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Title: Comments on the Taxonomy and Geographic Distribution of Some North American Marsupials, Insectivores and Carnivores
Author: Hall, E. Raymond (Eugene Raymond), 1902-1986, Kelson, Keith R.
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Comments on the Taxonomy and Geographic Distribution of Some North American Marsupials, Insectivores and Carnivores" ***

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Comments on
the Taxonomy and Geographic Distribution
of Some North American Marsupials, Insectivores
and Carnivores



University of Kansas Publications
Museum of Natural History
Volume 5, No. 25, pp. 319-341
December 5, 1952



Editors: E. Raymond Hall, Chairman, A. Byron Leonard, Edward H. Taylor,
Robert W. Wilson

Volume 5, No. 25, pp. 319-341
December 5, 1952

Lawrence, Kansas


Transcriber's Note: Words and phrases printed in bold are marked
with ~; i.e., ~This is bold.~

Comments on the Taxonomy and Geographic Distribution of Some North
American Marsupials, Insectivores and Carnivores



In preparing maps showing the geographic distribution of North American
mammals we have found in the literature conflicting statements and
questionable identifications, which have led us to examine the
specimens concerned with results as set forth below. Our studies have
been aided by a contract (NR 161-791) between the Office of Naval
Research, Department of the Navy, and the University of Kansas.
Grateful acknowledgment is made to the persons in charge of the several
collections of mammals consulted for permission to examine and study
the specimens therein.

~Didelphis marsupialis californica~ Bennett

From Cuernavaca, Morelos, Hooper (Jour. Mamm., 28:43, February 1, 1947)
lists a specimen, as he says, on purely geographic grounds, as of the
subspecies _Didelphis mesamericana tabascensis_. We have examined this
specimen, an unsexed skull-only, which falls within the range of
individual variation of _Didelphis marsupialis californica_ and refer
the specimen to that subspecies.

~Didelphis marsupialis etensis~ J. A. Allen

From El Muñeco, Costa Rica, Harris (Occas. Papers, Mus. Zool. Univ.
Michigan, no. 476:7, October 8, 1943) lists as _Didelphis richmondi_ a
specimen ([Male], No. 67550 U.M.). Our examination of the specimen
shows it to be within the range of individual variation of populations
that have been referred to _D. m. etensis_ from adjoining areas. We
identify the specimen as _Didelphis marsupialis etensis_.

~Didelphis marsupialis tabascensis~ J. A. Allen

From Minatitlán, Veracruz, J. A. Allen (Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist.,
14:168, June 15) listed a specimen under the name _Didelphis
marsupialis_ [in the trinomial sense] instead of under the name
_Didelphis marsupialis tabascensis_, which would be expected, on
geographic grounds, to apply. The specimen is No. 78123, U.S. Nat.
Mus., Biol. Surv. Coll. Our examination of the specimen reveals that it
is within the range of individual variation of _Didelphis marsupialis
tabascensis_ and we identify the specimen as of that subspecies. From
Yaruca, Honduras, Bangs (Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool., 39:157, July, 1903)
doubtfully listed as _Didelphis yucatanensis_ a specimen, No. 10611,
M.C.Z. Our examination of the specimen indicates that it is within the
range of variation expectable in _Didelphis marsupialis tabascensis_,
known from surrounding areas, and we identify the specimen as
_Didelphis marsupialis tabascensis_.

~Didelphis marsupialis virginiana~ Kerr

J. A. Allen (Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 14:166, May 28, 1901) and A.
H. Howell (N. Amer. Fauna, 45:20, October 28, 1921) have identified
four skulls from Sylacuga, Alabama, as _Didelphis virginiana pigra_.
The two subspecies _virginiana_ and _pigra_ are not known to differ
cranially. We have, however, examined the skulls which are Nos.
44057-44060 in the U.S. Nat. Mus., Biol. Surv. Coll. Because they are
from a place north of other localities (Auburn and Greensboro, Alabama)
from which the subspecies _virginiana_ has been recorded, and within
the geographic range of _virginiana_, we identify the specimens as
_Didelphis marsupialis virginiana_.

Sycamore Creek (synonymous with Fort Worth), Texas, is a place from
which J. A. Allen (_op. cit._:173) recorded a specimen as _Didelphis
marsupialis texensis_. This specimen (No. 24359/31765 U. S. Nat. Mus.,
Biol. Surv. Coll.) is in the black color-phase. There are only a few
white hairs on the hind feet, and the basal fourth of the tail is
black. The black phase occurs all through the range of the species _D.
marsupialis_ and our examination of the specimen reveals no characters
by which it can be distinguished from _D. m. virginiana_ of the
surrounding region and we accordingly identify the specimen as
_Didelphis marsupialis virginiana_.

~Didelphis marsupialis pigra~ Bangs

Davis (Jour. Mamm., 25:375, December 12, 1944) was one writer who
presented evidence that _Didelphis virginiana_ (through its subspecies
_virginiana_ or _pigra_ or both) was only subspecifically distinct from
the species _Didelphis mesembrinus_ (= _D. marsupialis_) through the
subspecies _texensis_. Davis, however, did not actually employ a name
combination that would enforce his conclusion and he remarked that he
had not seen specimens which showed actual intergradation in the color
of the toes. As the remarks below will show, Davis (_loc. cit._) was
correct in his supposition that J. A. Allen had seen such specimens.

Deming Station, Matagordo, and Velasco, Texas, are three places from
which J. A. Allen (Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 14:162, May 28, 1901)
listed specimens as _Didelphis virginiana_. The specimens concerned are
in the Biological Surveys Collection of the U.S. Nat. Museum and bear
catalogue numbers as follows: Deming Station, 32430/44266, 32432/44268,
32433/44269; Matagordo, 32431/44267; Velasco, 32812/44833. In each
specimen the tail is shorter than the head and body. The specimen from
Velasco is semi-black, has the basal tenth of the tail black and there
is no white on the ears or tail. The specimen from Matagordo is
grayish, has the basal fifth of the tail black, ears black, the right
hind foot black, but there is some white on the toes of the left hind
foot and on each of the forefeet. Of the three specimens from Deming
Station, all are in the gray color-phase. The first has the tail black
only as far from the base as there is hair and there is considerable
whitish on the hind toes. The second specimen has the basal fifth of
the tail black and a slight amount of whitish on the hind toes. The
third specimen has the basal third of the tail black and the toes are
all black. In the sum total of their characters the specimens mentioned
above are referable to _Didelphis marsupialis pigra_. These five
specimens, and indeed the three from Deming Station alone, show
intergradation in coloration of the feet between _Didelphis marsupialis
texensis_ and _Didelphis virginiana pigra_. Probably there is three-way
intergradation here at Deming Station in that _D. v. virginiana_
immediately to the north is involved. The specimens mentioned above,
along with the information recorded by Davis (_loc. cit._) and other
authors (for example, J. A. Allen, _loc. cit._, and Bull. Amer. Mus.
Nat. Hist., 16:249-279, August 18, 1902), give basis for arranging the
North American _Didelphis_ as follows:

    _Didelphis marsupialis virginiana_ Kerr.

