Species limits within the Praomys delectorum group (Rodentia: Muridae: Murinae) of East Africa: a morphometric reassessment and biogeographical implications
Version of Record online: 24 MAY 2012
© 2012 The Linnean Society of London
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society
Volume 165, Issue 2, pages 420–469, June 2012
How to Cite
CARLETON, M. D. and STANLEY, W. T. (2012), Species limits within the Praomys delectorum group (Rodentia: Muridae: Murinae) of East Africa: a morphometric reassessment and biogeographical implications. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 165: 420–469. doi: 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2012.00817.x
- Issue online: 24 MAY 2012
- Version of Record online: 24 MAY 2012
- Received 18 October 2011; revised 23 December 2011; accepted for publication 31 December 2011
- Eastern Arc Mountains;
- Makambako Gap;
- Praomys melanotus;
- Praomys taitae;
We examined approximately 600 specimens that represent the Praomys delectorum species group (Muridae: Murinae: Praomyini), a rodent complex restricted to Afromontane landscapes in East Africa and currently viewed as a single species. Morphometric analyses of 21 population samples consistently disclosed cohesive patterns of craniodental differentiation that support the recognition of three species: Praomys delectorum Thomas, confined to extreme southern Malawi; P. melanotus Allen & Loveridge, found in highlands of south-western Tanzania and contiguous northern Malawi; and P. taitae Heller (including octomastis Hatt), distributed in mountains and foothills of southern Kenya and northern and central Tanzania. Populations of the P. delectorum group are patchily distributed in moist montane forest, most collecting localities falling within 1000–2400 m, and their range collectively coincides with the Tanganyika–Nyasa Montane Forest Group sensu Moreau. Patterns of faunal similarity derived from distributions of 65 species of terrestrial small mammals recorded from Tanzania's highlands, including the Eastern Arc Mountains, demonstrated pronounced geographical discontinuities in montane associations but failed to uncover a prominent vicariant role for the Makambako Gap.
© 2012 The Linnean Society of London, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2012, 165, 420–469.