Fontoynonts Tenrec

Unusual insectivore of Madagascar.

Scientific name: Dasogale fontoynonti, given by Guillaume Grandidier in 1929.

Physical description: Length, 3.75 inches. Brownish-yellow. Spines on the back and flanks but none on the head or belly. Spines are white at the base, with a black band above and a white tip. Solid claws.

Distribution: Eastern Madagascar. Significant sighting: Known only from two poorly preserved specimens, one in the Paris Museum.

Possible explanations:

(1) A misidentification of a juvenile Greater hedgehog tenrec (Setifer setosus), a common spiny species.

(2) Ross MacPhee acknowledges it as a new species in the genus Setifer.

178 fontoynont's tenrec

(3) A new species, intermediate between the Spiny tenrecs (Subfamily Tenrecinae) and the Furred tenrecs (Subfamily Oryzoryctinae).

Sources: Guillaume Grandidier, "Un nouveau type de mammifère insectivore de Madagascar, le Dasogale fontoynonti G. Grand.," Bulletin de l'Academie Malgache, new ser. 11 (1929): 85-90; Ross D. E. MacPhee, "Systematic Status of Dasogale fontoynonti (Tenrecidae, Insectivora)," Journal of Mammalogy 68 (1987): 133-135.

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