Mammalogists from the Kunming Institute of Zoology, CAS have discovered a new shrew species, and revalidated the species status of another one in Yunnan, China. The study is now published in Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society entitled Integrative systematic analyses of the genus Chodsigoa (Mammalia: Eulipotyphla: Soricidae), with descriptions of new species”.
Shrews in the genus Chodsigoaare among the least known mammals in China, and also in the world. To estimate the evolutionary relationships, and re-evaluate the systematics Dr. Zhongzheng Chen and Dr. Kai He and co-workers have examined those specimens deposited in the Kunming Institute of Zoology (KIZ), the Sichuan Academy of Forestry (SAF), the Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University (MCZ) and the American National Museum of Natural History (AMNH), many of which are century-old. The results illustrated that Chodsigoa parca from eastern and western banks of the Mekong River were genetically and morphologically distinct from each other, which supported the existence of a new species. Subsequently, the shrews from the eastern bank of the Mekong River was identified as a new species, and named as Chodsigoa hoffmanni sp. nov., in memory of Dr. Robert Shaw Hoffmann (1929–2010), a Curator of Mammals at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, who worked with Chinese mammalogists and contributed to the science of mammalogy in China. By examining the type specimens deposited in the AMNH as well as comprehensive comparison of all specimens, researchers further confirmed the subspecies C. parca furva should also be recognized as a valid species.
The same research group also described a new species of the hoolock gibbon, Hoolock tianxing sp. nov. and a new species of the Chinese dormouse Typhlomys nanus sp. nov. this year.
The study was supported by the Key Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (KJZD-EW-L07), the Yunnan Applied Basic Research Project (2014FB176) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31301869).