Apomys magnus

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Apomys magnus

Heaney, et al. 2011. Fieldiana Life and Earth Sciences, 2: 42. Type Locality: Mt. Banahaw, Hasa-an, Barangay Lalo, Tayabas Municipality, Quezon Province, Luzon Island, Philippines, elevation 1250 m (14d 3’44”N, 121d 31’8”E)

© The Field Museum. Photograph by L Heaney and A Niedzielski.

 

Order: RODENTIA

Family: Muridae

English common names: Lowland Banahaw apomys, lowland Banahaw forest mouse

 

Identification:

Total length: 272-305 mm; tail: 133-154 mm; hind foot: 37-41 mm; ear: 21-23 mm; weight: 92-128 g. Apomys magnus is the largest species of Megapomys, with a tail length typically 96-99% of head and body length. The tail is unpigmented ventrally and dark brown dorsally. Apomys magnus has dorsal fur that is of a moderate length and colored dark brown with dark tips; its ventral fur is medium gray at the base and white at the tips. Its hind foot is the longest of any Megapomys and is broad relative to its length; the dorsal surface of the hind foot has fur that is white or pale cream.

Apomys banahao, which overlaps with A. magnus at ca. 1465 m, has longer, softer fur; it is also smaller in virtually respects, has a proportionately shorter tail, and has black hairs on the dorsal surface of the hind feet (rather than white).

Apomys sierrae tends to be smaller, with little overlap in most measurements. It has dorsal fur that is dark brown with rusty reddish tones and ventral fur that is dark gray at the base and pale gray at the tip with an ochraceous wash.  Apomys magnus is much larger in all measurements than A. aurorae, with little overlap. Apomys aurorae has dorsal fur that is not as dark and has a yellow tint absent in A. magnus. Apomys magnus also has distinct dark tips on its dorsal fur, a characteristic absent in A. aurorae.  Apomys zambalensis has shorter dorsal fur that has a brighter, rusty orange color with barely evident black tips. Ventrally, the fur on A. zambalensis has a paler gray color at the base while tips are white with an ochraceous wash.

 

Distribution:

Known only from Mt. Banahaw, Quezon Province, Luzon Island (Heaney et al., 2011). 

© The Field Museum

 

Habitat and Ecology:

Currently documented from 765 to 1465 m, in lowland and montane rainforest. Apomys banahao for the most part occurs at higher elevations than A. magnus on Mt. Banahaw, although sympatry occurs at ca. 1465 m (Heaney et al., 2011).  They are active at night, feeding on earthworms, other invertebrates, and probably seeds on the forest floor.

© The Field Museum. Illustration by V Simeonovski.

 

Status:

Common in old-growth and regenerating lowland and lower montane forest on Mt. Banahaw, within Mt. Banahaw-San Cristobal National Park and adjacent mixed forest-agricultural areas.  

 

Comments

Apomys magnus is likely to be found on Mt. San Cristobal in a similar elevational range as on Mt. Banahaw.  We predict the species will not be found in other areas but surveys of peaks in the vicinity—in Batangas, Cavite, Laguna, and southern Quezon provinces)—should be conducted.