Crocidura schweitzeri Peters, 1877, Peters, 1877

Turni, Hendrik, Hutterer, Rainer & Asher, Robert, 2007, Type specimens of “ insectivoran ” mammals at the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, Zootaxa 1470, pp. 1-33: 18-19

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.273750

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Crocidura schweitzeri Peters, 1877


Crocidura schweitzeri Peters, 1877  

Peters, W.C.H. (1877) Ü ber eine neue Gattung von Flederthieren, Amorphochilus, aus Peru und über eine neue Crocidura aus Liberia. Monatsberichte der Königlich Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin, 1877: 187 [184–189].

Valid name: Crocidura poensis (Fraser, 1843)  

Holotype: ZMB 5421, skin without skull, collected by Schweitzer from Liberia. Comment: The taxonomy of the C. poensis   species group is still not settled, and C. schweitzeri   remains a potential name for the West African population.

Sorex pachyurus   K ü ster, 1835

Küster, H.C. (1835) Beitrãge zur Naturgeschichte der Insel Sardinien. Isis von Oken 28: 77 [75–78].

Valid name: Crocidura pachyura (Küster, 1835)  

Syntypes: ZMB 15116 View Materials , male, body in alcohol, skull extracted [May 2006], ZMB 83304 View Materials , sex, indet., body in alcohol; both specimens collected by Küster from Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy. ZMB 15116 View Materials is here designated as the lectotype.

Comments: Küster mentioned four specimens from Cagliari, for which he proposed a new name, in case the species turns out to represent a new species ("Sollte sich diese Art als neu bestãtigen, so würde ich, wegen des kurzen, dicken Schwanzes, den Namen pachyurus   vorschlagen”). Two of these survived in the Berlin collection. Following the old general catalogue, the specimens were collected in Sardinia and donated by Küster (see Bolling, 1968 for biographic details); they came into the museum collection through the Landwirtschaftliche Hochschule Berlin, which contained the collection of Hermann Engelhard von Nathusius (1809–1879), who possibly stayed in contact with Küster.

Species status for the Crocidura   population of Sardinia and other Mediterranean and North African populations was recently proposed by Cosson et al. (2005) based on a phylogeographic analysis of the C. russula   species group across Europe and North Africa. The newly identified taxon was formally named C. ichnusae   by Hutterer (2005), being the earliest name that could be properly identified genetically and morphologically.

The taxon pachyurus   was erroneously assigned to Suncus etruscus   in many taxonomic checklists from Miller (1912) to Hutterer (2005). Recently, Contoli et al. (2002) analysed Küster’s description and concluded, in the absence of a type specimen, that pachyurus   most probably represents a Crocidura   and not Suncus etruscus   . In a forgotten publication Cavazza (1912) came to the same conclusion. The surprising rediscovery of the syntypes in Berlin and the study of the skull of ZMB 15116 View Materials support their view. The syntypes of Sorex pachyurus   perfectly agree with the Crocidura   population of Sardinia currently called C. ichnusae Festa, 1912   (voucher specimens used for the genetic study of Cosson et al. 2005 available at ZFMK Bonn). We therefore conclude that the name Crocidura pachyura (Küster, 1835)   should be used for that species. As Crocidura russula (Hermann, 1780)   and C. pachyura   are cryptic sister taxa, a type specimen should be available; we therefore select ZMB 15116 View Materials as the lectotype of C. pachyura   .

Measurements of ZMB 15116 View Materials ( Figs. 4 – 6 View FIGURE 4 View FIGURE 5 View FIGURE 6 ) are given here for first time: head and body length 65 mm; tail 36 mm; hindfoot (without claws) 13 mm; ear 9 mm; condylobasal length 18.0 mm; zygomatic width 5.8 mm; width of processi postglenoidalis 5.8 mm; upper toothrow 8.1 mm; height of processus coronoideus 4.5 mm. The external measurements, particularly the short tail, are typical for the Sardinian population (Kahmann & Einlechner 1959). The skull size is at the lower limit of the range known from the Sardinian population.


Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Zoological Collections)


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig