Systematic review of New Guinea Leptomys (Muridae, Murinaei) : with descriptions of two new species ; American Museum novitates, no. 3624

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New York, NY : American Museum of Natural History
Two new species of the endemic New Guinea rodent genus Leptomys Thomas, 1897, are described: L. paulus, indigenous to the montane forests in the Owen Stanley Range in eastern New Guinea, and L. arfakensis, known only from the Arfak Mountains on the Vogelkop Peninsula in western New Guinea. These descriptions are presented within a taxonomic review of Leptomys based on all known specimens in collections of the world's museums. In addition to the new species, the morphological attributes and geographic distributions of three others are documented. Leptomys elegans occurs in southcentral and southeastern New Guinea both north and south of the Central Cordillera, ranging from the Kikori River Basin in the west to the southern slopes of the Owen Stanley Range, then extending round to the north side of the Cordillera in the Maneau Range, and in the outlying highland block of Mount Victory. Leptomys signatus is recorded only from the Fly and Kikori River drainages south of the Central Cordillera. Leptomys ernstmayri is found in montane forests of the eastern Central Cordillera (Aroa River to Mt. Karimui), reaches to the outlying mountains on the Huon Peninsula and the Adelbert Range, and also occurs in the isolated Foja Mountains of far western New Guinea. Judged by variation in qualitative and morphometric external, cranial, and dental traits associated with available samples, L. arfakensis, n. sp., is likely more closely related to L. elegans and L. signatus, all with large bodies and relatively short tails, than to L. ernstmayri and L. paulus, n. sp., that are characterized, among other features, by smaller body size and relatively longer tails. There is significant phenetic divergence among the geographic samples identified here as L. ernstmayri, and additional inquiry, especially utilizing data from molecular sources, is required to determine whether this intersample variation reflects the presence of separate species, each endemic to the Huon Peninsula, Adelbert Range, Central Cordillera, and possibly the Foja Mountains, or instead represents montane variation within a single morphologically variable species.
60 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 26 cm.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 56-60).