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A reappraisal of the species richness of Euneomys Coues 1874 (Rodentia, Cricetidae), with emendations of the type localities of Reithrodon fossor Thomas 1899 and Euneomys mordax Thomas 1912

Pablo Teta, Guillermo D’Elía ORCID logo, Cecilia Lanzone, Agustina Ojeda, Agustina Novillo and Ricardo A. Ojeda
From the journal Mammalia


The genus Euneomys is mostly distributed in the open environments of the central and southern Andes, adjacent Patagonian steppes of Argentina and Chile, and in several islands of the Tierra del Fuego Archipelago. This genus includes three living species: E. chinchilloides, E. fossor, and E. mordax. Euneomys fossor is a poorly known species, with an uncertain geographic provenance and known from a single specimen, whose distinction from the other species of the genus has not been accurately assessed. Here, using qualitative and quantitative morphological evidence, plus published information about karyotypes and genetic variation, we evaluate the taxonomic status of E. fossor and E. noei, a nominal form usually considered a synonym of E. mordax. Based on multivariate analysis of cranial measurements and morphological discrete traits, we recognize two main morphotypes within Euneomys, one referable to E. chinchilloides (with dabbenei, petersoni, and ultimus as synonyms), and another including E. fossor, E. mordax, and E. noei. The recognition of two major groups within Euneomys is also supported by molecular and chromosomal data. By the principle of the priority, the names of E. chinchilloides and E. fossor applies for each one of these morphotypes. In addition, after discussing the pros and cons of replacing the name mordax by fossor, we emended the type localities of both forms.

Corresponding author: Pablo Teta, División Mastozoología, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, Av. Ángel Gallardo 470, Buenos Aires, C1405DJR, Argentina, E-mail:

Funding source: American Society of Mammalogists


We thank the following colleagues for allowing us the access and study specimens under their care: Benjamín Bender, CMI; Ulyses Pardiñas, CNP-E; Bruce Patterson, FMNH; Darrin Lunde, USNM. P. Hurst made the photos of the holotypes of E. fossor and E. mordax. We also thank to two anonymous reviewers and the editor whose suggestion greatly improved this study.

  1. Author contributions: Pablo Teta reviewed the specimens housed at biological collections, made the multivariate analysis and wrote the first draft of this manuscript; Guillermo D’Elía, Cecilia Lanzone, Agustina Ojeda, Agustina Novillo, and Ricardo A. Ojeda, participated in the discussion of the results and the writing of the text. Figures were made by A. Novillo and P. Teta.

  2. Research funding: This work was supported by the American Society of Mammalogists via an “O. P. Pearson Award’’ (Pablo Teta). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

  3. Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare no conflicts of interest regarding this article.

  4. Compliance with ethical standards: No institutional animal care and use committee approved this research, as it did not involve live animals; no field collection was made. All assessed specimens were already available in museum collections.

Appendix: List of the specimens examined in this study and their localities.

Species allocation follows the taxonomic scheme here proposed (see text). Acronyms are as follows: CMI, Colección Mamíferos del IADIZA, Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de Zonas Áridas (Mendoza, Argentina); CNP-E, Colección de Material de Egagrópilas y Afines Elio Massoia,” Centro Nacional Patagónico (Puerto Madryn, Argentina); FMNH, Field Museum of Natural History (Chicago, USA); MACN, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” (Buenos Aires, Argentina); MVZ, Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (Berkeley, USA), MHNSR, Museo de Historia Natural de San Rafael (San Rafael, Argentina), UACH, Colección de Mamíferos, Universidad Austral de Chile (Valdivia, Chile); USNM, United States National Museum of Natural History (Washington, DC, USA). Numbers between brackets correspond to those on Figure 1.

