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Smith P 2008 - FAUNA Paraguay

Smith P 2008 - FAUNA Paraguay

Smith P 2008 - FAUNA

Smith P - Metachirus nudicaudatus - FAUNA Paraguay Handbook of the Mammals of Paraguay Number 19 2008 BROWN FOUR-EYED OPOSSUM Metachirus nudicaudatus (E. Geoffroy St-Hilaire, 1803) FIGURE 1 - Adult, Brazil (Nilton Caceres undated). TAXONOMY: Class Mammalia; Subclass Theria; Infraclass Metatheria; Magnorder Ameridelphia; Order Didelphimorphia; Family Didelphidae; Subfamily Didelphinae; Tribe Metachirini (Myers et al 2006). A single species is recognised in this genus, defined by Burmeister in 1854. The generic name is Greek meaning “behind the hand or before the hand”, the specific name nudicaudatus is taken from the Latin meaning "naked tail". Gardner (2007) recognised five subspecies, that present in Paraguay being M.n.modestus O.Thomas (1923). However the species is in need of revision and one or more of the subspecies may in fact be separate species (Gardner 2007). There has been considerable debate as to which generic name should take precedence for this species. Pine (1973) argued that the colour description provided by Tiedemann (1808) in his description of Philander referred to the pouchless Brown Four-eyed Opossum and that Metachirops Matschie 1916 is the correct designation for the "Grey Four-eyed Opossums". This was based on the mistaken belief that Smith P 2008 - BROWN FOUR-EYED OPOSSUM Metachirus nudicaudatus - Mammals of Paraguay Nº 19 Page 1

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