Togo mouse

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Togo mouse
Scientific classification OOjs UI icon edit-ltr.svg
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Muridae
Subfamily: Leimacomyinae
Musser & Carleton, 2005
Genus: Leimacomys
Matschie, 1893
Species:
L. buettneri
Binomial name
Leimacomys buettneri
Matschie, 1893
Distribution of Leimacomys buettneri.tif

The Togo mouse (Leimacomys buettneri), also known as Büttner's African forest mouse or the groove-toothed forest mouse, is a unique muroid rodent known from only two specimens taken from near the type locality of Bismarckburg, near Yege, Togo, in 1890. Its genus is monotypic.

Contents

Description and natural history

The entirety of known material for this species consists of a single, poor-quality dry skin, a fluid-preserved animal, and a cranium and mandible. The cranium and mandible are from different animals. The material is deposited in the Zoologisches Museum of Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany.

The head and body length is 118 mm (4.6 in) with a tail of 37 mm (1.5 in). This tail is unusually short relative to the body length (ratio of 37%) and is considered an important diagnostic feature. The animal is dark to grey brown above and pale grey brown below. Ears are small and hairy. Feet are also somewhat hairy. The tail may be naked or slightly haired.

The incisors are shallowly grooved. The snout is long and wide, the interorbital width is broad, and the zygomatic plate is large). [2]

Based on skull morphology, the Togo mouse is presumed to be insectivorous. [3] Very little is known about the habits of this unusual mouse.

Classification

Leimacomys has been transferred back and forth between the Dendromurinae and the Murinae since its discovery. It most closely resembles Lophuromys , which has been transferred to a newly erected Deomyinae on the basis of molecular data. The association with Lophuromys is thought to be due to convergent evolution due to similar diets. [4] Tooth characters resemble dendromurines, Mystromys or basal gerbils. Denys et al. [5] generated a phylogeny that suggested, with limited support, Leimacomys is a sister taxon to the Gerbillinae.

Musser and Carleton [6] chose to erect a new subfamily, Leimacomyinae, to house this species. They placed it in the family Muridae due to its potential connection to either the Gerbillinae or Deomyinae, but emphasized that a broad phylogenetic study including Leimacomys, and a host of nesomyids and murids, is needed to determine its appropriate position.

Conservation status

The Togo mouse is considered to be either critically endangered or extinct depending on the authority. Schlitter [7] classified it as extinct, because subsequent surveys to the area failed to recover it. Grubb et al. (1998)[ citation needed ] noted these surveys inadequately sampled appropriate habitat in Togo and neighboring Ghana, and they were reluctant to declare the species extinct. Musser and Carleton [8] also emphasized the insectivorous muroids as a group have proven difficult to capture, and intense surveys of high-elevation forests in this region are required to determine if it still persists.

The IUCN [1] currently describes the Togo mouse as "data deficient". This species has also been recently added on Re:wild’s 25 most wanted lost species [9]

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Muroidea</span> Superfamily of rodents

The Muroidea are a large superfamily of rodents, including mice, rats, voles, hamsters, lemmings, gerbils, and many other relatives. Although the Muroidea originated in Eurasia, they occupy a vast variety of habitats on every continent except Antarctica. Some authorities have placed all members of this group into a single family, Muridae, due to difficulties in determining how the subfamilies are related to one another. Many of the families within the Muroidea superfamily have more variations between the families than between the different clades. A possible explanation for the variations in rodents is because of the location of these rodents; these changes could have been due to radiation or the overall environment they migrated to or originated in. The following taxonomy is based on recent well-supported molecular phylogenies.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dendromurinae</span> Subfamily of rodents

Dendromurinae is a subfamily of rodents in the family Nesomyidae and superfamily Muroidea. The dendromurines are currently restricted to Africa, as is the case for all extant members of the family Nesomyidae. The authorship of the subfamily has been attributed to both Alston, 1876, and (incorrectly) to G. M. Allen, 1939.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deomyinae</span> Subfamily of rodents

The subfamily Deomyinae consists of four genera of mouse-like rodents that were previously placed in the subfamilies Murinae and Dendromurinae. They are sometimes called the Acomyinae, particularly in references that antedate the discovery that the link rat, Deomys ferugineus, is part of the clade. Deomyinae is the older name and therefore has priority over Acomyinae.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Brush-furred mouse</span> Genus of rodents

The brush-furred mice, genus Lophuromys are a group of rodents found in sub-Saharan Africa. They are members of the subfamily Deomyinae, a group only identifiable through molecular analysis. Lophuromys is also known as the brush-furred rats, harsh-furred rats or coarse-haired mice.

