Meegaskumbura, Meegaskumbura, Manamendra-Arachchi, Pethiyagoda & Schneider, 2007
|Crocidura hikmiya range|
Sinharaja Shrew, Crocidura hikmiya is a species of shrew that was recently (2007) described from the rainforests of Sri Lanka, based on both morphological and molecular data. Its closest sister species is the Sri Lankan long-tailed shrew, another Sri Lankan crocidurine shrew that is restricted to the high-elevation habitats of the Central Highlands. C. hikmiya has a shorter tail than the Sri Lankan long-tailed shrew; most of the other characteristics that distinguish the two species are osteological in nature .
The specific epithet ‘hikmiya’ is Sinhala for ‘shrew’, applied here as a substantive in apposition. It is known as ශ්රී ලංකා සිංහරාජ කුනු හික් මීයා in Sinhala.
Head and body length 6–8 cm. Tail is 7–8 cm. Dark gray-brown including the tail. Tail is slender, semi-naked, with long, protruding hairs near the base. Some stiff and long blackish hairs in the pelage. Pink snout. Feet also pinkish brown and semi-naked. Tail length slightly exceeding that of head and body.
Difference from Crocidura miya
Morphologically C. hikmiya is distinguished from C. miya, by having a shorter tail, condyles protruding beyond the margin of the braincase, a posterior edge of maxillary bone rounded, an occipital bone triangularly shaped with an obtuse angle and slightly flattened on the back; a foramen magnum less deep; a dorsal posterior brain case not smooth; and an angular process of dentary short and stout. Phylogenetic analysis suggests that C. hikmiya is the sister-species of C. miya. The uncorrected genetic distance between the two species for the mitochondrial cytochrome-b gene fragment is 9.7–10.1%, suggesting species-level divergence.
Crocidura hikmiya is confined to the mid-montane forests and lowland rainforests in the southwestern Sri Lanka, while C. miya is confined to montane forests of the central hills. It is known only from two forest-edge sites in Sinharaja Forest Reserve, at Kudawa and Morningside.
- S. Meegaskumbura & M. Meegaskumbura (2008). Crocidura hikmiya. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved January 31, 2010.
- S. H. Meegaskumbura, M. Meegaskumbura, K. Manamendra-Arachchi, R. Pethiyagoda & C. J. Schneider (2007). "Crocidura hikmiya, a new shrew (Mammalia: Soricomorpha: Soricidae) from Sri Lanka". Zootaxa 1665: 19–30.
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