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A New Species of Ctenomys (Rodentia: Ctenomyidae) from Patagonia Related to C. sociabilis

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The genus Ctenomys includes a high number of taxa, with at least ten species from Patagonia and three recently described species for northeastern Chubut Province (Argentina). Ctenomys sociabilis is a social species of the genus Ctenomys and is currently distributed in the surrounding area of Sierra Cuyin Manzano (Neuquén Province), with a recently extinct population that occurred in Laguna Nahuelquir (Cushamen, Chubut Province). Molecular analyses have placed C. sociabilis at the base of Ctenomys clade, as the sister species to all other Ctenomys. Based on a morphological assessment (qualitative and quantitative) and DNA sequencing, we describe a new species of Ctenomys from Esquel, Chubut Province. Phylogenetic analysis shows the new species to be closely related to C. sociabilis, with evidence of solitary behavior. This new species is the first reported to be closely related phylogenetically to Ctenomys sociabilis at the base of the Ctenomys phylogeny. We provide anatomical comparisons between the new species and other species of Ctenomys from Patagonia, especially C. sociabilis.

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The authors specially thank Mr. Guillermo Brook for economic support during the field work, Dr. Soledad Morales for botanical consultation, Dr. Diego Verzi for collaboration in morphological assessment and revising the manuscript, Dr. Estefanía Bagnato for her collaboration with the sperm morphology assessment, and MG Fernanda Valenzuela for her help and always having the time for giving feedback. We especially thank Dr. Mauro Tammone, Dr. Eileen Lacey, and Dr. Juan Pablo Amaya for providing us with records of C. sociabilis vocalizations. We are grateful to the curators and staff of the visited collections: Dr. Diego Verzi, Dr. Itatí Olivares and Nahuel De Santi (MLP), Dr. Sergio Bogan (CFA), Dr. Ulyses Pardiñas and Dr. Mauro Tammone (CENPAT), Dr. Sergio Lucero and Dr. Pablo Teta (MACN), Freddy Mondaca and Dr. Guillermo D´Elía (UACH). We are grateful to two anonymous reviewers for helping us to improve our manuscript. GMM thanks E. Watkins and M. Simeon for economic support. BF thanks M. Dromaz for help in the field.


This work was supported with authors’ personals funds.

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Correspondence to Federico Brook.

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All work with the animals was done with the permission of the Secretaría de Flora y Fauna del Chubut, and following guidelines approved by the American Society of Mammologists (Sikes et al. 2016).

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G. Martin is an associate editor for the journal but was not involved in evaluation of this manuscript.

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Appendix I

Appendix I

List of the specimens analyzed during this study. Names and acronyms of the museums and mammalogy collections from where specimens were analyzed are: Colección Félix de Azara (CFA-MA), Centro Nacional Patagónico (CNP), Laboratorio de Investigación en Evolución y Biodiversidad (LIEB-M), Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” (MACN), Museo de La Plata (MLP), Muséum d'histoire naturelle (MHNG), Museum of Vertebrate Zoology (MVZ). Text in brackets indicates the type of analysis where the specimen was used: L: linear morphometric; G: geometric morphometrics. All specimens listed were used for morphological comparisons.

Ctenomys bidaui: Argentina. Chubut Province: Puerto Pirámides: CFA-MA-11857♀ (L,G), 11865, 11867♂ (L,G).

Ctenomys contrerasi. Argentina. Chubut Province: Biedma, Estancia El Desempeño: CFA-MA-11835, 11848, 11853, 11854, 11855, 11863, 11864♀(L,G); CNP 02♀ (L,G); CFA-MA-11858–11861, 11868♀ (L); Cerro Cóndor, 15 km SE Campo de Pichiñan: CNP-931 (L),1437♀(G); Puerto Madryn, Bahía Craker: CNP-2171–2172(G); Quichaura, Estancia Quichaura: CNP-1043♂(G).

Ctenomys plebiscitum sp. nov. Argentina. Chubut Province: Esquel, Cerro 21: LIEB-M-1725♀ (L,G); Esquel, ruta vieja Esquel-Trevelin: LIEB-M-1683, 1688, 1689, 1690, 1692, 1710, 1743, 1771, 1772♀, LIEB-M-1684, 1685, 1686, 1687, 1691 ♂ (L,G); Esquel-Laguna La Zeta: LIEB-M-001, 003, 1732, 1768♂, LIEB-M-1769, 1770, 1733, 1734♀, LIEB-M-1740, 1741, 1742 (L,G).