The link rat is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is also known by the common name Congo forest mouse. It is native to central Africa.

<i>Dendromus</i> Genus of rodents

Mice in the genus Dendromus are commonly referred to as African climbing mice or tree mice, although these terms are often used to describe all members of the subfamily Dendromurinae. The genus is currently restricted to sub-Saharan Africa, but fossils classified in the genus have been found from Late Miocene deposits in Arabia and Europe.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Dollman's tree mouse</span> Species of rodent

Dollman's tree mouse is a poorly understood climbing mouse from central Africa. It is unique enough that it has been placed in a genus of its own, Prionomys, since its discovery in 1910.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gray spiny mouse</span> Species of rodent

The gray spiny mouse is a species of rodent in the family Muridae found in Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, and Uganda. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, moist savanna, rocky areas, arable land, and rural gardens.

Johan's spiny mouse is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Togo. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry shrubland, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, and rocky areas.

Louise's spiny mouse is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia. Its natural habitats are dry savanna, subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland, and rocky areas.

<i>Archboldomys</i> Genus of rodents

Archboldomys, the shrew-mice, are a genus of rodents in the family Muridae. They are carnivores that feed on invertebrates much like shrews do. An apparently smaller relatives of the true shrew-rats Chrotomys and Rhynchomys, Archboldomys are somewhat convergent to the more distantly related Crunomys.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Delany's mouse</span> Species of rodent

Delany's mouse or Delany's swamp mouse is a species of rodent in the family Nesomyidae. It is the only species in the genus Delanymys and the only extant member of subfamily Delanymyinae, which also contains the fossil genus Stenodontomys. It was previously placed in subfamily Petromyscinae, but it is apparently not closely related to Petromyscus. It is found in Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland and swamps. It is threatened by habitat loss.

The banana climbing mouse is a species of rodent in the family Nesomyidae. It is found in Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, and Togo. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical dry lowland grassland.

The Cameroon climbing mouse is a species of rodent in the family Nesomyidae which is endemic to the montane grasslands on three mountains in Cameroon.

Heuglin's lemniscomys or Heuglin's striped grass mouse is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found in Benin, Burkina Faso, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, and possibly Ethiopia. Its natural habitats are moist savanna, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, arable land, and plantations.

Dieterlen's brush-furred mouse, Mt Oku brush-furred mouse, or Mount Oku brush-furred rat is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is endemic to Mount Oku, Cameroon. Its natural habitat is montane forest at elevations above 2,000 m (6,600 ft).

The fire-bellied brush-furred rat is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found in Cameroon, Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, and Gabon. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

The Mount Cameroon brush-furred rat or Rosevear's brush-furred mouse is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found only in Cameroon. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montane forests, subtropical or tropical moist shrubland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude shrubland, subtropical or tropical high-altitude grassland, plantations, and rural gardens.

The toad mouse is a species of rodent in the family Muridae. It is found in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist montane forests and arable land.

The noble mouse-like hamster or the noble calomyscus, is a species of mouse-like hamster from Iran. It is the largest species of Calomyscus and was initially described as a subspecies of Calomyscus bailwardi. The animal is found in the region near Tehran and is identifiable based on its large size (74–91 mm) and soft, buffy, brown dorsal pelage. Musser and Carleton recognized C. grandis as a distinct species.

References

  1. 1 2 Van der Straeten & Schlitter (2016). "Leimacomys buettneri". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species . 2016. Retrieved 22 June 2021.
  2. Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. Pp. 894-1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  3. Dieterlen, F. 1976. Bemerkungen über Leimacomys büttneri Matschie, 1893 (Dendromurinae), Cricetidae, Rodentia). Säugetierkunde, 39:229-231.
  4. Dieterlen, F. 1976. Bemerkungen über Leimacomys büttneri Matschie, 1893 (Dendromurinae), Cricetidae, Rodentia). Säugetierkunde, 39:229-231.
  5. Denys, C., J. Michaux, F. Catzeflis, S. Ducrocq, and P. Chevret. 1995. Morphological and molecular data against the monophyly of Dendromurinae (Muridae: Rodentia). Bonner Zoologische Beiträge, 45:173-190.
  6. Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. Pp. 894-1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  7. Schlitter, D. A. 1989. African rodents of special concern. Pp. 33-39 in Rodents: a world survey of species of conservation concern. W. Z. Lidicker Jr. ed. Occasional Papers IUCN Species Survival Commission no. 4.
  8. Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. Pp. 894-1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.
  9. "Re:wild's Search for Lost Species". www.rewild.org. Retrieved 2023-11-26.

Further reading