Monodelphis brevicaudata, (ERXLEBEN, 1777)

Pavan, Silvia Eliza, Rossi, Rogerio Vieira & Schneider, Horacio, 2012, Species diversity in the Monodelphis brevicaudata complex (Didelphimorphia: Didelphidae) inferred from molecular and morphological data, with the description of a new species, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 165 (1), pp. 190-223: 199-201

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2011.00791.x

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/3C758792-FFE2-FFA9-DCD1-EC6F9FD7F902

treatment provided by

Marcus

scientific name

Monodelphis brevicaudata
status

 

MONODELPHIS BREVICAUDATA ( ERXLEBEN, 1777)  

Type information: Holotype BM 67.4.12.540, an adult female preserved in fluid with an extracted skull. The original type locality ‘In Americae australis silvis’ was restricted to Suriname by Matschie (1916), and corrected to Kartabo, Guyana, 6 ° 23′N, 58 ° 41′W ( Gardner, 2008) by Voss et al. (2001).

Synonyms: [ Didelphis   ] brevicaudata Erxleben, 1777   ; Didelphys brachyuros Schreber, 1777   ; Sorex (Surinamensis) Zimmermann, 1780   ; [ Didelphis   ]. Sebae Gray, 1827   ; [ Didelphys   ] Hunteri Waterhouse, 1841   ; Peramys brevicaudatus orinoci Thomas, 1899   ; Peramys brevicaudatus dorsalis Allen, 1904   .

Morphological diagnosis: Same as for the M. brevicaudata   complex with the following additions: HBL averages 142 mm in adult females and 157 mm in adult males (Supporting Information Table S2). Dorsal pelage with slightly or nongrizzled brownish or greyish stripe at mid-dorsum, differing from the reddish sides, but with little or no contrast between them ( Fig. 4 View Figure 4 ). Some specimens show indistinct middorsal stripe, and some lack it completely, with both mid-dorsal and lateral fur reddish or reddish brown; head pelage reddish laterally, with narrow mid-dorsal stripe (when distinguishable) varying from whitish grey or yellowish to orange, confined by a band of red hairs above each eye; underparts cream-grey, sharply differentiated from the reddish sides ( Fig. 4 View Figure 4 ); throat and chin distinctly reddish; mammae at the inguinal/ abdominal region, one central and eight distributed circumferentially around it (L-1920); tail covered dorsally by body fur up to about one quarter of the caudal length; ventrally, the body fur is limited to the tail’s connection with the body; CBL averages 35.9 mm in adult females and 39.4 mm in adult males (Supporting Information Table S2); interorbital region relatively narrow ( Fig. 5 View Figure 5 ); zygomatic arches slightly convergent anteriorly; maxillopalatine foramina relatively short ( Fig. 5 View Figure 5 ); UMS averages 7.8 mm in adult females and 7.9 mm in adult males (Supporting Information Table S2).

Geographical distribution: Restricted to northern Guyana, Venezuela south of the Orinoco river (in the states of Bolívar and Amazonas), and north-western Brazil (north of the Negro river and west of the Branco river, in the states of Amazonas and Roraima) ( Fig. 6 View Figure 6 ). No other species of the M. brevicaudata   complex were found in sympatry with M. brevicaudata   (sensu stricto).

