HMW Vol. 6 review, part 2.

So, here is another list of noticeable things in HMW vol. 6, including all differences with IUCN Red List taxonomy. Let me know if you need more details on any of them.

  1. The two ssp. of common mole-rat are now considered full species, and a few more Fucomys species have been added.
  2. All Neotropic porcupines except the broomstraw-spined are now in the same genus, Cendou. A few spp. have been synonymized and one added.
  3. The cavys (cavies?) that live around camps on Chimborazo have been described as a new species, Cavia patzelti.
  4. Brazilian cavies are re-shuffled a bit.
  5. Capybaras are still listed as 2 spp. despite recent evidence to the contrary.
  6. Agoutis not changed despite indications that many species should be synonymized.
  7. Peruvian mt. viscacha lumped with common, and a new species recognized in Ecuador.
  8. 69 spp. of tuco-tucos are recognized, including many already shown to be invalid or split based on mtDNA or chromosomal differences. I expect about a third to be lumped eventually.
  9. Golden viscacha rat is still listed as Pipanacoctomys aureus despite recent finding that it belongs in Tympanoctomys. Salinoctomys loschalchalerosorum is still listed despite having been recently shown to be synonymous with T. barrerae. There seems to be a tendency among species recently described from Argentina to not withstand molecular-based revisions.
  10. Trichomys fosteri is a valid species, meaning that there are two spp. of punares in Pantanal area. However, it prefers rocky habitats, so any punare you’ve seen in Pantanal proper is likely T. pachyurus, while those common in Chapada dos Guimaraes are presumably T. fosteri.
  11. Many Proechimus spiny rats were described based on mtDNA or chromosomal differences, so they are likely to be synonymized in the future. HMW already lists P. poliopus as a ssp. of P. guiarae, and doesn’t recognize P. urichi (syn. of P. trinitatus) and P. magdalenae (syn. of P. chrysaeolus).
  12. There is still hardly any evidence for recognizing 4 spp. of Mesomys rather than 1, but HMW still does.
  13. Sundasciurus tahan and S. altitudinis are recognized as valid species. You’ve probably seen the former if you did the crested argus hike in Taman Negara, and the latter if you climbed Gunung Kerinci.
  14. Callosciurus albescens is considered a ssp. of C. notatus.
  15. I was wrong to lump all Tamiasciurus in my book: recent evidence shows that there are 3 spp. (hudsonicus, douglasii and fremonti, the latter occurring in SW USA). T. mearnsi from Baja is a subspecies of T. douglasii.
  16. Microsciurus flaviventer simonsi is listed as occurring in central Ecuador W of the Andes, but apparently doesn’t exist.
  17. Petinomys sagitta is synonymized with P. genibarbis.
  18. A bunch of new species of giant flying squirrels is recognized, including 3 described by the same person from the same part of Assam. I am very skeptical.
  19. The authors of the squirrel chapter decided to list all described subspecies without any critical evaluation. The result is that sometimes two or more are listed as having exactly the same range; clearly they are color morphs. On the bright side, differences between subspecies are noted (would be even better to have some of them illustrated, but very few are). The authors of the dormice chapter took the opposite approach and didn’t list any subspecies at all.
  20. Mexican ground squirrel is split; US and NE Mexico populations are called Rio Grande g. s. (Ictidomys parvidens). That’s not really new, but just in case you missed it.
  21. Baja rock squirrel is still listed as a full species despite published evidence that it is a subspecies of California ground squirrel.
  22. Russet ground squirrel range map is totally wrong. (There are numerous smaller errors in maps and range descriptions. For example, Himalayan marmot is listed for Tajikistan.)
  23. Caucasian g. s. (Spermophilus musicus) is still listed as a full species, even though the species account mentions that there’s no reason whatsoever to do so; it’s a poorly defined ssp. of little g. s. (S. pygmaeus).
  24. In many cases some species are shown as looking more similar than they actually are, perhaps because the illustrator worked with faded museum skins. The worst one is the long-tailed marmot; it is shown as being yellow-grey like most other marmots, but is bright red in real life.
  25. There is a new dormouse, Graphiurus walterverheyeni, described from near Salonga NP in DRC.
  26. African dormice are still a total mess; a review based on nuclear DNA research is urgently needed (the same is true for flying squirrels).
  27. It is possible that hazel dormouse will be split: those in W Europe are very different genetically from those in the rest of the range. I don’t know if there are any corresponding morphological differences.
  28. Vladimir Dinets


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