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A previous study showed that Dromiciops gliroides has deep phylogeographic structure, with 3 allopatric and highly differentiated groups. Here, we constructed on that study by assessing the morphologic variation of D. Our results show that along its distribution Dromiciops is morphologically highly variable and that the geographic pattern of morphologic variation matches the phylogeographic pattern.
Taken together, morphological and molecular data indicate the existence of 2 unrecognized and unnamed species of monito del monte, which are here named and described.
Cranial and dental features can easily distinguish species of Dromiciops. One of the new species is endemic of Chile, and the other new species occurs in Argentina and Chile.
We comment on the conservation significance of our findings and on the need of continuing with field- and collection-based research in order to characterize the richness of the Chilean mammal assemblage. Nuestros resultados indican que D. Dromiciops Thomas, is the sole living genus of the order Microbiotheria Ameghino, and as such is easily distinguished from other living South American marsupials Reig ; Hershkovitz In fact, within the living South American mammal fauna, Dromiciops constitutes a highly divergent lineage; it is more closely related to living Australian marsupials than to the other living New World marsupials Szalay ; Kirsch et al.
Dromiciops occurs in the temperate Valdivian forest of southern Chile and adjacent areas in Argentina Patterson and Rogers ; Martin ; Gurovich et al. It has been treated as monotypic, with Dromiciops gliroides Thomas, as the single recognized species Patterson and Rogers During most of the 20th century, this species was referred as Dromiciops australis Philippi, , with 2 subspecies recognized e.