        1792. _Didelphis virginiana_ Kerr, Animal Kingdom, p. 193, type
        locality Virginia.

    _Didelphis marsupialis pigra_ Bangs.

        1898. _Didelphis virginiana pigra_ Bangs, Proc. Boston Soc.
        Nat. Hist., 28:172, March, type from Oak Lodge, opposite Micco,
        Brevard Co., Florida.

    _Didelphis marsupialis texensis_ J. A. Allen.

        1901. _Didelphis marsupialis texensis_ J. A. Allen, Bull. Amer.
        Mus. Nat. Hist., 14:172, June 15, type from Brownsville,
        Cameron County, Texas.

    _Didelphis marsupialis californica_ Bennett.

        1833. _Didelphis Californica_ Bennett, Proc. Zool. Soc. London,
        p. 40, May 17, type probably from northwestern part of present
        Republic of Mexico.

        1924. _Didelphis mesamericana mesamericana_, Miller. Bull. U.S.
        Nat. Mus., 128:3, April 29, 1924, and authors. Type locality,
        northern Mexico. (_Did[elphys]. mesamericana_ Oken, Lehrbuch d.
        naturgesch., pt. 3, vol. 2, p. 1152, 1816, along with other
        names from Oken 1816, is judged to be unavailable under current
        rules of zoological nomenclature.)

    _Didelphis marsupialis tabascensis_ J. A. Allen.

        1901. _Didelphis marsupialis tabascensis_ J. A. Allen, Bull.
        Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 14:173, June 15, type from Teapa,

    _Didelphis marsupialis yucatanensis_ J. A. Allen.

        1901. _Didelphis yucatanensis_ J. A. Allen, Bull. Amer. Mus.
        Nat. Hist., 14:178, June 15, type from Chichenitza, Yucatán.

    _Didelphis marsupialis cozumelae_ Merriam.

        1901. _Didelphis yucatanensis cozumelae_ Merriam, Proc. Biol.
        Soc. Washington, 14:101, July 19, type from Cozumel Island,

    _Didelphis marsupialis richmondi_ J. A. Allen.

        1901. _Didelphis richmondi_ J. A. Allen, Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat.
        Hist., 14:175, June 15, type from Greytown, Nicaragua.

        1920. _D[idelphis], m[arsupialis], richmondi_, Goldman,
        Smithsonian Misc. Coll., 69(5):46, April 24.

    _Didelphis marsupialis etensis_ J. A. Allen.

        1902. _Didelphis marsupialis etensis_ J. A. Allen, Bull. Amer.
        Mus. Nat. Hist., 16:262, August 18, type from Eten, Piura,

    _Didelphis marsupialis battyi_ Thomas.

        1902. _Didelphis marsupialis battyi_ Thomas, Novitates
        Zoologicae, 9:137, April 10, type from Coiba Island, Panamá.

    _Didelphis marsupialis particeps_ Goldman.

        1917. _Didelphis marsupialis particeps_ Goldman, Proc. Biol.
        Soc. Washington, 30:107, May 23, type from San Miguel Island,

    _Didelphis marsupialis insularis_ J. A. Allen.

        1902. _Didelphis marsupialis insularis_ J. A. Allen, Bull.
        Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 16:259, August 18, type from Caparo,

In listing the subspecific names given immediately above we are aware
of the possibility that a thorough study of the geographic variation in
_Didelphis marsupialis_ may contract or expand the list of recognizable
subspecies. We are aware also that Hershkovitz (Fieldiana: Zoology, 31
(No. 47):548, July 10, 1951) has arranged several of the subspecific
names listed immediately above as synonyms of _Didelphis marsupialis
californica_ Bennett. We have not employed his arrangement because he
has not given proof that the currently recognized subspecies are

~Caluromys derbianus canus~ (Matschie)

Matschie (Sitzungsberichte der Gesellschaft Naturforschender Freunde zu
Berlin, Jahrgang 1917, p. 284 (for April), September, 1917) applied the
name _Micoureus canus_ to a specimen on which the locality was no more
precise than Nicaragua. Comparison of Matschie's description with
specimens in the United States National Museum (including the holotype
of _Philander centralis_ Hollister and referred specimens of _Philander
laniger pallidus_ Thomas) reveals that Matschie's specimen was
intermediate in coloration between the other two kinds of woolly
opossums named above and that there is nothing distinctive, in the
specific sense, in the cranial measurements which Matschie published
(_op. cit._). _M. canus_, therefore, may be merely an intergrade
between the two previously named woolly opossums (_C. d. centralis_ and
_C. d. pallidus_), an individual variant of a previously named kind,
say, _C. d. pallidus_, or a valid subspecies. If it is a recognizable
subspecies, it probably comes from somewhere in the eastern half of
Nicaragua. As a means of handling the name, _Micoureus canus_ Matschie,
we tentatively place it as a subspecies of the species _Caluromys
derbianus_. The name may, therefore, stand as _Caluromys derbianus
canus_ (Matschie), with type locality in Guatemala.

~Caluromys derbianus fervidus~ (Thomas)

Elliott (Field Columb. Mus. Nat. Hist., Publ. No. 115, Zool. Ser., 8:5,
1907) lists as _Caluromys laniger pallidus_ a specimen from Honduras
that was acquired for the Field Columbian Museum (= Chicago Natural
History Museum) by purchase from Ward's Natural Science Establishment
of Rochester, New York. On August 4, 1951, in the Chicago Natural
History Museum, we found in the catalogue of the collection of Recent
mammals an entry for a male _Caluromys_ bearing catalogue number 6 and
listed as from "San Pedro Sula [Honduras]. From Wards. Mounted". In the
collection of study specimens there is no specimen from Honduras that
was purchased from Ward's, mounted or unmounted. In the sealed,
glass-fronted, exhibit cases of mammals on display there is one, and
only one, _Caluromys_. It is presumed to be specimen No. 6. This
specimen is not _C. d. pallidus_ because it is too dark. It could be
_Caluromys derbianus fervidus_ and we tentatively refer it to that

~Caluromys derbianus pallidus~ (Thomas)

From Puntarenas, Costa Rica, Harris (Occas. Papers Mus. Zool. Univ.
Michigan, 476:7, October 8, 1943) listed as _Caluromys laniger
centralis_ a female, skull and skin, No. 62702 in the Museum of Zoology
of the University of Michigan. We have examined this specimen, the
color of which is darker than in some other specimens of _C. d. pallidus_
but lighter than that of specimens of _C. d. centralis_ (for example,
specimens from Turrialba, Costa Rica) and on basis of color we refer No.
62702 to _Caluromys derbianus pallidus_.

