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Taxonomic boundaries in Lesser Treeshrews (Scandentia, Tupaiidae: Tupaia minor)

October 14, 2022

The Lesser Treeshrew, Tupaia minor  Günther, 1876, is a small mammal from Southeast Asia with four currently recognized subspecies: T. m. minor from Borneo; T. m. malaccana from the Malay Peninsula; T. m. humeralis from Sumatra; and T. m. sincepis from Singkep Island and Lingga Island. A fifth subspecies, T. m. caedis, was previously synonymized with T. m. minor; it was thought to occur in northern Borneo and on the nearby islands of Banggi and Balambangan. These subspecies were originally differentiated based on pelage color, a plastic feature that has proven to be an unreliable indicator of taxonomic boundaries in treeshrews and other mammals. To explore infraspecific variation among T. minor populations across the Malay Peninsula, Borneo, Sumatra, and smaller islands, we conducted multivariate analyses of morphometric data collected from the hands and skulls of museum specimens. Principal component and discriminant function analyses reveal limited differentiation in manus and skull proportions among populations of T. minor from different islands. We find no morphometric support for the recognition of the four allopatric subspecies and no support for the recognition of T. m. caedis as a separate subspecies on Borneo.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2022
Title Taxonomic boundaries in Lesser Treeshrews (Scandentia, Tupaiidae: Tupaia minor)
DOI 10.1093/jmammal/gyac080
Authors M. M. Juman, Neal Woodman, A. Miller-Murthy, Link E. Olson, E. J. Sargis
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Mammalogy
Index ID 70237605
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Ecological Science Center