Journal of East African Natural History

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The taxonomic status of giant sengis (genus Rhynchocyon) in Mozambique.

PGR Coals, GB Rathbun


The sengis (elephant-shrews) of Mozambique are poorly known, especially the taxonomic status of the giant sengis, genus Rhynchocyon. Currently, Rhynchocyon from Mozambique are thought to be chequered sengis, R. cirnei with specimens from the central coastal areas being placed in the subspecies R. c. cirnei, while the subspecific status of those from north-eastern areas has not been determined. To resolve this taxonomic ambiguity, we collected voucher specimens from north-eastern Mozambique. Based on a comparison of pelage patterns and colouration, features that are currently used to distinguish taxa in the genus Rhynchocyon, specimens from all of coastal Mozambique show minor variation, but are similar enough to indicate that they all are referable to R. c. cirnei.

Keywords: Macroscelidea, Rhynchocyon, taxonomy, Mozambique, giant sengis
AJOL African Journals Online