PROC. BIOL. SOC. WASH. 106(4), 1993, pp. 752-761 A NEW GENUS AND SPECIES OF RAT FROM BORNEO (RODENTIA: MURIDAE) Louise H. Emmons Abstract. —A new genus and species of arboreal rat from Sabah, Pithecheirops otion, is described. It is most closely allied to the Sunda Shelf endemic genus Pithecheir, but it differs from this genus in lacking both diagnostic features of the arrangement of the inner ear bones, and the inflation of the auditory bulla. The fragmented lands of the Sunda Shelf (landmasses and islands from 10°N to 10°S and about 96°E to 120°E that are united by seas shallower than 200 m) formed a single, dry continental landmass or were connected to varying degrees during epochs of low sea levels during the Pleistocene. At least 14 genera and 40 species of native murid ro-dents are known from this region. Five gen-era are endemics narrowly restricted to Sun-daland (Musser & Newcomb 1983). Over the past two decades the systematics of these and other Asian genera has been clarified in an extensive series of publications by Guy Musser. As a result, it has become relatively easy to recognize new taxa and key mor-phological features. The Sundanese genus Pithecheir Cuvier, 1838 includes two spe-cies, P. melanurus Cuvier, 1838 known only from Java, and P. parvus Kloss, 1916 known only from West (Peninsular) Malaysia. Characters of the genus and species were outlined by Kloss (1916), Muul & Lim (1971), and Musser & Newcomb (1983). In 1991, I collected a rat closely allied to Pi-thecheir on the island of Borneo. This spec-imen has several features that warrant dis-tinguishing it within both a new species and genus. Materials and Methods Specimens examined are in the National Museum of Natural History (USNM), Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C. Many Asian genera of Muridae were ex-amined for comparison but only the indi-vidual specimens of the genus Pithecheir are listed: Pithecheir melanurus USNM 23966 1 (1). Java, Bom at Museum Buitenzorg, Bo-gor, locality unknown; Pithecheir parvus USNM 488796 to 488819 (24). Malaysia, Selangor, various localities. Terminology of tooth cusps and cranial features follows Musser & Newcomb (1983) and for the inner ear, Voss (1988) and Carle-ton (1 980). Abbreviations for lengths in text are as follows: HB, head and body; T, tail; HF, hindfoot; E, ear. Pithecheirops, new genus Type species.— Pithecheirops otion, new species. Included species. —The type species only. Etymology. —A combination of the Greek suffix -ops, having the appearance of, with the generic name Pithecheir, of a genus of Sundaland rats. Z)/fl^«(95/5.— Morphologically a strongly arboreally-adapted rat with: 1) fur long, dense and soft, body fur extending well onto base of tail; 2) tail robust, slickly naked, and at least partially prehensile; 3) hindfeet broad, with large pads, hallux separated by a gap from other digits, with a claw and toepad expanded medially, forefeet also broad, with large palmar pads, pollux with a broad shiny nail; 4) cranium with no post-glenoid vacuity; 5) supraorbital ridges strongly flared; 6) squamoso-mastoid fora-men absent; 7) auditory bullae small, with



A new genus and species of rat from Borneo (Rodentia : Muridae)

Louise H Emmons
Proceedings of The Biological Society of Washington 106(4): 752-761 (1993)

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