The type material of Oryzomys curasoae McFarlane and Debrot, 2001, an allegedly extinct species from the island of Curaçao, Netherlands Antilles, is morphologically indistinguishable from O. gorgasi Hershkovitz, 1971, a Recent mangrove-inhabiting species from mainland Venezuela. A phylogenetic analysis suggests that the latter belongs to the genus Oryzomys in its strictest sense, and that “curasoae” is not close to Oecomys (formerly ranked as a subgenus of Oryzomys) as previously suggested. Evidence that Rattus rattus may now be displacing O. gorgasi from coastal habitats in Venezuela suggests that black rats might have been directly responsible for the extinction of the insular population of O. gorgasi on Curaçao.
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Vol. 45 • No. 1