Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A new species of ferret-badger discovered in Vietnam

New species in Vietnam
November 2011. In March 2005, a living ferret-badger of an unknown ferret-badger was confiscated by rangers from Cuc Phuong National Park, Vietnam. This individual died and the carcass was not preserved. In January 2006, a newly deceased individual with the same characteristics was found at the Endangered Primate Rescue Center, Cuc Phuong National Park. It was noted that due to several different characteristics these individuals varied greatly from the current species.

This ferret-badger has been described as a new species, Melogale cucphuongensis from northern Vietnam, which occurs in simlar areas with M. moschata and M. personata, but differs from both species clearly in skull morphology and other features.

DNA tests

Based on a 423 bp-long fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene, M. cucphuongensis sp. nov. is a member of the genus Melogale and represents a sister lineage to M. personata and M. moschata.
Ferret-badgers, genus Melogale, are distributed across the Indochinese region, Java, Bali and NE-Borneo. There are currently four species described.

The paper was published in the biological journal Der Zoologische Garten


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