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Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Echimyidae
Subfamily: Echimyinae
Genus: Santamartamys
Emmons, 2005
Species: S. rufodorsalis
Binomial name
Santamartamys rufodorsalis
(J.A. Allen, 1899)
Santamartamys rufodorsalis distribution.png
  • Diplomys rufodorsalis
  • Isothrix rufodorsalis

The red-crested tree rat, also called the red crested soft-furred spiny-rat or Santa Marta toro (Santamartamys rufodorsalis) is a unique monotypic genus of rodent in the family Echimyidae. Originally described as Isothrix rufodorsalis in 1899, it was placed in the genus Diplomys in 1935. The subfamily Echimyinae (including this species) was reviewed in 2005, and as a result it is now placed in the monotypic genus Santamartamys. It was only known from two specimens collected in 1898 from the Santa Marta Mountains in Colombia until 2011 when one of the elusive red-crested tree rats[2] ambled up to two biologists in the field.[3] It has been suggested as occurring in humid montane forest, but its habitat preference – as well as all of its life history – is completely unknown. The species has been listed as Critically Endangered. It inhabits a relatively small area of the forest and much of this area has been cleared or disturbed.[4] It is largely rufous above, with a hairy black (basal) and white tail.


  • Emmons, L. H. 2005. A Revision of the Genera of Arboreal Echimyidae (Rodentia: Echimyidae, Echimyinae), With Descriptions of Two New Genera. pp. 247–310 in Lacey, E. A. & Myers, P. 2005. Mammalian Diversification: From Chromosomes to Phylogeography (A Celebration of the Career of James L. Patton). University of California Publications in Zoology 133:i-vii+1-383.
  • Woods, C. A. and C. W. Kilpatrick. 2005. Hystricognathi. Pp 1538–1600 in Mammal Species of the World a Taxonomic and Geographic Reference 3rd ed. D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder eds. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington D.C.