Geographical variation: As mentioned above, the middorsal stripe can be present, absent, or indistinct. As a result, the dorsal pelage may exhibit (1) distinct bicoloured pattern, with mid-dorsal fur brownish or greyish, and reddish laterals (as generally occurs in specimens from Brazil, e.g. MN 69058, 69367, CGB 80, 90; south of Venezuela, e.g. USNM 385010 View Materials , 388355 View Materials , 406907 View Materials , 406910 View Materials ; and east of Venezuela, e.g. AMNH 16125 View Materials , L-1920, USNM 443781 View Materials , 448511 View Materials ); (2) indistinctly bicoloured pattern, with the mid-dorsal fur darker than laterals, but not forming a delimited stripe [specimens from east of Venezuela, e.g. USNM 385004 View Materials , 385005 View Materials ( Fig. 4 View Figure 4 ); and north-western Guyana, e.g. USNM 568009 View Materials ]; and (3) unicoloured pattern, with the upperparts homogeneous, from reddish to reddish brown (specimens from north of Guyana, e.g. AMNH 48133 View Materials , ROM 98909 View Materials ). At the crown, the mid-dorsal stripe is commonly distinct, but quite variable in colour and intensity. The size of the specimens is also variable, generally smaller in the northern part of the distribution, and larger in southern Venezuela and Brazil   .

Remarks: Monodelphis brevicaudata   was originally described as [ Didelphis   ] brevicaudata Erxleben 1777   . In the same year, Schreber (1777) described Didelphis brachyuros   . Both descriptions were based on the description and illustration of Muris sylvestris Americani faemina from Seba (1734). Thomas (1888) gave priority to Erxleben’s name, considering D. brachyuros   to be a junior synonym. The specimen from Seba ( BM 67.4.12.540) exhibits pelage ‘distinctly bicolored, reddish dorsally and abruptly paler ventrally’, as quoted by Voss et al. (2001) who analysed the type specimen’s skin and confirmed the association of Erxleben’s and Schreber’s names to it. Synonymizing S. surinamensis Zimmermann, 1780   and D. sebae Gray, 1827   with M. brevicaudata   is justified because the former two names were also created based on Seba’s specimen/illustration, being objective synonymies of M. brevicaudata   . The descriptions of D. hunteri Waterhouse, 1841   and P. b. dorsalis Allen, 1904 were based on specimens that fit our definition of M. brevicaudata   , and are therefore junior synonymies of the latter. The type of P. b. orinoci Thomas, 1899   does not exactly fit our morphological definition of M. brevicaudata   , because it has mid-dorsal stripe more grizzled (broader at head), flanks paler, and smaller size than any specimen recognized by us as M. brevicaudata   . However, because we do not understand all morphological variation within M. brevicaudata   yet, and there is considerable variation with regard to the mid-dorsal stripe and size in this species (see Geographical variation section above), we consider M. orinoci   as a junior synonym of M. brevicaudata   .

Didelphis brevicaudata Erxleben, 1777   is the oldest available name for specimens of the north-western clade ( Fig. 3 View Figure 3 ). The restriction of the name M. brevicaudata   herein proposed is supported by the morphological similarity between the specimen ROM 98909 View Materials (placed in our north-western clade) and the type specimen of M. brevicaudata   (BM 67.4.12.540), both exhibiting homogeneously reddish dorsal fur without a mid-dorsal stripe (‘bicolored pattern’ of Voss et al., 2001). Additionally, our genetic samples from Venezuela and northern Guyana, which include localities close to the type locality of M. brevicaudata   (Kartabo, northern Guyana), grouped together and formed a monophyletic lineage in the molecular analyses ( Fig. 2 View Figure 2 ) with considerable genetic divergence from any other lineage (Supporting Information Table S1). It is important to note that this clade includes both bicoloured ( ROM 98909 View Materials ) and tricoloured specimens (L-1917, L-1920, USNM 568009), showing that the colour of the dorsal pelage is a variable feature of this species (see Geographical variation section above).

ROM

Royal Ontario Museum

BM

Bristol Museum

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Mammalia

Order

Didelphimorphia

Family

Didelphidae

Genus

Monodelphis

Loc

Monodelphis brevicaudata

Pavan, Silvia Eliza, Rossi, Rogerio Vieira & Schneider, Horacio 2012
2012
Loc

Didelphis brevicaudata

Erxleben 1777
1777
Loc

M. brevicaudata

Erxleben 1777
1777
Loc

M. brevicaudata

Erxleben 1777
1777
Loc

M. brevicaudata

Erxleben 1777
1777