A new genus of rodent from Wallacea (Rodentia: Muridae: Murinae: Rattini), and its implication for biogeography and Indo-Pacific Rattini systematics

We describe Halmaheramys bokimekot Fabre, Pages, Musser, Fitriana, Semiadi & Helgengen.etsp.nov., a new genus and species of murine rodent from the North Moluccas, and study its phylogenetic placement using both molecular and morphological data. We generated a densely sampled mitochondrial and nuclear DNA data set that included most genera of Indo-Pacific Murinae, and used probabilistic methodologies to infer their phylogenetic relationships. To reconstruct their biogeographical history, we first dated the topology and then used a Lagrange analysis to infer ancestral geographic areas. Finally, we combined the ancestral area reconstructions with temporal information to compare patterns of murine colonization among Indo-Pacific archipelagos. We provide a new and comprehensive molecular phylogenetic reconstruction for Indo-Pacific Murinae, with a focus on the Rattus division. Using previous results and those presented in this study, we define a new Indo-Pacific group within the Rattus division, composed of Bullimus, Bunomys, Paruromys, Halmaheramys, Sundamys, and Taeromys. Our phylogenetic reconstructions revealed a relatively recent diversification from the Middle Miocene to Plio-Pleistocene associated with several major dispersal events. We identified two independent Indo-Pacific dispersal events from both western and eastern Indo-Pacific archipelagos to the isolated island of Halmahera, which led to the speciations of H.bokimekotgen.etsp.nov. and Rattus morotaiensis Kellogg, 1945. We propose that a Middle Miocene collision between the Halmahera and Sangihe arcs may have been responsible for the arrival of the ancestor of Halmaheramys to eastern Wallacea. Halmaheramys bokimekotgen. et sp.nov. is described in detail, and its systematics and biogeography are documented and illustrated.(c) 2013 The Linnean Society of London