E. chinchilloides (N = 204): ARGENTINA: Chubut: [32] Escalante, 13 km SW de Holdich (CNP-E-342), [27] Gastre, Carhue Niyeu (CNP-E-631); [28] Río Senguer, 41 km O Alto Río Senguer (CNP-E-473), [31] Sarmiento, 17 km W Sarmiento (CNP-E-506); Mendoza: [1] Las Heras, Cristo Redentor, 3401 m (CMI 7409), [2] Las Heras, Los Horcones, 2854 m (CMI 7405), [3] Las Heras, Parque Provincial Aconcagua (CNP-E-390); [15] Malargüe, 10 km S de Las Leñas, margen del río Salado, 1900 m (CMI 6803), [17] Malargüe, Arroyo El Seguro, 2800 m (CMI 7418), [11] Malargüe, camino a Valle Hermoso, 2460 m (CMI 7388), [13] Malargüe, Laguna de la Niña Encantada (CNP-E-55), [10] Malargüe, Laguna Escondida (CMI 7389), [16] Malargüe, Los Azufres, Peteroa (CMI 7419), [14] Malargüe, Los Molles (CMI 7435), [8] San Carlos, Valle de Uco, 6 km O Gral Alvarado (CMI 7328); [5] Tunuyán, Refugio Scaravelli (CMI 7353, CMI 7403); Neuquén: [18] Chos Malal, 12 km NE Parque Provincial Tromen (CNP-E-529), Catán Lil (MACN-Ma 13573), [19] Chos Malal, Cueva de las Mil Chivas (CNP-E-638); Río Negro: [22] Pilcaniyeu, Cerro Microondas (UACH 1741, UACH 1742), 9 de Julio, Somuncurá, without precise locality (MACN-Ma 19139), [26] 9 de Julio, Somuncurá, Cañadón Bajada de las Nacientes (CNP-E-4), [25] 9 de Julio, Cerro Corona Grande (CNP-E-31, CNP-E-76), [23] 9 de Julio, Laguna del Paraguay (CNP-E-73), [24] Ñorquinco, Escorial de Chenqueniyen, Cerro Las Bayas, 9 km SSW Las Bayas (CMI 7009); Santa Cruz: [37] Deseado, Puesto El Cuero (CNP-E-442), [40] Lago Argentino, Cerro Fortaleza (CNP-E-500), [39] Lago Argentino, Cordón del Bagual (CNP-E-421), [36] Río Chico, Parque Nacional Perito Moreno, Alero Destacamento Guardaparque (CNP-E-386), [38] río Chico, 4.5 km aguas arriba de Estancia El Portezuelo (USNM 84198 [holotype of E. petersoni]); Tierra del Fuego, Antártida e Islas del Atlántico Sur: [42] Río Grande, Estancia San Julio (CNP-E-410), [43] Río Grande, Lago Fagnano (FMNH 50736), [44] Ushuaia, Bahía Buen Suceso (USNM 482138, USNM 399402, USNM 482140). CHILE: Araucanía: [21] Lonquimay, Paso de Pino Hachado (UACH 3837, UACH 3840, UACH 3844); Aysén: [35] 0.5 km N Puerto Ibáñez (FMNH 134181, FMNH 134482, FMNH 134483, FMNH 134486), [34] 2 km N Puerto Ibáñez (FMNH 133088, FMNH 133089, FMNH 134233), [33] 4 km N Puerto Ibáñez (FMNH 134184), [30] Coyhaique Alto (UACH 3671), [29] Coyhaique Alto, 4.5 km E, Fundo El Largo (FMNH 133081, FMNH 133082, FMNH 133083, FMNH 133085); Región Metropolitana: [6] La Junta, Lo Valdez, 2500 m (USNM 391818), [4] La Parva, 3000 m (USNM 399404, USNM 399405); Magallanes y de la Antártida Chilena: [41] Ultima Esperanza, Lago Lazo (FMNH 50592, FMNH 50593, FMNH 50595, FMNH 50596, FMNH 50597, FMNH 50584, FMNH 50585, FMNH 50587, FMNH 50588, FMNH 50589, FMNH 50590).

E. fossor (N = 19): ARGENTINA: Mendoza: without precise locality (MHNSR 1238), [9] Malargüe, camino a Valle Hermoso, 2460 m (CMI 7388), [13] Malargüe, Laguna de la Niña Encantada (CNP-E-55), [12] Malargüe, Las Leñas (CMI s/n; four individuals), [7] San Carlos, Valle de Uco, Laguna del Diamante, 3982 m (CMI 7417); Neuquén: [20] Ñorquin, 1.5 km S Copahue (town) (MVZ 183288, MVZ 183289). CHILE: Araucanía: [21] Lonquimay, Paso de Pino Hachado (UACH 3841, UACH 3850), Región Metropolitana: [6] La Junta, Lo Valdez, 2500 m (USNM 391817), [4] La Parva, 3000 m (USNM 399400, USNM 399401).


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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (

Received: 2020-10-27
Accepted: 2021-01-15
Published Online: 2021-03-15
Published in Print: 2021-07-27

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