IUCN threat status:

Least Concern (LC)

Comprehensive Description

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Nyctomys sumichrasti is a medium-sized stocky rat with a large head, long whiskers and small, relatively long ears. The robust, well-haired, cylindrical tail has a tufted tip like a long paintbrush; The base has thinner hair, which lies flat, but the hair becomes more plentiful and longer towards the tip. The hairs are bristly on the distal third of the tail.

The short, wide hind foot has long toes, except for the clawed first toe; the fourth toe is longest. The thumb pad may be prominent. There are 6 plantar pads, with the first to fourth interdigitals being close together. The first and fourth digits oppose each other. The thenar and hypothenar pads are close behind the interdigitals. The plantar surface is naked or only lightly furred on the heel . The compressed, recurved claws aid an arboreal lifestyle.

The large eyes are rimmed with narrow black rings, which may be faint and extend forward as a dusky smudge at the base of the nose and whiskers. The eyes reflect a bright, reddish eyeshine. The soft, thick fur is reddish-brown or orange and is brighter on the sides and muzzle. Hairs on the upperparts have reddish tips and slate-colored roots. The underparts are white. The fronts of the forelegs are reddish-brown and the toes are whitish gray. The tops of the hind feet are pale reddish-brown. The ears are reddish-brown and the whiskers are blackish. The tail is brown to reddish-brown. Several subspecies are darker along the middle of the back, head and rump with a slight mixture of brown-tipped hairs. Individuals in dry lowlands tend to be smaller and more brightly colored, while those in higher wetlands are larger and darker. Individuals from Panama and Costa Rica may be red-brown, whereas their young are gray brown, with woolly fur, until they reach almost adult size. Adults and young from Mexico are bright rust.

N. sumichrasti tends to become larger from north to south. Males from Nicaragua are 225-246 mm long, including a 108-126 mm tail. The hind foot is 21-23 mm long and th ear is 15-18 mm. Females are 219-242 mm, including a 102-124 mm tail. The hind foot is 20-23 mm and the ear is 15-18 mm. Males weigh 39.3-61.3 g; females weigh 38.2–53.9 g.


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