~Scalopus aquaticus aereus~ (Bangs)

Bangs' (Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 10:138, December 28, 1896) name
_S. a. aereus_ was based on a single specimen that shows more than an
average amount of coppery color. Jackson (N. Amer. Fauna, 38:52,
September 30, 1915) and subsequent authors accord full specific rank to
the specimen under the name _Scalopus aereus_. Blair (Amer. Midland
Nat., 22:98, July, 1939) recorded, from the type locality of _Scalopus
aereus_, normally colored individuals of _Scalopus aquaticus pulcher_
Jackson. Previously, Scheffer (Kansas State Agric. College, Exp. Bull.,
168:4, August 1, 1910) reported that in his examination of 100
individuals of _Scalops_ [= _Scalopus_] _aquaticus_ from Manhattan,
Kansas, there were two individuals "that were suffused all over with
rich golden brown." Because our examination of the type specimen of
_Scalops texanus aereus_ Bangs reveals no features additional to
coppery color that differentiate _aereus_ from other individuals of
_Scalopus aquaticus pulcher_ Jackson (Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington,
27:19, February 2, 1914) we conclude that Jackson's name and Bangs'
name (_Scalops texanus aereus_) apply to the same subspecies. Bangs'
name has priority and the correct name, therefore, for the populations
of moles that in recent years have been designated as _Scalopus aereus_
Bangs and _Scalopus aquaticus pulcher_ Jackson will be _Scalopus
aquaticus aereus_ (Bangs). This name combination was previously used by
Miller (U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull., 79:8, December 31, 1912).

~Scalopus aquaticus australis~ (Chapman)

Quay (Jour. Mamm., 30:66, February 14, 1949) recorded _Scalopus
aquaticus_ from Springhill Plantation, 10 miles south-southwest of
Thomasville, Georgia. He stated that the specimens were intermediate
between the subspecies _S. a. australis_ and _S. a. howelli_, but did
not refer the specimens to either subspecies. The locality whence the
material was obtained is approximately half way between the geographic
ranges, as previously known, of _S. a. australis_ and _S. a. howelli_
(see Jackson, N. Amer. Fauna, 38, September 30, 1915).

The specimens recorded by Quay probably are two females in the
Cleveland Museum of Natural History bearing Catalogue Nos. 18136 and
18262 and labeled as from Springhill Plantation, Thomas County,
Georgia. We have examined these specimens and find that they resemble
_S. a. howelli_ in narrowness across the upper tooth-rows, but that
they resemble _S. a. australis_ in length of tail (22, 24), in
shortness of maxillary tooth-row (9.5, 9.5), and in convex dorsal
outline of the skull. Accordingly, we refer the specimens to _Scalopus
aquaticus australis_.

~Sorex cinereus cinereus~ Kerr

In his revision of the American long-tailed shrews, Jackson (N. Amer.
Fauna, 51, vi + 238, 13 pls., 24 figs., July 24, 1928) referred
specimens of _Sorex cinereus_ from Tyonek, Cook Inlet, Alaska, to the
subspecies _S. c. cinereus_ (_op. cit._: 46) and one specimen from
Chester Creek, Anchorage, Alaska, to the subspecies _S. c. hollisteri_
(_op. cit._: 56). Thus, the geographic ranges of the two subspecies
would seem to overlap around the northern shores of Cook Inlet. In an
attempt to resolve this seemingly anomalous distribution, we have
examined pertinent materials in the Biological Surveys Collection, U.S.
National Museum. We agree with Jackson (_op. cit._) that the series of
specimens from Tyonek is readily referable to _S. c. cinereus_. To our
eye, however, the specimen, No. 232691, from Anchorage is referable to
_Sorex cinereus cinereus_, rather than to _S. c. hollisteri_. The
reference is made on the basis of the darker color, especially of the
underparts. In this specimen, other characters that distinguish the two
mentioned subspecies are not apparent, probably because it is
relatively young; the teeth show only slight wear.

~Sorex trowbridgii humboldtensis~ Jackson

In his account of the long-tailed shrews, Jackson (N. Amer. Fauna,
51:98, July 24, 1928) listed under specimens examined of _Sorex
trowbridgii montereyensis_ four specimens from 7 mi. N Hardy, Mendocino
Co., California. Under his account of the subspecies _S. t. humboldtensis_,
however, he (_op. cit._:97) mentions that specimens (seemingly the same
four) from 7 mi. N Hardy "have shorter tails than typical representatives
of _humboldtensis_, but in color and cranial characters they are similar
to this [_humboltensis_] subspecies." We conclude, therefore, that the
specimens mentioned were inadvertently listed as _S. t. montereyensis_
and are _Sorex trowbridgii humboldtensis_. This conclusion is supported
by the fact that the locality concerned, 7 mi. N Hardy, is within the
geographic range assigned to _S. t. humboldtensis_ by Jackson (_op.
cit._:97); his southern records of occurrence of _S. t. humboldtensis_
are Sherwood and Mendocino, both in Mendocino County, California. Our
conclusion is further supported by Grinnell's (Univ. California Publ.
Zool., 40(2):80, September 26, 1933) statement of the range of _S. t.
montereyensis_ as "from southern Mendocino County south...."

~Blarina brevicauda churchi~ Bole and Moulthrop

Kellogg (Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., 86:253, February 14, 1939) tentatively
referred specimens of the short-tailed shrew from the mountainous parts
of eastern Tennessee to the subspecies _Blarina brevicauda talpoides_,
with the remark that they were unlike specimens of that subspecies
obtained in eastern and southern West Virginia. Subsequently, Bole and
Moulthrop (Sci. Publ. Cleveland Mus. Nat. Hist., 5:109, September 11,
1942) named the subspecies _Blarina brevicauda churchi_ with type
locality at Roan Mountain, North Carolina. We have examined the
specimens in the U.S. National Museum recorded by Kellogg (_loc. cit._)
from the following localities: Shady Valley, 2900 ft. (Catalogue No.
267182); Holston Mtn., 4 mi. NE Shady Valley, 3800 ft. (Nos.
267176-267178, 267180, and 267181); Holston Mtn., 3 mi. NE Shady
Valley, 3000 ft. (No. 267179); Roan Mtn., (Nos. 267469-267475); Mt.
Guyot, 6300 ft. (No. 267183); 4-1/2 mi. SE Cosby, 3300 and 3400 ft.
(Nos. 267184 and 267185); and Snake Den Mtn., 3800 ft. (No. 267186).
Among named kinds of _Blarina brevicauda_, we find these specimens to
resemble most closely _Blarina brevicauda churchi_ and so refer them.
They are readily distinguishable from specimens of _B. b. kirtlandi_,
that occurs farther north in the same mountain range, by larger size
and longer tail. Incidentally, in the specimens that we have examined,
we do not find that _B. b. churchi_ is darker colored than other
subspecies of _Blarina brevicauda_; _B. b. churchi_, to us, is
indistinguishable in color from _B. b. kirtlandi_. Bole and Moulthrop
(_op. cit._) thought that _B. b. churchi_ was notably darker than other
subspecies from adjoining areas.

