Mexican volcano mouse

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Mexican volcano mouse
Temporal range: Pleistocene – Recent
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Neotominae
Tribe: Reithrodontomyini
Genus: Neotomodon
Merriam, 1898
Species: N. alstoni
Binomial name
Neotomodon alstoni
Merriam, 1898

The Mexican volcano mouse (Neotomodon alstoni) is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae endemic to high elevation areas of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

Merriam originally described the Mexican volcano mouse as one of three species in the genus Neotomodon; N. alstoni was moved to the deer mouse genus Peromyscus in 1979, then subsequently moved back to Neotomodon.[2] Merriam does not state after whom the species is named in his original description for the genus (and species).[3] Despite the current taxonomy, a recent phylogeny based on cytochrome-b sequences shows Peromyscus to be polyphyletic, and the authors of that paper suggest Neotomodon (and several other monotypic genera) be transferred to Peromyscus.[4]

Characteristics[edit]

With relatively large eyes and ears, bi-colored body and tail (dark dorsally and white ventrally), and a tail slightly shorter than the body length, the Mexican volcano mouse appears very similar to a deer mouse, but it is diagnosed by several skull characters including the number and extent of palatal ridges and molar characteristics.[4]

Life events[edit]

Mexican volcano mouse breeding is thought to occur between June and September, with two to three litters per year of 3.3 young per litter.[4] The mouse exhibits bi-parental care in captivity, which suggests a monogamous mating system.[5] Little is known about other life history characteristics of the species, for example, sex ratio, age at first breeding, etc.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T. & Castro-Arellano, I. (2008). Neotomodon alstoni. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2.
  2. ^ Williams, S. L., J. Ramirez-Pulido, and R. J. Baker (1985). "Mammalian Species: Peromyscus alstoni" 242. pp. 1–6. 
  3. ^ Merriam C. H. (1898). "A new genus (Neotomodon) and three new species of murine rodents from the mountains of southern Mexico". Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington 12: 127–129. 
  4. ^ a b c Bradley, Robert D., Nevin D. Durish, Duke S. Rogers, Jacqueline R. Miller, Mark D. Engstrom, and C. William Kilpatrick (2007). "Toward a Molecular Phylogeny for Peromyscus: Evidence from Mitochondrial Cytochrome-b Sequences". Journal of Mammalogy 88 (5): 1146–1159. doi:10.1644/06-MAMM-A-342R.1. PMC 2778318. PMID 19924266. 
  5. ^ Luis, J., A. Carmona, J. Delgado, F. A Cervantes, and R. Cardenas. (2000). "Parental behavior of the volcano mouse, Neotomodon alstoni (Rodentia: Muridae), in captivity". Journal of Mammalogy 81 (2): 600. doi:10.1644/1545-1542(2000)081<0600:PBOTVM>2.0.CO;2. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Musser, G. G. and M. D. Carleton. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. pp. 894–1531 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore.