Sunday, January 22, 2017

[Primatology • 2016] Cheirogaleus shethi • A New Species of Dwarf Lemur (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus medius Group) from the Ankarana and Andrafiamena-Andavakoera Massifs, Madagascar

Ankarana or Sheth’s Dwarf Lemur  |  Cheirogaleus shethi 

Frasier, Lei, McLain, Taylor, Bailey, Ginter, Nash,
Randriamampionona, Groves, Mittermeier & Louis, 2016


A new species of dwarf lemur, Cheirogaleus shethi sp. nov., of the C. medius group is described from the dry and transitional forests of northern Madagascar. This species can be found along the forest corridor from Ankarana Special Reserve east to the Analamerana Special Reserve down to the Bekaraoka forest in the Loky-Manambato Protected Area. This species is genetically distinct from other members of the C. medius species group and is sister to a poorly known lineage in Sambava. The identification of this new species highlights the importance of northern Madagascar as a reservoir of biodiversity.

Key Words: Dwarf lemurs, primate, Strepsirrhini, taxonomy

Figure 5. Illustration of Cheirogaleus shethi (Stephen D. Nash © Conservation International) and
photographs of KAR15.1 taken at Ankarana Special Reserve (photos by Richard Randriamampionona). 

Cheirogaleus shethi

Formerly Cheirogaleus sp. nov. 4, also CCS6 (Lei et al. 2014);
 in part C. sp. Bekaraoka Sambava (Thiele et al. 2013).

Distribution: Known from northern Madagascar, from Ankarana east to Bekaraoka in dry and transitional forests. Found in the Ankarana Special Reserve, Andrafiamena-Andavakoera Protected Area, Analamerana Special Reserve, and Loky-Manambato Protected Area. 

Etymology: This new species is named after Brian Sheth, the Chair of the Board of the NGO Global Wildlife Conservation. Brian is deeply committed to biodiversity conservation worldwide, and is a leading philanthropist for species and ecosystem conservation. He has supported many projects in Madagascar, including research and the establishment and management of nature reserves. His passion and drive to help save the diversity of life on our planet has been an inspiration to all around him. 

Vernacular names: Ankarana or Sheth’s Dwarf Lemur.

Figure 4. Map of Madagascar with the ranges of Cheirogaleus sp. nov. 4 and closely related Cheirogaleus species highlighted to show the geographic distance between lineages. Identification numbers on the map correspond to ID numbers of animals listed in Table 1. Photographs of C. andysabini and C. sp. nov. 4 are provided to show a clear difference in pelage and the distance between the ranges of the two lineages from different species groups. 

Cynthia L. Frasier, Runhua Lei, Adam T. McLain, Justin M. Taylor, Carolyn A. Bailey, Azure L. Ginter, Stephen D. Nash, Richard Randriamampionona, Colin P. Groves, Russell A. Mittermeier and Edward E. Louis Jr. 2016. A New Species of Dwarf Lemur (Cheirogaleidae: Cheirogaleus medius Group) from the Ankarana and Andrafiamena-Andavakoera Massifs, Madagascar.   Primate Conservation. (30); 59–72.   

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