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Mastozoología neotropical

versión impresa ISSN 0327-9383

Mastozool. neotrop. vol.19 no.2 Mendoza jul./dic. 2012



New records of Monodelphis kunsi (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae) from Brazil


Wellington Hannibal1, Valquiria V. Figueiredo2, Paulo Landgref Filho3, and Maurício N. Godoi4

1 Ciencias Biológicas, Universidade Estadual de Goiás, Unidade Universitária de Quirinópolis, Av. Brasil, Q. 03, L. 01, 75860-000, Quirinópolis, Brasil [Correspondence: <wellingtonhannibal@gmail. com>].
2 Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul/CPAQ, Rua Oscar Trindades de Barros, s/n, 79200-000, Aquidauana, Brasil.
3 Rua da Flauta, Bairro Tiradentes, 79040-141, Campo Grande, Brasil.
4 Programa de Pós-Graduação em Ecologia e Conservação , Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul, Campo Grande, MS, Av. Sen. Filinto Müller, 79080-190, Campo Grande, Brasil.

Recibido 2 mayo 2012.
Aceptado 2 agosto 2012.
Editor asociado: UFJ Pardiñas


ABSTRACT: We review the known distribution of Monodelphis kunsi from South America and reported nine new localities of occurrence in Mato Grosso do Sul state, southwestern Brazil. These new records fill the gap on geographic distribution of M. kunsi in southwestern Brazil. The species presents wide geographic range including distinct habitats. The lack of studies in southwestern Brazil and the non-utilization of pitfall traps can be the main factors responsible for the lack of knowledge on distribution of small mammal species to this region.

RESUMO: Novos registros de Monodelphis kunsi (Didelphimorphia, Didelphidae) para o Brasil. Nos revisamos o conhecimento da distribuidlo de Monodelphis kunsi para América do Sul e informamos nove localidades de ocorréncia no Estado de Mato Grosso do Sul, sudoeste do Brasil. Estes novos registros cobrem uma lacuna na distribuição de M. kunsi no sudoeste do Brasil. Os espécimes apresentaram ampla distribuição geográfica incluindo diferentes habitas. A falta de estudos no sudoeste do Brasil e a não utilização de armadilhas pitfall podem ser os principais fatores responsáveis pela falta de conhecimento na distribuição das espécies de pequenos mamíferos para esta regiáo.

Key words. Biogeography; Ecoregions; Pitfall traps; Pygmy short-tailed opossum; South America.

Palabras chave. América do Sul; Biogeografia; Catita; Ecorregióes; Pifall traps.


