Crocidura fuliginosa (Blyth, 1855)

Abramov, Alexei V., Bannikova, Anna A. & Rozhnov, Viatcheslav V., 2012, White-toothed shrews (Mammalia, Soricomorpha, Crocidura) of coastal islands of Vietnam, ZooKeys 207, pp. 37-47 : 39-40

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Crocidura fuliginosa (Blyth, 1855)


Crocidura fuliginosa (Blyth, 1855)

We have found this species on Con Son Island only. A single specimen was collected near Nui Nha Ban on the north slope of Nui Chua Mt. in the central part of island. The pitfall traps (08°42'49"N, 106°37'13"E) were set in moist primary forest at an elevation of 250 m asl. Despite considerable trapping efforts (more than 1200 trap - nights) we collected only one specimen. This species was firstly reported from Con Son by Van Peenen et al. (1970). A single adult male (USNM 357348, Smithsonian Institution) was caught in a small Sherman trap at the side of a trail leading to Nui Nha Ban, at the elevation of 80 m asl. Another specimen (ZMMU S-144368, Zoological Museum of Moscow University) was collected in 1987 in the forest of Bai Canh Islet located just 1 km eastward of the Con Son Island.

This is a large, long-tailed Crocidura ; tail 79% of head and body length, on average. Means and extremes of measurements (in mm) from 3 adults are: head and body length, 87.0 (83-90); tail length, 68.3 (67-71); hind foot length, 15.7 (15-17); weight (n=1), 16.7 g.

The mtDNA analysis suggests that specimen from the Con Son Island belongs to Crocidura fuliginosa (Fig. 2).

Many papers listed Crocidura fuliginosa as being widespread in mainland Vietnam (Heaney and Timm 1983; Huynh et al. 1994; Kuznetsov 2006; Can et al. 2008; Jenkins et al. 2009). A recent comparative study of mtDNA ( Bannikova et al. 2011) did not confirm its occurrence in Vietnam. Specimens from northern Vietnam (Ha Giang Province) are very different from the shrews taken from the Cameron Highlands (Peninsular Malaysia) assigned to this species. Moreover, the northern Vietnamese specimens are close to the shrews from Yunnan, southern China. A major distinction between Yunnan specimens and Crocidura fuliginosa from Peninsular Malaysia was also found by Dubey et al. (2008) in the analysis of nuclear genes. Bannikova et al. (2011) proposed to re-establish the name Crocidura dracula for the large white-toothed shrews from northern Vietnam and southern China. This taxon was described by Thomas (1912) from southern Yunnan. According to Allen (1938) and Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951), this species is distributed across southern China and adjacent Indochina. Jenkins (1976) considered dracula a subspecies of Crocidura fuliginosa , and was followed in this opinion by various authors (Heaney and Timm 1983; Jiang and Hoffmann 2001; Hutterer 2005). Based on the data from mitochondrial DNA, the name fuliginosa was provisionally restricted to the shrews from the southern part of Southeast Asia, including Malaysia and southern Myanmar ( Bannikova et al. 2011). A comparison of cytb sequences suggests that specimen from the Con Son Island belongs to this haplogroup (Fig. 2). This is a first genetically confirmed record of Crocidura fuliginosa from Vietnam.

The occurrence of Crocidura fuliginosa sensu stricto in mainland Vietnam is still questionable (see also Heaney and Timm 1983). Jenkins et al. (2009) have mentioned museum specimens of Crocidura fuliginosa (= dracula sensu Bannikova et al. 2011) from Lao Cai in northern Vietnam and Yunnan in southern China only. Two other records mentioned by Jenkins et al. (2009) were based on survey reports, not on museum voucher specimens. One of them ( Trai et al. 1999), reporting Crocidura fuliginosa from Ngoc Linh Mt. in Kon Tum Province, central Vietnam, was based on a visual observation only. Another location mentioned (see Jenkins et al. 2009) is Nui Bi Doup, Lam Dong Province, southern Vietnam. In 2004 and 2006, during mammal surveys in Ngoc Linh Mt. conducted by the VRTC, we collected 116 shrews of three Crocidura species ( Abramov et al. 2007b; Rozhnov and Abramov 2009). Two of these species, Crocidura sokolovi and Crocidura zaitsevi , were new to science ( Jenkins et al. 2007); the third one was Crocidura tanakae (see Bannikova et al. 2011). Several biodiversity surveys conducted by the VRTC in Nui Bi Doup area in 2002-2009 ( Abramov et al. 2010) yielded more than 100 shrews of three Crocidura species, including Crocidura tanakae , Crocidura indochinensis and Crocidura zaitsevi (see Bannikova et al. 2011). However, we documented no specimens of Crocidura fuliginosa , neither in the Ngoc Linh nor in the Bi Doup areas.