Melanomys caliginosus 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Mammalia Rodentia Cricetidae

Scientific Name: Melanomys caliginosus (Tomes, 1860)
Common Name(s):
English Dusky Rice Rat
Taxonomic Notes: This species apparently includes a species complex.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2016
Date Assessed: 2016-08-08
Assessor(s): Cassola, F.
Reviewer(s): Amori, G.
Contributor(s): Anderson, R.P., Gómez-Laverde, M. & Timm, R.
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, occurrence in a number of protected areas, and because it does not appear to be under threat and is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Previously published Red List assessments:

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:This species occurs in the Central American lowlands from easternmost Honduras through Panama; in South America, from north and west Colombia, including the Chocó (Cadena et al. 1998), to southwest Ecuador and northwest Venezuela (Musser and Carleton 2005).
Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador; Honduras; Nicaragua; Panama; Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of
Additional data:
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is common to abundant.
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Occurs in overgrown fields, brushy second growth, and edges of evergreen and semideciduous forest (Emmons and Feer 1997, Reid 1997).

This rodent is partially diurnal activite; it is terrestrial and solitary. It feeds on fruit, seeds, and insects. This rat is generally most common in areas of dense undergrowth and around fallen logs. It is usually a dominant part of the rainforest’s small mammals. It runs about actively on the ground or on fallen logs; if frightened, it may bounce away with a series of high jumps (Emmons and Feer 1997). This rat is easily observed during the afternoon or early evening around buildings in forest clearings (Reid 1997). Captives are voracious insect eaters, eagerly pursuing and catching butterflies, moths, beetles, and cicadas (Gardner 1983). Breeding appears to occur year-round, but probably peaks in wet season; litter size is 1 to 6 young, averaging 3.5 (Reid 1997).
Generation Length (years):1-2

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): No major threats at this time.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: This species occurs in a number of protected areas.

Errata [top]

Errata reason: This errata assessment has been created because the map was accidentally left out of the version published previously.

Classifications [top]

1. Forest -> 1.6. Forest - Subtropical/Tropical Moist Lowland

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Conservation sites identified:Yes, over entire range
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education

Bibliography [top]

Cadena, A., Anderson, R.P. and Rivas-Pava, P. 1998. Colombian mammals from the chocoan slopes of Nariño. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Technical University 180: 1-15.

Emmons, L.H. and Feer, F. 1997. Neotropical Rainforest Mammals: A Field Guide, Second edition. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL, USA.

Gardner, A. L. 1983. Oryzomys caliginosus (raton pardo, raton arrocero pardo, Costa Rican dusky rice rat). In: J. H. Janzen (ed.), Costa Rican natural history, pp. 483-485. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

IUCN. 2016. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2016-3. Available at: (Accessed: 07 December 2016).

IUCN. 2017. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2017-1. Available at: (Accessed: 27 April 2017).

Musser, G.G. and Carleton, M.D. 2005. Superfamily Muroidea. In: D.E. Wilson and D.A. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World: a geographic and taxonomic reference, pp. 894-1531. The John Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, USA.

Pacifici, M., Santini, L., Di Marco, M., Baisero, D., Francucci, L., Grottolo Marasini, G., Visconti, P. and Rondinini, C. 2013. Generation length for mammals. Nature Conservation 5: 87–94.

Reid, F. 2009. A Field Guide to the Mammals of Central America and Southeast Mexico. Oxford University Press, New York, USA.

Citation: Cassola, F. 2016. Melanomys caliginosus (errata version published in 2017). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016: e.T13046A115108519. . Downloaded on 24 June 2018.
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