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Apomys minganensis

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Apomys minganensis

Heaney, et al. 2011. Fieldiana Life and Earth Sciences, 2: 30. Type Locality: 1.5 km S, 0.5 km W Mingan peak, Dingalan Municipality, Aurora Province, Luzon Island, Philippines, elevation 1681 m (15.46802d N, 121.40039d E)

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

 

Order: RODENTIA

Family: Muridae

English common names: Mingan apomys, mingan forest mouse

 

Identification:

Total length: 246-279 mm; tail: 116-138 mm; hind foot: 31-35 mm; ear: 18-19 mm; weight: 66-92 g. Apomys minganensis is a fairly small species within the subgenus Megapomys, with a tail, on average, 94% (87-101%) of head and body length. Its dorsal fur is dark brown with rusty-orange tips on the hairs, over a dark gray underfur; its ventral fur is dark gray at the base with paler tips that typically have an ochraceous wash. The tail is dark brown dorsally; it is mostly white ventrally, with some dark hairs and pigment in the scales.  Nearly all individuals have a small white tip on the tail. The dorsal surface of the forefeet and hind feet is dark brown.

Apomys minganensis overlaps with A. aurorae in some areas; it has darker fur ventrally than A. aurorae—dark gray at the base rather than medium to pale gray and an ochraceous wash on its tips rather than white or nearly white with a pale ochraceous wash. Apomys minganensis has hind feet that are dorsally dark brown, rather than white with scatted dark hairs, and that are usually shorter and broader than those of A. aurorae. The tail of A. minganensis has a tiny white tip on the tail in over 95% of individuals whereas A. aurorae has such a tip less than 3% of the time.  Apomys minganensis has longer, denser dorsal fur that is dark brown rather than the rusty reddish-brown of A. sierrae, which is closely related and occurs nearby.  The ventral fur on A. sierrae is medium to pale gray at the base and white or white with an ochraceous wash at the tips. Apomys sierrae also does not have a white tip on the tail, and has hind feet with white fur with scattered dark hairs on the dorsal surface, rather than dark brown.  Apomys minganensis overlaps with A. musculus, but the latter is much smaller, has a proportionately longer tail, and lives above ground.

 

Distribution:

Known only from the Mingan Mountains, Aurora Province, Luzon Island (FMNH, PNM; Balete et al., 2011; Heaney et al., 2011). 

© The Field Museum

 

Habitat and Ecology:

Currently documented from 1540 m to 1785 m on the Mingan Moutains. On the elevational survey of the Mingan Moutains, Apomys minganensis was the most abundant non-volant mammal species at all four sites where it was captured—1540 m, 1677 m, 1681 m, and 1785 m. The survey areas where the species was captured were transitional montane/mossy forest and old-growth mossy forest. Apomys minganensis  forages for earthworms and other soft invertebrates on the ground surface during the night. This species occurs sympatrically with A. aurorae from ca. 1540 m to 1677 m (Balete et al., 2011; Heaney et al., 2011). 

© The Field Museum. Illustration by V Simeonovski.

 

Status:

Abundant in the Mingan Moutains above 1500 m, where no current threats are apparent.  

 

Comments

Surveys of high elevations in the Dingalan Mountains and of the peaks in the southern Sierra Madre range in Rizal and Quezon provinces would be valuable to determine whether this species is present there as well.