A new species of blind mouse was found in Mts. Jiaozi and Dawei inYunnanProvince, China, named Typhlomys nanus. In a survey in 2008, three samples of blind mice from Mt. Jiaozi and one sample from Mt. Dawei were collected by scientists from the Lab of Mammal Ecology and Evolution lead by Xuelong JIANG at Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS. These four samples are proved to be a new species record for the world through the phylogenetic and morphometric analyses. The new species is smaller in size and with the creamy white hair on the cheek comparing with other valid species in this genus. The research result was published online in Journal of Mammalogy, on March 17, 2017 titled as “Phylogeny and systematic revision of the genus Typhlomys (Rodentia, Platacanthomyidae) , with description of a new species”.
The blind tree mouse, Typhlomys, is an ancient taxon in the family Platacanthomyidae. The result based on 27 samples from Yunnan, Fujian and Chongqing, significantly supported the hypothesis from Abramov et al. (2014) that the species diversity of Typhlomys was strongly underestimated. This research also elevated the subspecies, Typhlomys cinereus daloushanensis to a full species, named T. daloushanensis, a putative new species from Mts. Dawei and Laojun, for which we lack adequate morphological specimens. Interestingly, a frameshift mutation within the IRBP gene in T. chapensis were detected, which is the first molecular evidence for the degradation of vision.
This study was supported by the National Nature Science Foundation of China (31272276), Yunnan Applied Basic Research Projects (2014FB176) and the fund of State Key Laboratory of Genetic Resources and Evolution, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (GREKF15-08).