MARTIN Gabriel Mario
Variability and variation in Dromiciops Thomas, 1894 (Marsupialia, Microbiotheria, Microbiotheriidae)
MARTIN, GABRIEL M
JOURNAL OF MAMMALOGY
ALLIANCE COMMUNICATIONS GROUP DIVISION ALLEN PRESS
The genus Dromiciops Thomas is the only living representative of the order Microbiotheria. Throughout the history of the taxon, it was considered to comprise a continental and an insular form (D. australis and D. gliroides), a single species (D. gliroides), or, as recently described, 3 different species (D. bozinovici, D. mondaca, and D. gliroides). I analyzed the morphometric and morphologic variability (differences in morphological characters within a sample or species) and variation (differences in morphological characters among samples or species) in Dromiciops. Comparisons to test for secondary sexual dimorphism were made within and between continental and insular samples for localities with the largest samples available. Due to the lack of sexual dimorphism, males and females were analyzed together to test for: 1) differences between continental and insular samples; 2) differences between the arrangement of recently described species using a larger series of available specimens; and 3) clinal variation. Results support Dromiciops as composed of 1 valid species (D. gliroides), without clinal variation. Based on the samples I examined, several characters previously used as diagnostic for the 3 species previously recognized (e.g., incisive and palatal fenestrae, mandibular height) vary intraspecifically and are not valid as diagnostic.