~Blarina brevicauda carolinensis~ (Bachman)

Blair (Amer. Midland Nat., 22(1):99, July, 1939) referred specimens of
the short-tailed shrew from the Arbuckle Mountain area of Oklahoma to
_Blarina brevicauda hulophaga_ and specimens from Mohawk Park, Tulsa
County, Oklahoma, to _B. b. carolinensis_. Later Bole and Moulthrop
(Sci. Publs. Cleveland Mus. Nat. Hist., 5:108, September 11, 1942) saw
two of the specimens from Mohawk Park and assigned them to _B. b.
hulophaga_. According to the most recent published account, therefore,
_B. b. hulophaga_ would seem to have a peculiarly discontinuous
geographic range. We have examined the material seen by Blair and by
Bole and Moulthrop (Nos. 75946, 75947, 75643, Mus. Zool. Univ.
Michigan) in an attempt to form our own judgment as to their
subspecific identity. The teeth of No. 75946 are well worn, whereas the
teeth of the other two are scarcely worn. We are unable to distinguish
No. 75946 from topotypes of _B. b. carolinensis_ by size, color, or
cranial features. The two younger specimens are smaller and paler, but
do not agree with the description of _B. b. hulophaga_. The
nearly-complete narrow, white girdle of No. 75947 is clearly an
individual variation. We assign the animals to _Blarina brevicauda
carolinensis_ (Bachman) as did Blair (_loc. cit._).

~Blarina brevicauda minima~ Lowery

Bailey (N. Amer. Fauna, 25:207, October 24, 1905) identified as
_Blarina brevicauda carolinensis_ one specimen from Joaquin and two
specimens from Big Thicket, 8 mi. NE Sour Lake, both localities in
eastern Texas. Strecker and Williams (Jour. Mamm., 10:259, August 10,
1929) later recorded the specimens again under the same name. The
subsequent naming of _B. b. plumbea_ from Aransas National Wildlife
Refuge, Aransas County, Texas (Davis, Jour. Mamm., 22(3):317, August
14, 1941) and _B. b. minima_ from Louisiana (Lowery, Occas. Papers Mus.
Zool., Louisiana St. Univ., 13:218, November 22, 1943) leaves the
identity of the specimens from eastern Texas in doubt. We have examined
the following specimens in the Biological Surveys Collection, U.S.
National Museum: No. 117372, from Joaquin; No. 136407, from 7 mi. NE
Sour Lake; and No. 136788, from 8 mi. NE Sour Lake. We judge these to
be the specimens referred to by Bailey (_loc. cit._). We find that they
are indistinguishable from specimens of _Blarina brevicauda minima_ and
they seem to differ from _B. b. plumbea_ in being chestnut rather than
plumbeous in color and in lacking the highly-arched posterior border of
the palate. They are easily distinguished from _B. b. carolinensis_ by
their chestnut, rather than slaty-black, color and small size. They are
distinguishable from _B. b. hulophaga_, to which they might conceivably
be referred on geographic grounds, by their color and small size. We
refer them to _Blarina brevicauda minima_ Lowery.

~Spilogale angustifrons angustifrons~ A. H. Howell

In his "Revision of the skunks of the genus Spilogale" (N. Amer. Fauna,
26, November 24, 1906) A. H. Howell identified certain specimens in the
United States National Museum as follows:

    _Spilogale leucoparia_, [Male] sad. 55585 from Tulancingo, Hidalgo
    (_op. cit._:21).

    _Spilogale gracilis_, [Male] sad. 88154 from San Sebastian in
    Jalisco, [Male] ad. 79017 from Lagos in Jalisco, [Male] ad. 47177
    from Pátzcuaro in Michoacán (_op. cit._:23).

    _Spilogale ambigua_, [Male] ad. 35667/20437 from Barranca Ibarra in
    Jalisco, [Male] yg. 120101 from Ocotlán in Jalisco (_op. cit._:25).

Hall and Villa (Univ. Kansas Publ., Mus. Nat. Hist, 1:448, December
27, 1949) inferred that No. 47177 from Pátzcuaro was instead referable
to _Spilogale angustifrons angustifrons_. Our examination of No. 47177
and of each of the other specimens mentioned by catalogue number
immediately above leads us to conclude that they all are of one
species, and that, among named kinds of _Spilogale_, they should be
referred to the subspecies _Spilogale angustifrons angustifrons_

Our examination of all of the specimens that Howell (_op. cit_.)
identified as _Spilogale [angustifrons] angustifrons_ reveals that
none of the specimens from the type locality had attained full adult
stature; the holotype is a subadult and the other specimens from the
type locality are even younger. The small size of these specimens from
the type locality seems to have misled Howell into thinking that they
were taxonomically distinct from the larger specimens--those from
Jalisco, Michoacán and Hidalgo--that he identified as other kinds.

~Spilogale gracilis gracilis~ Merriam

In the genus _Spilogale_ four specific names, concerning the status of
which we have been uncertain, are listed below in the order of their
appearance in the literature.

    1890. _Spilogale gracilis_ Merriam, N. Amer. Fauna, 3:83,
    September 11, type from bottom of canyon, Grand Canyon, Arizona.

    1890. _Spilogale leucoparia_ Merriam, N. Amer. Fauna, 4:11,
    October 8, type from Mason, Mason County, Texas.

    1891. _Spilogale phenax arizonae_ Mearns, Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat.
    Hist., 3:256, June 5, type from near Fort Verde, Yavapai County,

    1897. _Spilogale ambigua_ Mearns, Preliminary diagnoses of new
    mammals ... from the Mexican boundary line, p. 3, January 12
    [reprinted in Proc. U.S. Nat. Mus., 20:460, December 24, 1897],
    type from summit of Eagle Cliff Mtn., 2 mi. S of Monument No. 5 of
    Emory's Survey which, according to Miller (U.S. Nat. Mus. Bull.,
    128:134, April 29, 1924), is "Eagle Mountain, Chihuahua, Mexico,
    about four miles south of Dona Ana County, New Mexico."

In 1906 (N. Amer. Fauna, 26:1-55, 10 pls., November 24) A. H. Howell's
"Revision of the skunks of the genus Spilogale" was published and the
four names listed above were retained by him as applying to four
species (not subspecies). His map (_op. cit._, pl. 1) showing the
geographic distribution of the four kinds looks reasonable enough at
first inspection and does not indicate any overlapping of the
geographic ranges of the species in question, but if a map be made by
plotting the localities of occurrence recorded by Howell (_op. cit._),
for specimens examined by him, a notably different geographic
distribution is shown. For one thing the geographic ranges of
_gracilis_, _leucoparia_, _arizonae_ and _ambigua_ coincide over a
considerable part of Arizona. Also, specimens collected in recent
years from Arizona and adjoining areas do not readily fit into the
"species" recognized by Howell; some specimens are structurally
intermediate between two or more of these species and other specimens
combine the diagnostic characters ascribed to two or more of the
alleged species. For these and other reasons a re-appraisal of the
application of the names mentioned above long has been indicated.

