Journal of East African Natural History

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First Record Of Myosorex (Mammalia: Soricidae) From Malawi With Description As A New Species, Myosorex gnoskei

JC Kerbis Peterhans, R Hutterer, P Kaliba, L Mazibuko


We describe a new species of Myosorex from Nyika National Park, northern Malawi. Myosorex gnoskei (the Nyika burrowing shrew) represents the first record of the genus from the country. Recently collected between pine plantations and adjacent to the headquarters of a major national park, this new species of shrew highlights the need for further comprehensive sampling of habitats, even those thought to be ‘well-known\' and adjacent to human disturbance. The specimen was taken at an elevation of 2285 m., suggesting a relict montane distribution. In cranial dimensions, this new species of shrew rivals Myosorex kihaulei, and ranks second only to Myosorex schalleri as the smallest described member of the genus. This new record also fills in a major gap in the distribution of the genus in the regions of the Albertine and Malawi Rifts. There are no published records in the region between 3o05\'S (just north of Lake Tanganyika) and 14o30\'S (south of Lake Malawi). This void includes the countries of Angola, Zambia, Malawi, Democratic Republic of Congo (SE), Tanzania (W), and Zimbabwe (N).

Keywords: Myosorex., shrew, new species, Albertine Rift, Malawi Rift

Journal of East African Natural History Vol. 97 (1) 2008: pp. 19-32[19:FROMMS]2.0.CO;2
AJOL African Journals Online