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Mammal records of Orthogeomys, Hoplomys, and Galictis for Honduras.

The principal reference for the mammal fauna of Honduras remains a compilation that was prepared by Goodwin (1942). The primary documentation for Goodwin's report was based on a mammal collection amassed by C. F. Underwood during the period from 1932 to 1938. Goodwin also included accounts for certain species not represented by extant specimens from Honduras and many of these remain undocumented.

We report information for three species of interest based on museum specimens from the collections of Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras (UNAH) and Texas A & M University (TCWC). All measurements are in millimeters (nearest 0.05) and those associated with the toothrow are alveolar; weights are given in grams.

Orthogeomys (Macrogeomys) matagalpae (J. A. Allen, 1910). -- The description of this species of pocket gopher was based on five specimens from "Pena Blanca" and Matagalpa, Departamento de Matagalpa, northern Nicaragua (Allen, 1910). These and one additional skin of a juvenile female from somewhere along the Rio Tuma, Matagalpa, were collected by W. B. Richardson and deposited in American Museum of Natural History. To our knowledge, these are the only specimens representing this species. Goodwin (1942) included the probable occurrence of matagalpae in south-central Honduras without documentation. We assume that Hall (1981) placed O. matagalpae in Honduras based on Goodwin's comment.

Our documentation for O. matagalpae in Honduras is a female specimen (UNAH) that was obtained on 8 June 1987 by D. E. Perez in Santa Maria del Carbon (15[degrees]18'N, 85[degrees]51'W), Departamento de Olancho, which is approximately 235 kilometers north of (the peak) Pena Blanca, Nicaragua. The gopher was killed by a woman while she attended her garden in the village. Santa Maria del Carbon is situated in a transitional zone between the coniferous habitat to the south and the broad-leaf forest of the Caribbean lowlands. This represents the first record of this gopher in Honduras.

Color of the pelage and the position of a white head patch on our specimen match well with those for the Nicaraguan series. External measurements recorded from the label are: total length, 275; tail length, 75; length of hind foot, 38; weight, 293.1. The junction between the basioccipital and basisphenoid is unfused in our young female; selected cranial measurements, compared with those of two females from Matagalpa, are: greatest length of skull, 56.7, ____, ____; zygomatic breadth, 33.7, 35.55, 32.7; width of rostrum, 13.1, 13.35, 12.3; length of nasals, 22.2, 21.3, ____; postorbital constriction, 8.75, 8.8, 8.7; length of upper molar row, 13.3, 14.6, 12.8; length of diastema, 19.1, 21.9, 19.6.

Hoplomys gymnurus J. A. Allen, 1908. -- The thick-spined rat has been reported in eastern Honduras along the Rio Coco (78 km. ENE Danli) and from between 50 and 60 kilometers west of the Rio Coco (40 km. E Catacamas), Departamento de Olancho (Pine and Carter, 1970); 3.8 km. SW Dulce Nombre de Clumi, Olancho (Pitts, 1990); and the Reserva Biosfera de Rio Platano, Gracias a Dios, (Benshoof et al., 1984). These Honduran records represent the northern extreme of the range of H. g. truei.

Allen (1908) described the genus Hoplomys based on one male that was collected by W. B. Richardson from Matagalpa, Nicaragua. Goodwin (1942) did not list either H. gymnurus or another spiny rat, Proechimys semispinosus, as probable residents in Honduras. Two specimens (UNAH) marginally extend the known range of Hoplomys northwestward. An adult male was trapped by B. Myton and R. Rosales on 13 March 1972 along the Rio Wampucito, about 15 km. NW Dulce Nombre de Culmi (15[degrees]55'N, 85[degrees]37'W), Olancho. An adult female was captured by M. Figueroa and J. Varela on 9 April 1974 in the Cerro Capiro, near the Rio Claro (15[degrees]55'N, 85[degrees]42'W), Colon. The following are field measurements for the male and female, respectively: total length, 345, (307); tail length, 165, (72, broken); length of hind foot, 50, 50;length of ear, 23, 21. Selected cranial measurements for the female Hoplomys from Colon is compared with two female specimens (AMNH) from Vijagua, Matagalpa, Nicaragua: greatest length of skull, 60.1; 62.1, ____; zygomatic breadth, 27.0, 28.7, 28.4; postorbital breadth, 13.5, 14.0, 13.3; breadth across braincase, 22.3, 23.6, 22.3; greatest breadth of nasals, 5.8, 6.0, ____; length of upper molar row, 8.5, 9.0, 9.3; breadth across paroccipital processes, 21.4, 20.5, 20.9.