Before re-appraising the names it is pertinent to recall that Howell's
paper in 1906 on _Spilogale_ was only the second revisionary paper
that he prepared. It was prepared by a man who at that time lacked
much taxonomic experience, and who held to a morphotype concept.
Howell worked under the guidance, in the literal sense, of Dr. C. Hart
Merriam. The concept of species and subspecies held by Merriam
fortunately was recorded by him (Jour. Mamm., 1:6-9, November 28,
1919). Merriam's reliance on degree of difference and his disregard of
intergradation were naturally (and necessarily, we think, in Howell's
work in 1906) adopted by Howell. For example, of six specimens from
Point Reyes in west-central California, a place less than ten miles
from the type locality of _Spilogale phenax phenax_, Howell (_op.
cit._:33) assigned one specimen to the subspecies _Spilogale phenax
latifrons_! _S. p. latifrons_ occurs in Oregon and in northern
California--no nearer than 200 miles to Point Reyes. Howell's
assignment of this specimen to _S. p. latifrons_ was not a _lapsus_,
as persons with the modern (geographic) concept of a subspecies would
be likely to suppose. Howell's assignment of the one specimen to _S.
p. latifrons_ and the other five specimens to _S. p. phenax_ was
intentional, as he told one of us (Hall). He explained that he relied
upon the morphological characters of the individual animal instead of
upon the morphological characters of a population of animals. To him,
therefore, there was nothing inconsistent in his procedure in 1906.
Also, variation that was the result of difference in age and variation
that was the result of individual deviation were not understood, or at
least not taken into account, by Howell in 1906, nor by Merriam in
1890. For example, Merriam selected the most extensively white
specimen available to him for the holotype of _Spilogale leucoparia_.
He, and Howell in 1906, used the extensiveness of the white areas of
that particular specimen (see fig. 3, pl. 2, N. Amer. Fauna, 26, 1906)
as a character diagnostic of the "species" _S. leucoparia_ although
each of the authors had available two other specimens of _S.
leucoparia_ from the type locality, and all of the other referred
specimens in the United States National Museum, that were less
extensively white than the holotype. The _individual specimen_ was the
primary basis for the species or subspecies and one selected specimen
alone often was used in making comparisons between a given named kind
and some other species or subspecies. Also, be it remembered, degree
of difference, and not presence or absence of intergradation, was the
basis on which subspecific _versus_ specific rank was accorded to a
named kind of animal. Howell wrote on the labels of some specimens of
_Spilogale_ "not typical" when the individuals differed from the type
specimen in features that owe their existence to individual variation,
and he wrote the same words on the labels of other specimens that had
not yet developed mastoidal crests because the animals were not yet

Anyone who examines the specimens that Howell used will do well to
bear in mind the circumstances noted above concerning Howell's paper
of 1906; otherwise the reasons for Howell's identifications of certain
specimens can not be understood.

We have examined and compared the holotypes, and other specimens used
by Howell. While doing so we have borne in mind the degree of
individual variation well shown by each of several series of specimens
(for example, that in six adult males, from the Animas Mountains of
New Mexico, recorded by V. Bailey, N. Amer. Fauna, 53:339, 1932) and
age variation (for example, that shown in specimens of _S. interrupta_
from Douglas County, Kansas). The degree of each of these kinds of
variation, although considerable, is not extraordinary. That is to
say, the variations are of approximately the same degree as we
previously have ascertained to exist in _Mephitis mephitis_ and in
_Mustela frenata_, two species that are in the same family,
Mustelidae, as _Spilogale_. As a result of our comparisons, we
conclude, first that the four names mentioned at the beginning of this
account all pertain to one species, and second that the three names
_S. gracilis_, _S. p. arizonae_ and _S. ambigua_, and probably also
_S. leucoparia_, were based on individual variations in one
subspecies. _S. gracilis_ has priority and will apply; the other names
are properly to be arranged as synonyms of it, as follows:

    1890. _Spilogale gracilis_ Merriam, N. Amer. Fauna, 3:83,
    September 11.

    1890. _Spilogale leucoparia_ Merriam, N. Amer. Fauna, 4:11,
    October 8.

    1891. _Spilogale phenax arizonae_ Mearns, Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat.
    Hist., 3:256, June 5.

    1897. _Spilogale ambigua_ Mearns, Preliminary diagnoses of new
    mammals ... from the Mexican boundary line, p. 3, January 12.

Some information in support of the above arrangement, along with some
other observations on _Spilogale_, are as follows: The type specimen
of _Spilogale gracilis_ bears on the original skin-label in the
handwriting of Vernon Bailey, the collector, the statement that the
tail was imperfect. The recorded measurements of 400 for total length
and 142 for length of tail, therefore, are presumed to be subject to
correction. This presumption and the further circumstance that other
specimens from Arizona and New Mexico are as large as specimens of
comparable age and sex that we have examined from Nevada and Utah of
_Spilogale gracilis saxatilis_ Merriam, indicate that _S. g.
saxatilis_ differs less from the allegedly smaller _S. g. gracilis_
than was previously thought. Nevertheless, from north to south (for
example, from northern Nevada to southern Arizona) there is an
increase in extent of white areas at the expense of black areas of the
pelage. As a result, the lateralmost white stripe in _S. g. saxatilis_
averages narrower (and often is wanting) than in _S. g. gracilis_. The
absence, or narrowness, of the lateralmost white stripe seems to be
the principal basis for recognizing _S. g. saxatilis_, just as the
tendency to narrow rostrum in Coloradan specimens seems to be the
principal basis for recognizing _Spilogale gracilis tenuis_ A. H.
Howell. Both _S. g. saxatilis_ and _S. g. tenuis_ are "poorly"
differentiated from _S. g. gracilis_ and from each other.

The holotype of _Spilogale ambigua_ Mearns is slightly smaller than
other adult males of comparable age, and the braincase, relative to
its width, is slightly deeper than in the average adult male. These
variations, nevertheless, are within the range of individual
variation, as also are those characterizing the holotype of _Spilogale
phenax arizonae_ Mearns. The latter specimen is an adult male, with
much inflated mastoidal bullae, nearly straight dorsal profile on the
skull, relatively shallow braincase, and only slightly worn teeth.

