Didelphis aurita Wied-Neuwied, 1826

Voss, Robert S., 2022, An Annotated Checklist Of Recent Opossums (Mammalia: Didelphidae), Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 2022 (455), pp. 1-77 : 34-35

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https://doi.org/ 10.1206/0003-0090.455.1.1

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Didelphis aurita Wied-Neuwied, 1826


Didelphis aurita Wied-Neuwied, 1826 View in CoL

TYPE MATERIAL AND TYPE LOCALITY: AMNH 836 View Materials , the lectotype (designated by Avila-Pires, 1965), consists of the skin and skull of an adult male collected at “Villa Viçosa” (= Nova Viçosa: 17.88° S, 39.37° W; near sea level) on the Rio Peruipe , Bahia state, Brazil GoogleMaps .

SYNONYMS: azarae Temminck, 1824 (see Remarks); koseritzi Ihering, 1892; longipilis Miranda-Ribeiro, 1935; melanoidis MirandaRibeira, 1935.

DISTRIBUTION: Didelphis aurita is said to occur in the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil (from Paraíba to Rio Grande do Sul), and from contiguous humid-subtropical habitats in eastern Paraguay and northeastern Argentina (Misiones) (Cerqueira and Tribe, 2008: map 7).

REMARKS: The validity of Didelphis aurita as a species distinct from D. marsupialis is not well established. Although phylogenetic analyses have recovered mtDNA sequences from black-eared opossums collected in the Atlantic Forest on the one hand and Amazonia on the other as reciprocally monophyletic haplogroups, pairwise distances between Amazonian and Atlantic Forest sequences are unimpressive (e.g., 2.9% K2P-corrected, on average; Patton et al., 2000), and no sequences of black-eared opossums from geographically intermediate biomes (e.g., the Cerrado) have yet been analyzed. Additionally, no qualitative morphological character seems to distinguish these nominal taxa, and statistically significant morphometric differences reported by Cerqueira and Lemos (2000) seem to be artifacts of very large sample sizes (df ≥ 450 in all the twosample ANOVAs performed by those authors). In the key provided by Cerqueira and Tribe (2008), D. aurita and D. marsupialis are only distinguished geographically.

As explained by Cerqueira and Tribe (2008), Didelphis azarae Temminck, 1824 , is an older name based on one or more specimens of blackeared opossums that were probably collected in the Atlantic Forest, but D. azarae was previously used for the white-eared species currently known as D. albiventris Lund, 1840 . In the interest of stability, usage of Wied’s name should be maintained, at least so long as the black-eared opossums of the Atlantic Forest are judged to be taxonomically distinct from D. marsupialis .













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