Ctenomys haigi: Argentina. Chubut Province. Carhué Niyeu CNP-4566 (L,G); Colan Conué: LIEB-M-1694, 1695, 1696, 1697, 1698, 1699, 1700, 1709; El Maitén: CNP-2353, LIEB-M-1704, 1705, 1707♂, LIEB-M-1703, 1706 ♀(L,G); El Maitén: Laguna Nahuelquir: MHNG-1276.071♀(G); Esquel, Arroyo Malloco: LIEB-M-041, 081, 082, 089, 138, 299, 1661, 1662; Esquel, Colonia Nahuel Pan: LIEB-M-1659, 1660 (L,G)♀; Gualjaina, Arroyo Pescado: LIEB-M-1664–1679 ♀ LIEB-M-1665, 1666, 1667, 1730, 1731♂. LIEB-M-1663, 1672, 1668, 1669, 1670, 1671, 1673 (L); Gualjaina, Cañadón del Loro: LIEB-M-1702 (L); Gualjaina, Costa de Gualjaina: LIEB-M-1701, 1708; Gualjaina, Cueva Watkins: LIEB-M-132, 133, 134, 135, 136, 137, 1682; Paso del Sapo LIEB-M-1674, 1677, 1678♀, 1675–1676♂ (L); Talagapa: CNP-173 (L); Unknown: LIEB-M-1658 (L,G). Argentina. Río Negro Province. Aguada Cecilio: MACN-Ma-28.95 ♀ (L,G); Choele-Choel MACN-Ma-28.102–28.104 ♀ (L,G), MACN-Ma-28.103♂ (L); Comallo: CFA-MA-11336, 11337, 11338, 11343♀ 11335♂-11373, 11376 (L,G); La Paloma: MACN-Ma-23592 ♀ (L,G), Paja Alta:MACN-Ma-28.92, 28.94 ♀, MACN-Ma-28.93♂ (L,G); Pilcaniyeu: CFA-Ma-11342♂ (L,G); San Carlos de Bariloche: CFA-MA-11339, 12441, 12288♂ 11350, 12424, 12287, 12289, 12292, MLP-5.I.49.4 (L,G), MLP-9.II.99.6♂, MLP-5.I.49.5 (L); San Carlos de Bariloche, Estancia San Ramón: CFA-11378♀ (L,G); Unknown: MACN-28.96, 28.137 ♀(L,G), CFA-MA-12425, MACN-Ma-28.135, 19051 (L,G).

Ctenomys sericeus. Argentina. Chubut Province. Cerro Cóndor: CNP-1416 (G); Lago Blanco: LIEB-M-1632, 1633, 1634 (L,G). Chile. General Carrera Province. Chile Chico: UACH-3643, 3645, 3646, 3647, 3648, 3649, 3650, 3652, 3653, 3654, 4434, 4435, 4436, 4437, 4438, 4439(L,G)♀, 5645, 5646♀, 3642, 3644, 3651♂ (L). Coyhaique Province. Coyhaique Alto, Fundo Los Flamencos. UACH-4430, 4431, 4432, 4433♀ (L,G). 4429♂ (L,G).

Ctenomys sociabilis. Argentina. Neuquén Province. Villa La Angostura, Estancia Rincón Grande: CNP-5512, 5513, 4B4C♀ (L,G), SC♀ (L), CNP-5511♂ (L,G), CNP-2354, MNT-089 (L,G); Villa La Angostura, Estancia Fortín Chacabuco: MVZ-165861♀ (G), MACN-Ma-20655♀ (L,G), MNT-120 (G). Argentina. Chubut Province. El Maitén, Laguna Nahuelquir: MACN-Ma-16470, 16471♀ (G), 16472♀ (L) MHNG-1276.068, 1276.069, 1276.70, 1292.067, 1292.068, 1485.022, 1485.029, 1485.033♀, 1276.067 ♂(G).

Ctenomys thalesi. Argentina. Chubut Province. Rawson, Establecimiento La Clara: CFA-11844, 11845, 11846, 11850, 11852, 11862, 11866♀, 11847, 11849♂(L,G).

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Brook, F., Tomasco, I.H., González, B. et al. A New Species of Ctenomys (Rodentia: Ctenomyidae) from Patagonia Related to C. sociabilis. J Mammal Evol 29, 237–258 (2022).

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