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

A Systematic Revision of Melomys (Rodentia:Muridae) of New Guinea

JI Menzies

Australian Journal of Zoology 44(4) 367 - 426
Published: 1996


A program of multi-variate discriminant analysis is used to separate approximately 900 specimens, currently identified as species of the genus Melomys, into significantly different taxa at generic, specific and subspecific level. A combination of metric characters and multistate characters is used to indicate phenetic relationships between the taxa previously identified. Metric characters are used in combination with multistate characters to provide diagnoses of genera, and species and subspecies within genera. As a result, Melomys is redefined to include only four species, rufescens, leucogaster, lutillus and frigicola, in New Guinea. Nine species are included in Paramelomys, raised from its previous subgeneric rank. Two species formerly included in Melomys (lanosus and rattoides) are removed to a new genus. Melomys fellowsi is removed to another new genus. Some comments on the generic disposition of extralimital species are made.

© CSIRO 1996

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