Galictis vittata (Schreber, 1776). -- Central American reports of Galictis concern Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Panama. Ibarra (1959) observed the "huron" in eastern Guatemala from the departments of El Peten and Izabal. Goodwin (1946) and Wilson (1983) identified Galictis in the Costa Rican lowlands of the provinces of Guanacaste, Putarenas, Heredia, and Limon. This mustelid was considered rare in Panama, where it has been documented from the provinces of Colon, Panama, Bocas del Toro, and Darien (Handley, 1966). The Mexican distribution for the grison was summarized by Ramirez-P. et al. (1983) and includes San Luis Potosi, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Yucatan, and Quintana Roo. Although Goodwin (1942) included G. vittata in his Honduran report, there was no specimen documentation. Besides our Honduran specimen of Galictis, we only know of one other from northern Central America. An unsexed skin from an unspecified locality west of Burrell Boom, Belize District, Belize, is in the collection of Mrs. Meg Craig, Belize Audubon Society.

J. V. and D. L. Mankins captured a young adult male on 7 February 1965 at a locality about 7.2 km. S Montecristo (15[degrees]44'N, 86[degrees]55'W), Atlantida. Montecristo is approximately 14.4 kilometers west of La Ceiba. Two Galictis were sighted in the late afternoon (approximately 1600 hours) in an open pasture with few trees and some old snags. The grisons were burrowing in the ground beneath one of these snags. While the first escaped, the second was captured, apparently by hand, while it burrowed deeper. External measurements recorded in the field are: total length, 642; tail length, 140; length of hind foot, 95; length of ear, 22; length of testicle, 22; weight, 2100. The specimen (TCWC) was prepared as a museum skin and skull. Selected cranial measurements are: greatest length of skull, 94.0; condylobasal length, 21.5; breadth across molars, 32.0; breadth across canines, 22.5; breadth across mastoids, 49.2; mandibular length, 58.2; mandibular toothrow, 36.4.

Support for fieldwork by students and faculty was provided by the Departamento de Biologia, Universidad Autonoma Nacional de Honduras. J. V. Mankins was supported in 1965 in Honduras by Public Health Service Research Grant no. AI-03743 and National Science Foundation Grant no. GB-3201. Special thanks are due D. E. Perez for securing the specimen of Orthogeomys. We thank S. Flores (UNAH), D. J. Schmidly and G. D. Baumgardner (TCWC), and M. Craig, Belice, for their assistance during examination of material in their respective collections. McCarthy thanks the Department of Mammalogy (AMNH) for many courtesies while he subsisted in New York. D. A. Schlitter kindly reviewed our manuscript, which was typed by P. Braunauer and C. C.-Gorney.


Allen, J. A. 1908. Mammals from Nicaragua. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 24:647-670.

_____. 1910. Additional mammals from Nicaragua. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 28:87-115.

Benshoof, L., T. L. Yates, and J. W. Froehlich. 1984. Noteworthy records of mammals from eastern Honduras. Southwestern Nat., 29:511-514.

Goodwin, G. G. 1942. Mammals of Honduras. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 87:107-195.

_____. 1946. Mammals of Costa Rica. Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 87:275-474.

Hall, E. R. 1981. The Mammals of North America. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 1:xviii + 1-600 + 90.

Handley, C. O., Jr. 1966. Checklist of the mammals of Panama. Pp. 753-795, in Ectoparasites of Panama (R. L. Wenzel and V. J. Tipton, eds.), Field Mus. Nat. Hist., Chicago, 861 pp.

Ibarra, J. A. 1959. Apuntes de historia natural y mamiferos de Guatemala. Coleccion Escolar 21, Ministerio de Educacion Publica, Guatemala, 201 pp.

Pine, R. H., and D. C. Carter. 1970. Distributional notes on the thick-spined rat (Hoplomys gymnurus) with the first records from Honduras. J. Mamm., 51:804.

Pitts, R. M. 1990. Noteworthy records of three species of rodents from Honduras. Texas J. Sci., 42:415.

Ramirez-P., J., R. Lopez-W., C. Mudespacher-Z, and I. E. Lira. 1983. Lista y bibliografia reciente de los mamiferos de Mexico, Univ. Auton. Metropolitana, Mexico, D. F., 363 pp.

Wilson, D. E. 1983. Checklist of mammals. Pp. 443-447, in Costa Rican Natural History (D. H. Janzen, ed.), Univ. Chicago Press, 816 pp.


Section of Mammals, The Carnegie Museum of Natural History, 5800 Baum Blvd., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15206-3706 (TJM): Departamento de Biologia, Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Honduras, Tegucigalpa, Honduras (BM, GAC); and Department of Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas 77843-2258 (WBD)
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Title Annotation:GENERAL NOTES
Author:McCarthy, Timothy J.; Myton, Becky; Cruz D., Gustavo A.; Davis, William B.
Publication:The Texas Journal of Science
Geographic Code:2HOND
Date:Nov 1, 1991
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