The holotype of _Spilogale leucoparia_ Merriam, as pointed out above,
is an extreme example of the extensiveness of the white areas of the
pelage at the expense of the black areas. This feature occurs more
often in the southwestern desert areas of the United States than it
does farther north. In addition to the extensiveness of the white
markings, the other two characters allegedly distinctive of _S.
leucoparia_ are broad and much flattened braincase and great degree of
inflation of the mastoidal bullae. Although these three mentioned
features do distinguish _S. leucoparia_ from _S. indianola_ to the
eastward, they seem not to set _S. leucoparia_ apart from _S.
gracilis_ to the westward. For example, in Arizona some specimens are
extensively white and some others have the braincase flattened and the
mastoidal bullae much inflated. V. Bailey (N. Amer. Fauna, 53:339,
1932) refers to a specimen ([Male], No. 147252 USBS) from the head of
the Rio Mimbres in New Mexico in which, as our comparisons show, the
inflation of the mastoidal bullae exceeds that of any Texan specimen
of _S. leucoparia_, the holotype included. Also, at the type locality
of _S. leucoparia_, subadult male No. 188467 USNM and adult male No.
188468 USNM are narrower across the mastoidal region than is the
holotype. In summary and review, specimens from the eastern part of
the range heretofore ascribed to _S. leucoparia_ nearly all have much
inflated mastoidal bullae whereas less than half of the specimens of
_Spilogale_ from western New Mexico and Arizona have these bullae as
greatly inflated; but, in No. 147252 from the head of the Rio Mimbres
of New Mexico the inflation of the bullae is more extreme than in any
specimen that we know of that has been referred to _S. leucoparia_.

If intergradation occurs between _Spilogale gracilis gracilis_ and
_Spilogale indianola_ and between one or both of these kinds on the
one hand and _Spilogale interrupta_ on the other hand, central Texas
would be a logical place to collect intergrades. We suppose that such
intergradation will be found to occur and that eventually _Spilogale
putorius_ will be the specific name to apply to all of the Recent
subspecies of spotted skunks. Until proof of such intergradation is
forthcoming we employ current nomenclature.

~Spilogale gracilis microdon~ A. H. Howell

A. H. Howell (N. Amer. Fauna, 26:31, November 24, 1906) listed as
_Spilogale arizonae martirensis_ one specimen ([Female] sad.-yg.,
145886 USBS) from Comondú, which is the type locality of _S.
microdon_. Our examination of [Female] No. 145886 convinces us that it
is referable to _S. microdon_.

Examination of the materials used by Howell (_op. cit._) reveals that
there is an increase in size of animal and its skull from within the
geographic range of _S. g. martirensis_ southward to Cape St. Lucas
which is the type locality of _S. lucasana_. Specimens of _S.
microdon_, which so far has been recorded only from Comondú, the type
locality, are, as would be expected, intermediate in size between _S.
g. martirensis_ and _S. lucasana_. The differential characters of
these three named kinds of _Spilogale_ are principally those of size,
and we can see no characters judged to be of more than subspecific
worth. Consequently the named kinds should stand as:

    _Spilogale gracilis martirensis_ Elliott;

    _Spilogale gracilis microdon_ A. H. Howell;

    _Spilogale gracilis lucasana_ Merriam.

~Spilogale gracilis microrhina~ Hall

When Hall (Jour. Mamm., 7:53, February 15, 1926) named as new
_Spilogale phenax microrhina_, he did not mention specimens previously
recorded by A. H. Howell (N. Amer. Fauna, 26:32, November 24, 1906) as
_Spilogale phenax_ from San Bernardino Peak (57026 USBS), La Puerta
(99580 USBS), Dulzura (55848, 56173, 56873, 33693/45728, 36291/48656
and 36292/48657) in southern California. On geographic grounds these
specimens would be expected to be _S. g. microrhina_ although
geographically slightly outside the area that could be delimited by
Hall's (_op. cit._) marginal record-stations of occurrence. Our
examination of the pertinent specimens reveals that they are
_Spilogale gracilis microrhina_. The localities from which the
specimens came are, respectively, the northeasternmost, easternmost
and southernmost occurrences so far listed for the subspecies.

~Conepatus mesoleucus mearnsi~ Merriam

Examination of the holotypes of _Conepatus filipensis_ Merriam,
_Conepatus pediculus_ Merriam, _Conepatus sonoriensis_ Merriam, and
_Conepatus mesoleucus mearnsi_ Merriam, and other specimens of the two
kinds last named, convinces us that all are the same species and that
the names should stand as follows: _Conepatus mesoleucus filipensis_
Merriam (type locality, Cerro San Felipe, Oaxaca); _Conepatus
mesoleucus pediculus_ Merriam (Sierra Guadalupe, Coahuila); and
_Conepatus mesoleucus sonoriensis_ Merriam (Camoa, Río Mayo, Sonora).

One method of designating the ages of individuals in _Conepatus_ is
to recognize four categories from younger to older, as follows: 1)
juvenile--retaining one or more deciduous teeth; 2) young--sutures
open and clearly to be seen between bones of the facial part of the
skull; 3) subadult--skull of adult form, but lacking sagittal and
lambdoidal crests and retaining faint traces of sutures between facial
bones; and 4) adult--sutures obliterated, lambdoidal ridge high and
temporal ridges (of females) or sagittal crest (of males) prominent.

On this basis of designating age, the holotype of _C. pediculus_ is
young and nearer the juvenal than the subadult stage. Its small size
is partly the result of its youth. Other than its small size we find
no characters to distinguish it from _C. m. mearnsi_. Unfortunately no
young male of _C. m. mearnsi_ of the same age as the holotype of _C.
pediculus_ is available. Also, from the general area of the Sierra
Guadalupe, Coahuila, only the one specimen of _Conepatus mesoleucus_
(the holotype of _C. m. pediculus_) is known. Consequently, we can not
yet prove that some young males of _C. m. mearnsi_ are as small as the
holotype of _C. pediculus_. Because of this lack of proof we
tentatively recognize the subspecies _Conepatus mesoleucus pediculus_
instead of placing the name _Conepatus pediculus_ in the synonomy of
_Conepatus mesoleucus mearnsi_.

The holotype of _C. sonoriensis_ is a young female, older than the
holotype of _C. pediculus_, and approximately midway between the
juvenal and subadult stages.

The holotype of _C. filipensis_ is an adult male.

We suppose that _C. mesoleucus mesoleucus_ Lichtenstein and _C.
mesoleucus mearnsi_ Merriam on the one hand, and _Conepatus leuconotus
leuconotus_ Lichtenstein and _C. l. texensis_ Merriam on the other
hand will be found to intergrade, in which event the name _Conepatus
leuconotus_, having page priority over _Conepatus mesoleucus_, will
apply to the species. Proof of complete intergradation is not yet
available. The one difference between the two that prevents our
uniting them as subspecies of one species is the larger size of _C. l.
leuconotus_ and _C. l. texensis_. Measurements of the smallest adult
male and female available to us of _C. l. texensis_ and of the largest
adult male and female of _C. m. mearnsi_ are given below.

