Tuesday, June 17, 2014

[Mammalogy • 2014] Waiomys mamasae | Sulawesi Water Rat • Convergent Evolution of Aquatic Foraging in A New Genus and Species (Rodentia: Muridae) from Sulawesi Island, Indonesia

FIGURE 4. Type specimen of Waiomys mamasae (NMV C37027/MZB 37000) in the field prior to preparation showing (a) specimen in live pose, (b) distal third of tail, (c) right plantar surface.
 Photographs by Kevin C. Rowe. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.3815.4.5

The island of Sulawesi, in Indonesia, lies at the crossroads of the Indo-Australian Archipelago and has remained isolated from the Asian (Sunda) and Australian (Sahul) continental shelves for at least the last 10 million years. Of the 50 native species of rodents on Sulawesi, all are endemic and represent the evolution of a variety of ecological and morphological forms within the Muridae and Sciuridae. Carnivorous rodents have evolved, perhaps independently, in Muridae from the Philippines, Sulawesi, and Sahul, but semi-aquatic murids are only known from Sahul. Here we describe a new genus and species of insectivorous water rat from Sulawesi. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that it is related to the shrew rats of Sulawesi and represents an origin of aquatic carnivory that is independent from the evolution of water rats on Sahul. Many 
areas of Sulawesi have not been surveyed systematically and current lists of mammal species are likely to dramatically underestimate actual diversity.
Key words: Indo-Pacific, Mammalia, molecular phylogeny, molecular systematics, Murinae, shrew rats, taxonomy, water rats

Waiomys new genus
Type species. Waiomys mamasae, the new species described below.

Etymology. The generic name combines the Mamasa Toraja (Gordon 2005) word ‘wai’ (water; pronounced ‘why’) with the Greek ‘mys’ (mouse) in reference to the semi-aquatic lifestyle of the animal and in recognition of the local Mamasan people who call the animal ‘water rat’ in their language, Mamasa Toraja.

Type locality. Mount Gandangdewata, Rantepangko, Mamasa, Sulawesi Barat, Indonesia (Figure 1).
Distribution. Waiomys is known only from the type locality in lower montane rainforest of the Quarles Range of the western Sulawesi highlands.

Diagnosis. mamasae is the only known species in the genus Waiomys. Thus, generic and specific diagnoses are the same.

Etymology. The specific epiphet mamasae refers to the type locality, which is near the town of Mamasa. The local people who collected the type specimen and who had existing knowledge of the species, self-identify as Mamasan. Thus, the epithet also recognizes their knowledge and contribution to the scientific discovery of the species.

Rowe, Kevin C., Anang S. Achmadi & Jacob A. Esselstyn. 2014. Convergent Evolution of Aquatic Foraging in A New Genus and Species (Rodentia: Muridae) from Sulawesi Island, Indonesia. Zootaxa. 3815(4): 541–564. DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11646/zootaxa.3815.4.5