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Apomys banahao

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Apomys banahao

Heaney, et al. 2011. Fieldiana Life and Earth Sciences, 2: 28. Type Locality: Mt. Banahaw, Barangay Lalo, Quezon Province, Luzon Island, Philippines, elevation 1465 m (14.06635d N, 121.50855d E)

© The Field Museum. Photograph by L Heaney and A Niedzielski.

 

Order: RODENTIA

Family: Muridae

English common names: Banahaw apomys, banahao forest mouse

 

Identification:

Total length: 250-287 mm; tail: 111-133 mm; hind foot: 33-37 mm; ear: 22-24 mm; weight: 71-92 g. Apomys banahao is one of the smaller species of the subgenus Megapomys with a distinctly bicolored tail (nearly white ventrally) that averages 86-103% of head and body length. The species has moderately long, dense, dark brown fur with rusty tints dorsally. Ventral fur is dark gray at its base and white washed with pale ashy-gray at the tips.

Apomys banahao is, on average, smaller than A. magnus (which occurs below it in elevation) in almost all measurements—a comparison of head and body length and tail length will identify most individuals. Apomys banahao has dorsal fur that is longer, softer and less rusty-colored than A. magnus. Apomys banahao is similar to the closely-related  A. brownorum but has paler and shorter fur, an ashy gray wash on its ventral fur and a relatively shorter tail.

 

Distribution:

Known only from Mt. Banahaw, Quezon Province, Luzon Island (FMNH, PNM; Heaney et al., 2011). 

© The Field Museum

 

Habitat and Ecology:

Currently documented from 1465 m to 1750 m in mossy forest, and they probably also occur higher. They forage on the ground at night, feeding on earthworms and other invertebrates and probably on some seeds. They are the most abundant species in their habitat.  Occurs syntopically at the middle elevation (ca. 1465 m on Mt. Banahaw) with Apomys magnus.

© The Field Museum. Illustration by V Simeonovski.

 

Status:

Abundant and stable within Mt. Banahaw-San Cristobal National Park.

 

Comments

Apomys banahao may also live on the adjacent mountain, Mt. San Cristobal, and should be sought there. It is unlikely to occur in other areas because these mountains—Mt Banahaw and Mt. San Cristobal—are isolated in a broad, low elevation area.  It is most closely related to Apomys brownorum (Heaney et al., 2011).