Monodelphis kunsi Pine, 1975 is a small and terrestrial marsupial with 71-94 mm of body-head, tail with 41-42 mm and approximately 19 g of body mass (Pine, 1975; Anderson, 1982). Dorsal pelage is brown and ventral pelage is uniform cream. Tail is partly prehensile although short, is covered by diminutive hair, being bicolored, brown above and pale below. This specie does not have pouch (Anderson, 1982; Rossi and Bianconi, 2011).
The first records of M. kunsi in South America are from northern and southern Bolivia (Pine, 1975; Anderson, 1982) and Central Brazil (Mares et al., 1989). In the last decade several studies have contributed to the knowledge on distribution of this marsupial, with new records from Brazil (Carvalho et al., 2002), Bolivia (Vargas et al., 2003), Argentina (Jayat and Miotti, 2005) and Paraguay (de la Sancha et al., 2007).
Recently, Gettinger et al. (2011) revised the distribution of M. kunsi in South America extending the known species range 430 km northward, into the eastern edge of Amazonian region, in the state of Para. Therefore, M. kunsi is distributed into eastern, southern and western Bolivia, eastern Paraguay, northern Argentina and Brazil, at central and eastern edge Amazonia (de la Sancha et al., 2007; Gettinger et al., 2011).
Despite recent studies, the distribution of M. kunsi through southwestern Brazil is still poorly known (Godoi et al., 2010), as evidenced by the gap existing in the distribution of this species (Gettinger et al., 2011). The aim of this study is to contribute to the knowledge on the distribution of M. kunsi for southwestern Brazil and revise the actual known distribution of this species in South America.
The state of Mato Grosso do Sul is located in southwestern Brazil, a region that represents a great gap on the occurrence of small mammal species (Vieira and Palma, 2005). This region is occupied especially by three biomes, Cerrado (60% of the state), Pantanal (25%) and Atlantic Forest (15%) (IBGE, 2004).
The results presented here were collected between 2009-2011 in nine localities distributed in three biomes, in municipalities of Angélica, Chapadao do Sul, Corumbá, Maracaju, Nova Alvorada do Sul, Nova Andradina, Ponta Pora, Rio Brilhante and Sonora. We used sherman traps, wire traps and pitfall traps for capturing small mammals. Sixty traps (30 wire and 30 Sherman traps) were used by locality during three consecutive nights in four field expeditions, totaling 6480 trap-nights. Additionally, in each locality we used four sample units composed by four buckets of 60 or 108 l arranged in transects or "Y". Each sample unit was sampled by three consecutive nights during four field expeditions, totaling 1728 bucket-nights. For revision of the known distribution of M. kunsi in South America, we include data based in previous studies (Appendix).
Monodelphis kunsi (Fig. 1) was captured in nine localities in Mato Grosso do Sul state, southwestern Brazil, in areas of Atlantic Forest, Cerrado and Pantanal. We captured 22 individuals as result of a long work of monitoring in fragments of Mato Grosso do Sul state. The individuals captured were marked and release in the same localities of capture. The unique specimen collected was deposited at the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul zoological collection under the number ZUFMS-MA 10001.

Fig. 1.
Pygmy short-tailed opossum Monodelphis kunsi captured at Sonora municipality, Mato Grosso do Sul, Brazil.

Monodelphis kunsi occurs in 10 ecoregions in South America, according classification of Olson et al. (2001), including open areas and different types of forests. The northern limit in its distribution is the eastern edge of Amazonian Forest in Para state, Brazil (ecoregion of Xingu/Tocantins-Araguaia moist forest). The southern limit seems to be the Reserva da Biosfera del Bosque Mbaracayu, Canindeyu, Paraguay (ecoregion of Parana/ Paraiba interior forest), western limit in the Iturral de PNAAMI Alto Madidi, La Paz, Bolivia (ecoregion Southwestern Amazonian moist forest) and eastern limit in the Reserva de Jacob, Nova Ponte, Minas Gerais, Brazil (Cerrado) (Fig. 2).

Fig. 2.
Recording localities of Monodelphis kunsi superimposed to ecoregions according Olson et al. (2001). For the reference numbers see Appendix.

Monodelphis kunsi has a wide geographical distribution in South America. The data presented here indicates that M. kunsi is also widely distributrded the species in three different biomes (Atlantic Forest, Cerrado and Pantanal) presents in Mato Grossed in southwestern Brazil, covering a gap in its geographical distribution (Gettinger et al., 2011). We recoo do Sul state, in different types of forests (semi-deciduous forests, alluvial forests and gallery forests) and even in cultivated forests (e.g. sansao-do-campo Mimosa caesalpineafolia).
In few studies M. kunsi was captured by Sherman traps (Jayat and Miotti, 2005; de la Sancha et al., 2007). In this study all individuals were captured exclusively by Pitfall traps, as demonstrated by other authors (Vargas et al., 2003; Godoi et al., 2010; Caceres et al., 2011; Gettinger et al., 2011) reinforcing the importance of this kind of traps to species sample.
Eight species groups have been consistently distinguished in the genera Monodelphis; among them, M. kunsi is a monotypic and complex group. The geographic range includes southern Bolivia, northern Paraguay, and eastern Argentina, which, when combined with verified records from northern Bolivia and central Brazil, makes it rather biogeographi-cally complex (Solari, 2010).
The lack of studies in southwestern Brazil and the non-utilization of Pitfall traps for small mammals sampling can be the main factors responsible by the absence of knowledge on distribution of different small mammal species in this region of Brazil.

