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On the status and affinities of Hybomys planifrons (Miller, 1900) (Rodentia: Muridae)

On the status and affinities of Hybomys planifrons (Miller, 1900) (Rodentia: Muridae)

Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 984: 956-1003

The taxonomic status and phylogenetic affinity of Hybomys planifrons are reviewed and reassessed. This form, which Miller (1900) named from Mt. Coffee, Liberia, has been treated either as a subspecies of the Central African H. univittatus, as a subspecies of the West African H. trivirgatus, or as a species as originally described. Based upon principal component analyses of cranial variables, a cladistic evaluation of cranial and dental attributes, standard chromosomal preparations, and distributional information, we conclude that planifrons is a distinct biological species. Hybomys planifrons inhabits that portion of the West African high forest generally identified as the Liberian forest refuge. It bears closest relationship to H. trivirgatus, another West African species whose broader distribution covers high forest west of the Niger River; H. planifrons and trivirgatus are more distantly related to H. univittatus, found only east of the Cross River in Nigeria but extending over much of the great rainforest of Central Africa. New karyotopic information is presented for populations of univittatus. The karyotypic and morphological heterogeneity observed among our samples suggests that univittatus is a composite of two or more species.

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Accession: 021491385

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