Revistes Catalanes amb Accés Obert (RACO)

Morphometrics of genus Caluromys (Didelphimorphia : Didelphidae) in northern South America

María José López Fuster, Roger Pérez Hernández, Jacint Ventura


We reviewed the morphometric relationships between different forms of the woolly opossum, genus Caluromys, in northern South America by means of univariate and multivariate analyses of skull characters. Results revealed that specimens from Trinidad and northern Venezuela differ substantially in size and shape from other representatives of the genus. Thus, we propose that they should be attributed to Caluromys trinitatis rather to C. philander. Consequently, the specific name given by Thomas (1894, 1903) should be reapplied. The morphotype leucurus, also attributed by Thomas (1904) to C. trinitatis, has an intermediate morphology, resembling C. philander in size but C. trinitatis in shape. Therefore, we were unable to assign it to a specific taxon. Nevertheless, these differences allowed us to consider leucurus as a valid taxonomic entity. Caluromys derbianus and C. lanatus show similar skull sizes but these two species clearly differ in shape, the latter being more phenetically related to C. philander than to any other Caluromys form.

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