Where the geographic ranges of the two species approach one another
the only taxonomically significant difference detected by us is in
size, _C. leuconotus_ being larger than _C. mesoleucus_. Other
characters that are useful in separating the two alleged species now
are known to vary geographically in a fashion that indicates only
subspecific status for the two kinds. For example, three specimens
from Laredo, Texas (previously recorded by V. Bailey, N. Amer. Fauna,
25:205, October 24, 1905--Nos. 24839/32237, 24840/32238 and
24842/32245 USBS), bridge the gap in color pattern between _C. l.
texensis_ to the east and _C. m. mearnsi_ to the west. _C. l.
texensis_ characteristically has the white stripe terminating
anteriorly in an obtuse angle, and on the hinder back the area of
white is restricted to a narrow line or is wanting. _C. m. mearnsi_
characteristically has the white stripe truncate anteriorly and
approximately as broad on the hinder back as on the shoulders. In the
specimens from Laredo, the young female, No. 24842, has the white
nearly truncate anteriorly (pointed in the other two specimens, adult
females). In No. 24839 the area of white on the hinder back is only
slightly restricted in width (noticeably restricted but present in the
other two specimens).

The proof of intergradation, or the lack of it, between the two
alleged species, _Conepatus mearnsi_ and _Conepatus leuconotus_, would
seem to be profitably sought by obtaining specimens along the Rio
Grande in Texas between the Blocker Ranch ("50 miles southeast of
Eagle Pass") and Laredo.

Measurements illustrating the size difference between the two alleged
species are as follows:

  TABLE 1. Measurements of _Conepatus_ from Texas

  Column Heading Legend:

  Col. A: [Male] ad. 186455 USNM, Mason, Texas. Type
  Col. B: [Male] ad. 31970/24575 USBS, Blocker Ranch, Texas
  Col. C: [Female] ad. 126241 USBS, 8 mi. S Langtry, Texas
  Col. D: [Male] ad. 47122 USBS, Brownsville, Texas. Type
  Col. E: [Male] ad. 45132/33129 USBS, Brownsville, Texas
  Col. F: [Male] yg. 45900/33865 USBS, Brownsville, Texas
  Col. G: [Female] ad. 47121/34865 USBS, Brownsville, Texas
  Col. H: [Female] ad. 24839/32237 USBS, Laredo, Texas
  Col. I: [Female] ad. 24840/32328 USBS, Laredo, Texas
  Col. J: [Male]? sad. 16651 AMNH, Kingsville, Texas

     C. mesoleucus mearnsi      |        C. leuconotus texensis
            |   A  |   B  |  C  |  D  |  E  |  F  | G   |  H  |  I  |  J
  Total     | 633  |  ... | 610 | 800 | 920 | 770 | 670 | 685 | 700 | ...
  length    |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Length    | ...  |  ... | 269 | 360 | 410 | 300 | 250 | 220 | 260 | ...
  of tail   |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Length    | 72[1]| 75[1]| 71  | 74  | 70  | 90  | 65  | 78  | 80  | ...
  of hind   |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  foot      |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Condylo-  | 72.0 | 72.8 | 64.5| 83.5| 78.9| 78.2| 72.0| 75.7| 74.5| ...
  basal     |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  length    |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Zygomatic | 51.3 | 50.1 | 43.4| 55.3| 76.8| ... | 48.3| 49.0| 48.0|50.3
  breadth   |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Mastoidal | 41.0 | 44.2 | 37.0| 47.3| 78.2| 43.7| 40.5| 40.5| 40.7| ...
  breadth   |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Length    | 28.9 | 29.8 | 31.8| 28.9| 28.0| 25.8| 32.7| 55.3| 30.4|29.9
  of upper  |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  tooth-rows|      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Outside   |  7.3 |  ... |  6.1|  8.5| 53.2|  7.5|  7.5|  6.6|  7.7| 7.6
  length    |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  of P4     |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Outside   |  7.8 |  7.0 |  6.7|  9.2| 52.7|  8.4|  8.3|  7.6|  9.3| 9.1
  length    |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  of M1     |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |
  Breadth   |  7.6 |  7.0 |  6.5|  9.3| ... |  8.6|  8.2|  7.9|  9.4| 8.2
  of M1     |      |      |     |     |     |     |     |     |     |

      [1] Measured dry.

~Conepatus mesoleucus venaticus~ Goldman

When Goldman (Jour. Mamm., 3:40, February 10, 1921) named _C. m.
venaticus_ from Arizona he did not mention material which Merriam
(Proc. Biol. Soc. Washington, 15:163, August 6, 1902) had recorded
from Ft. Verde, Arizona, under the name _Conepatus mesoleucus
mearnsi_. This material seems to be specimens in the American Museum
of Natural History of which the two oldest specimens are as follows:
No. 2486/1921, male, adult, from Box Cañon, 20 mi. S Ft. Verde; No.
2487/1922, female, subadult, from Verde River, Arizona. Pertinent
measurements of these specimens are, respectively, as follows:
condylobasal length, 72.4, 68.8; zygomatic breadth, 50.0, 44.2; width
of braincase at constriction behind zygomata, 36.4, 33.8; mastoidal
breadth, 44.3, 38.4. Comparison of these measurements with those given
for _C. m. venaticus_ (Goldman, _loc. cit._) reveals that the
specimens concerned agree in narrowness of skull with _C. m.
venaticus_ (_C. m. mearnsi_ is relatively wider) and it is on this
basis that we refer the specimens to _Conepatus mesoleucus venaticus_.

~Urocyon cinereoargenteus costaricensis~ Goodwin

J. A. Allen (Bull. Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 20:48, February 29, 1904)
listed two specimens of gray fox from Pozo Azul, Costa Rica, as
_Urocyon guatemalae_. Goodwin, in his "Mammals of Costa Rica" (Bull.
Amer. Mus. Nat. Hist., 87(5):271-474, December 31, 1946) did not
mention any material from Pozo Azul. We have examined the skull of the
adult female (No. 19208 AMNH) taken on July 17, 1902, at Pozo Zul
[sic], by M. A. Carriker and find it to be indistinguishable from
other specimens of _Urocyon cinereoargenteus costaricensis_ to which
subspecies we therefore refer the specimen.

