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HOME --> CLASS MAMMALIA  --> ORDER DASYUROMORPHIA  --> FAMILY Dasyuridae  --> SUBFAMILY Dasyurinae  --> TRIBE Dasyurini  --> GENUS Sarcophilus

SPECIES Sarcophilus harrisii

Author:Boitard, 1841.
Citation:Le Jardin des Plantes: 290.
Common Name:Tasmanian Devil
Type Locality:Tasmania.
Distribution:Australia: Tasmania; known as a subfossil in S Victoria (Mt. Hamilton and Lake Corangamite).
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc). Common.
Comments:Groves (1993) called this species S. laniarius Owen, 1838, which was based on Pleistocene specimens from Wellington Caves, New South Wales. Werdelin (1987:9) argued that the Pleistocene and recent Sarcophilus were only subspecifically distinct, and as Owen’s name antedates Boitard’s (a replacement name for Didelphis ursina Harris, 1808 [preoccupied by Didelphis ursina Shaw, 1800]) by three years, laniarius must take precedence. Inspection of Werdelin (1987, Tables 1 and 2) shows, however, that recent and fossil ranges do not overlap in many variables, so they may be retained as different species. The Victorian subfossil dixonae remains as a subspecies of S. harrisii; though it is distinctive its measurements overlap with those of the living Tasmanian form.
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