Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Antechinus agilis (Marsupialia : Dasyuridae), a new species from the A. stuartii complex in south-eastern Australia

C. R. Dickman, H. E. Parnaby, M. S. Crowther and D. H. King

Australian Journal of Zoology 46(1) 1 - 26
Published: 1998


A new species from the Antechinus stuartii stuartii complex, A. agilis, sp. nov., is described from Victoria and south-eastern New South Wales. It differs from A. stuartii primarily in its smaller average size, lighter and greyer fur colour, relatively smaller anterior and posterior palatal vacuities, and more rounded premolars. The species can be distinguished in the field on external morphology. A. agilis resembles A. stuartii adustus from northern Queensland more closely in skull and dental morphology than it does A. stuartii from central coastal New South Wales, with which it is parapatric and occasionally sympatric in the southern coastal part of the State. Considerable morphological variation is apparent amongst populations regarded previously as A. stuartii from southern Queensland and northern New South Wales, suggesting that more than one taxon is included currently under A. stuartii. Further clarification of the relationships of A. agilis requires evaluation of variation in such populations of A. stuartii and also with A. flavipes from northern New South Wales and southern and central Queensland.

© CSIRO 1998

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