Acknowledgements. We thank Dimitrius A. C. Cavalcante, Fernando I. Martins, Camila Aoki and Nicolay L. Cunha for field assistance, Elias R. Cunha of Laboratorio de Geoprocessamento at the Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso do Sul for map assistance and two anonymous referees for the helpful assistance in its final version.


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Recording localities of Monodelphis kunsi:
1. Bolivia, Beni, Itenez, La Granja, west margin R. Itinamas, 13°18' S, 64°09' W, Pine (1975); 2. Bolivia, Tarija Rio Lipeo, 22°41' S, 64°26' W, Anderson (1982); 3. Brazil, Distrito Federal, Brasilia, 20 km S, 15°58' S, 47°55' W, Mares et al. (1989); 4. Bolivia, Tarija, Tapecua, 21°26' S, 63°55' W, Salazar et al. (1994); 5. Brazil, Goiás, Serra do Mesa, 55 km N Niquelandia, 14°28' S, 48°27' W, Carvalho et al. (2002); 6. Brazil, Goiás, Serra do Mesa, 20 km NW Colinas do Sul, 14°09' S, 48°04' W, Carvalho et al. (2002); 7. Brazil, Goiás, Serra do Mesa, 49 km SW Minacu, 13°31' S, 48°13' W, Carvalho et al. (2002); 8. Bolivia, La Paz, Iturralde, PNAAMI Alto Madidi, 13°20' S, 68°47' W, Vargas et al. (2003); 9. Bolivia, Santa Cruz, Parque Nacional Noel Kempff Mercado, 14°39' S, 60°53' W, Vargas et al. (2003); 10. Argentina, Salta, Gral. Jose de San Martín, Finca Fálcon, 28°18' S, 63°58' W, Jayat and Miotti (2005); 11. Paraguay, Presidente Hayes, Cruce de los Pioneros, 22°40' S, 59°46' W, de la Sancha et al. (2007); 12. Paraguay, Canindeyú, Reserva de Biosfera del Bosque Mbaracayú, 24°11' S, 55°16' W, de la Sancha et al. (2007); 13. Brazil, Acre, Alto Acre, 09°58' S, 67°48' W, Pine and Handley (2008); 14. Brazil, Mato Grosso do Sul, Macico do Urucum, 19°12.332'S, 57°34.573' W, Godoi et al. (2010); 15. Brazil, Pará, Serra dos Carajás, 06°03'04" S, 50°12'24" W, Gettinger et al. (2011); 16. Brazil, Pará, Serra dos Carajás, 06°03'06" S, 50°11'49" W, Gettinger et al. (2011); 17. Brazil, Pará, Serra dos Carajás, 06°02'55" S, 50°15'35" W, Gettinger et al. (2011); 18. Brazil, Mato Grosso do Sul, Sonora municipality, 17°26'46" S, 54°45'20" W, this paper; 19. Brazil, Mato Grosso do Sul, Chapadao do Sul municipality, 18°49'07" S, 52°51'22" W, this paper; 20. Brazil, Mato Grosso do Sul, Macico do Urucum, Corumbá municipality, 19°32'28" S, 57°40'50" W, this paper; 21. Brazil, Mato Grosso do Sul, Serra de Maracaju, Maracaju municipality, 21°47'12" S, 55°34'55" W, this report; 22. Brazil, Mato Grosso do Sul, Nova Alvorada do Sul municipality, 21°35'56" S, 54°15'24" W, this paper; 23. Brazil, Mato Grosso do Sul, Nova Andradina municipality, 22°00'11" S, 53°27'08" W, this paper; 24. Brazil, Mato Grosso do Sul, Ponta Pora municipality, 22°15'05" S, 55°07'52" W, this paper; 25. Brazil, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rio Brilhante municipality, 21°43'10" S, 54°29'56" W, this paper; 26. Brazil, Mato Grosso do Sul, córrego Engano, Angélica municipality, 22°04'23" S, 53°50'07" W, this paper.

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