Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
|Specimen Records:||3||Public Records:||0|
|Specimens with Sequences:||3||Public Species:||0|
|Specimens with Barcodes:||3||Public BINs:||0|
|Species With Barcodes:||1|
The family Chinchillidae contains the chinchillas, viscachas, and their fossil relatives. They are restricted to southern and western South America, often in association with the Andes. They are large rodents, weighing from 800 g (28 oz) to 8 kg (18 lb), with strong hind legs and large ears. All species have thick, soft fur, which is considered valuable in some cultures.
There are three extant and three fossil genera currently recognized.
- †Eoviscaccia incertae sedis
- Subfamily Chinchillinae
- Subfamily Lagostominae
- Woods, C. A. and Kilpatrick, C. W. 2005. Infraorder Hystricognathi. In: D. E. Wilson and D. M. Reeder (eds), Mammal Species of the World, pp. 1538-1599. The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD, USA.
- Bishop, Ian (1984). Macdonald, D.. ed. The Encyclopedia of Mammals. New York: Facts on File. pp. 702. ISBN 0-87196-871-1.
- McKenna, Malcolm C., and Bell, Susan K. 1997. Classification of Mammals Above the Species Level. Columbia University Press, New York, 631 pp. ISBN 0-231-11013-8
Viscachas or vizcachas are rodents of two genera (Lagidium and Lagostomus) in the family Chinchillidae. They are closely related to chinchillas, and look similar to rabbits, apart from their longer tails. There are five extant species of viscacha:
- Plains viscacha (Lagostomus maximus): Resident of the Pampas of Argentina, easily differentiated from other viscachas by black and gray mustache-like facial markings. This species lives colonially in warrens of ten to over one hundred. It is very vocal and emits alarm calls. The plains viscacha can strip grassland used to graze livestock; this caused ranchers to consider the rodent a pest species.
- Lagidium ahuacaense: a newly described species of mountain viscacha from the Ecuadorean Andes.
- Northern viscacha (Lagidium peruanum): Native to the Peruvian Andes at those elevations between the tree line and the snow line. It is dorsally gray or brown in color, with a bushy tail and long, furry ears. This species lives in large colonies separated into individual family units, like an apartment complex. It eats a wide range of plant matter, settling for almost anything it can find growing in the harsh, rocky environment.
- Mountain viscacha (Lagidium viscacia): Also called southern viscacha, this species is similar to the northern viscacha, but its pelage is more red in color. It lives in similar habitat in the Andes.
- Wolffsohn's viscacha (Lagidium wolffsohni): Little is known about this species, as it is rarer than the other four viscachas.
- Ledesma, K. J.; Werner, F. A.; Spotorno, A. E.; Albuja, L. H. (2009). "A new species of Mountain Viscacha (Chinchillidae: Lagidium Meyen) from the Ecuadorean Andes" (pdf). Zootaxa 2126: 41–57. http://bibdigital.epn.edu.ec/bitstream/15000/3751/1/Copia%20de%20EcuadoreanViscacha.pdf.
- Werner, F. A.; Ledesma, K. J.; R. Hidalgo B. (2006). "Mountain vizcacha (Lagidium cf. peruanum) in Ecuador - First record of Chinchillidae from the Northern Andes" (pdf). Mastozoología Neotropical 13 (2): 271–274. http://www.scielo.org.ar/pdf/mznt/v13n2/v13n2a13.pdf.
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