~Canis lupus griseoalbus~ Baird

In 1823 Sabine (No. V, Zoological Appendix, p. 654, _In_ Narrative of
a journey to the shores of the Polar Sea ... xvi + 768, 30 pls., 4
maps, 1823, London, by John Franklin) applied the name _Canis
Lupus-Griseus_ to the gray wolf in the vicinity of Cumberland House,
Saskatchewan. On the following page (p. 655) he employed the name
_Canis Lupus-Albus_ for a white wolf obtained at Fort Enterprise,
Northwest Territories. In 1937 Goldman (Jour. Mamm., 18(1):45,
February 14) did not consider the wolves of the Cumberland House
region to be sufficiently different from animals from surrounding
areas to warrant nominal separation for them and he placed the name
_Canis lupus griseus_ Sabine as a synonym of _Canis lupus
occidentalis_ Simpson. Anderson (Jour. Mamm., 24(3):386, August 17,
1943) revived Sabine's name _griseus_ and assigned to _Canis lupus
griseus_ an extensive geographic range in central Canada. Later,
Goldman (Part II, Classification of wolves, p. 395 and 424, _In_ The
Wolves of North America, American Wildlife Institute, May 29, 1944) by
implication, again arranged _griseus_ of Sabine as a synonym of _Canis
lupus occidentalis_ and pointed out (_op. cit._:395) that, in any
event, the name _griseus_ is preoccupied by _[Canis] Griseus_
Boddaert, 1784 [= _Urocyon cinereoargenteus_ (Schreber), 1775]. Still
later, Anderson (Bull. 102, Nat. Mus. Canada, p. 54, January 27, 1947)
again recognized the subspecies formerly known as _Canis lupus
griseus_ Sabine, and, because of Boddaert's prior usage of _[Canis]
griseus_, renamed the subspecies _Canis lupus knightii_. It appears,
however, that there is an earlier name available for this subspecies.
Goldman (_op. cit._, 1943:395) points out that "apparently combining
the names _Canis (Lupus) griseus_ and _Canis (Lupus) albus_ of Sabine
... as _Canis occidentalis_ var. _griseo-albus_, Baird [Mammals,
Repts. Explor. and Surv. for R. R. to Pacific Ocean, Washington, p.
104, vol. 8, (1857) July 14, 1858] seems to have entertained a
somewhat composite concept of a widely ranging race varying in color
from 'pure white to grizzled gray.' No type was mentioned and the name
does not appear to be valid or clearly assignable to the synonomy of
any particular race." We agree with Goldman that Baird's concept was a
composite one, but Baird's name, _Canis occidentalis_ var.
_griseo-albus_, was clearly based on the primary names of Sabine
(_griseus_ and _albus_), of De Kay (_occidentalis_), of Maxmillian
(_variabilis_, a synonym of _Canis lupus nubilis_) and of Townsend
(_gigas_, a synonym of _Canis lupus fuscus_). Nevertheless, the name
_griseo-albus_ was applied to, among others, the subspecies of wolf
the type locality of which is at Cumberland House, Saskatchewan, and,
by restriction, the name _Canis lupus griseoalbus_ Baird is available
for the subspecies and, of course, antedates _Canis lupus knightii_ of
Anderson (_op. cit._, 1947:54). It might be argued that Baird did not
intend to propose a new name, but that he did so is a _fait accompli_.
_Canis lupus albus_ Sabine, 1823, is not available since it is
preoccupied by _C[anis]. Lupus albus_ Kerr (Animal Kingdom, Class I,
Mammalia, p. 137, 1792), a name applied to the wolf of the Yenisei
region of Siberia.

The name and synonomy of the wolf of central Canada should stand as

~Canis lupus griseoalbus~ Baird

    1858. _Canis occidentalis_, var. _griseo-albus_ Baird, Mammals,
    Repts. Explor. and Surv. for R. R. to Pacific Ocean, Washington,
    vol. 8, p. 104 (1857), July 14, 1858, based on _Canis Lupus-Griseus_
    Sabine 1823 from the vicinity of Cumberland House, Saskatchewan.

    1823. _Canis Lupus-Griseus_ Sabine, No. V, Zool. App. p. 654, _In_
    Narrative of a journey to the shores of the Polar Sea ... by John
    Franklin (_nec [Canis] Griseus_ Boddaert, Elench. Anim. p. 97,
    1794, a synonym of _Urocyon cinereaorgenteus_ (Schreber),
    Säugethiere, p. 92, 1775).

    1943. _Canis lupus griseus_, Anderson, Jour. Mamm., 24(3):386,
    August 17.

    1947. _Canis lupus knightii_ Anderson, Bull. 102, Nat. Mus.
    Canada, p. 54, January 24. (A renaming of _Canis Lupus-Griseus_
    Sabine, 1823.)

The name _Canis Lupus-Albus_ Sabine, 1823 (_nec C[anis]. Lupus albus_
Kerr, Animal Kingdom, p. 137, 1792) should, of course, be retained as
a synonym of _Canis lupus mackenzii_ Anderson as arranged by Anderson
(Bull. 102, Nat. Mus. Canada, p. 55, January 24, 1947).

When Anderson (_op. cit._:54) recognized the subspecies _Canis lupus
knightii_ [= _C. l. griseoalbus_] he made no mention of a specimen of
wolf from Norway House, Manitoba, which Goldman (_op. cit._, 1944:427)
had referred to _C. l. occidentalis_, but the subspecific identity of
which was placed in doubt by Anderson's action. We have examined the
specimen, No. 115995, in the Biological Surveys Collection, U.S.
National Museum, and have compared it with specimens, including
topotypes, of _C. l. occidentalis_ and _C. l. hudsonicus_. The
specimen fits the description of _C. l. griseoalbus_ and differs from
_C. l. occidentalis_ in its long and narrow incisive foramina, larger
skull, more nearly straight frontal profile (not markedly concave),
and slightly higher coronoid processes. Other differences alleged to
obtain between these two subspecies offer no assistance in the present
case. The specimen from Norway House differs from _C. l. hudsonicus_
in larger size of skull and stouter, blunter, postorbital processes,
the posterior borders of which turn less abruptly inward. In brief,
among currently recognized subspecies, the specimen from Norway House
seems best referred to _Canis lupus griseoalbus_ Baird.

~Canis niger rufus~ Audubon and Bachman

Goldman (Part II, Classification of wolves, p. 486, _In_ The wolves of
North America, American Wildlife Institute, May 29, 1944) referred two
specimens of the red wolf from Reeds Spring, Missouri, to the
subspecies _C. n. gregoryi_. Leopold and Hall (Jour. Mamm., 26(2):143,
July 19, 1945) referred wolves from 5 mi. N Gainesville and from 3 mi.
N Thomasville, both localities in Missouri, to _C. n. rufus_. The
identification of Leopold and Hall was made on the basis of the small
size of their specimens and they did not have the advantage of
comparative material. The locations of these and other records of
occurrence in Missouri and Arkansas suggest that the specimens from
Reeds Spring might be better referred to _C. n. rufus_, the more
western subspecies. An examination and comparison of the two specimens
from Reeds Spring, Nos. 244127 and 244527, Biological Surveys
Collection, discloses that they are intergrades between _C. n. rufus_
and _C. n. gregoryi_. They resemble _C. n. rufus_ in small size and
cranial characters, but are more nearly _C. n. gregoryi_ in the
darker, less brightly rufescent color of the pelage. Being, in this
case, more strongly influenced by the size and cranial features than
by the color, we consider the animals from Reeds Spring best referred
to _Canis niger rufus_.

_Transmitted July 15, 1952._

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Comments on the Taxonomy and Geographic Distribution of Some North American Marsupials, Insectivores and Carnivores" ***

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