citation:Syst. Nat., 10th ed., 1: 65.
Common Name:Guanaco
Type Locality:"Habitat in America meridionali", identified as "Peru", Andes, by Thomas (1911a:150); based on domesticated stock.
Distribution:Cordilleras of the Andes, Patagonia, and Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile (including Navarino Isl), NW Paraguay, and S Peru. Domesticated as the Llama in S Peru, W Bolivia, and NW Argentina.
Status:CITES Appendix II as Lama guanicoe; IUCN Endangered as L. guanicoe huanacus, Vulnerable as L. g. voglii and L. g. cacsilensis, otherwise Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:Haltenorth (1963) recognised four subspecies (cacsilensis, guanicoe, huanacus, voglii) but Wheeler (1995) regarded them as poorly defined and did not diagnose them; subspecies are those recognised by Cabrera (1961). The Guanaco has previously been included with the Llama, L. glama, of which it is understood to be the wild ancestor (Hemmer, 1990; Kadwell et al., 2001; Lydekker, 1915). Gentry et al. (1996) proposed that majority usage be confirmed by adoption of Lama guanicoe as the name for the wild Guanaco and asked the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature to use its plenary powers to rule that the name for this wild species is not invalid by virtue of being antedated by the name based on the domestic form. A ruling has now been made in their favour (International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, 2003a). It might still be valid for those who consider L. glama and L. guanicoe to be conspecific to employ the senior name for the name of the species (see Bock, 1997). Provisionally, guanicoe is listed here as a subspecies of glama. The Alpaca (Lama pacos including lujanensis and paco) has been regarded as a synonym of glama; see Corbet and Hill (1991:126). It originated from hybrids between Lama glama and Vicugna vicugna according to Hemmer (1990). Wheeler (1995) favoured a primary origin from the Vicugna and post-Conquest genetic introgression from the Llama. Kadwell et al. (2001) found that there was a relatively low estimated admixture of Vicugna mtDNA in the Alpaca but a high proportion for microsatellites (from four loci studied), and inferred that the Vicugna is the ancestor of the Alpaca. Nevertheless, the Alpaca appears to be of biphyletic origin and its synonymy may be somewhat arbitrary, though it could yet be shown that pacos is best regarded as the same species as vicugna.



SUBSPECIES cacsilensis



  Bucknell Home Page   Biology Department Home Page


©Bucknell Univesity All Rights Reserved
Comments and questions to