The Cape dune mole rat Bathyergus suillus. Photo from here.

Belongs within: Hystricognathiformes.
Contains: Thryonomyidae.

The Phiomorpha are African hystricognathous rodents, including the cane rats (Thryonomyidae) and bathyergid mole rats (Bathyergidae). Some authors have also included the the Old World porcupines (Hystricidae) in this group, though they may not form a monophyletic clade with the Phiomorpha sensu stricto. The bathyergids are the most speciose living group of phiomorphs, and are highly specialised burrowers. One species of bathyergid, the naked mole rat Heterocephalus glaber, is famed for its complex social behaviour, living in colonies with a single reproductive queen.

Characters (from Lavocat 1978): Lower jaw always hystricognath. Infraorbital structure primarily hystricomorph (greatly modified in some Bathyergoidea). Molar teeth tetra- or pentalophodont (simplified in Bathyergidae); three to five (usually four) cheek teeth.

    |--Bathyergoidea L78
    |    |--Bathyergoides [Bathyergoididae] L78
    |    |    `--B. neotertiarius L78
    |    `--Bathyergidae J88
    |         |--Proheliophobius leakeyi L78
    |         |--Paracryptomys mackennae L78
    |         |--Heterocephalus glaber GE05
    |         |--Heliophobius argenteocinereus IT07
    |         |--Georychus capensis IT07
    |         |--Bathyergus B74
    |         |    |--B. janetta IT07
    |         |    `--B. suillus B74
    |         |--Gypsorhynchus L78
    |         |    |--G. darti L78
    |         |    |--G. makapani L78
    |         |    `--G. minor L78
    |         `--Cryptomys L78
    |              |--C. bocagei IT07
    |              |--C. damarensis IT07
    |              |--C. foxi IT07
    |              |--C. hottentotus IT07
    |              |--C. mechowi IT07
    |              |--C. natalensis B74
    |              |--C. ochraceocinereus IT07
    |              |--C. robertsi L78
    |              `--C. zechi IT07
    `--Thryonomyoidea L78
         |--Thryonomyidae J88
         |--Kenyamyidae L78
         |    |--Kenyamys mariae L78
         |    `--Simonimys genovefae L78
         |--Myophiomyidae L78
         |    |--Myophiomys arambourgi L78
         |    |--Elmerimys woodi L78
         |    |--Phiomyoides humilis L78
         |    `--Phiocricetomys Wood 1968 L78, W68
         |         `--*P. minutus Wood 1968 W68
         |--Diamantomyidae L78
         |    |--Metaphiomys Osborn 1908 L78, W68
         |    |    |--*M. beadnelli Osborn 1908 W68
         |    |    `--M. schaubi Wood 1968 W68
         |    `--+--Phthynilla W68
         |       `--+--Diamantomys luederitzi W68, L78
         |          `--Pomonomys dubius W68, L78
         `--Phiomyidae J88
              |--Andrewsimys parvus L78
              |--Pseudospalax W68
              |--Protophiomys J88
              `--Phiomys Osborn 1908 W68
                   |--*P. andrewsi Osborn 1908 W68
                   |--P. lavocati Wood 1968 W68
                   `--P. paraphiomyoides Wood 1968 W68

*Type species of generic name indicated


[B74] Bugge, J. 1974. The cephalic arterial system in insectivores, primates, rodents and lagomorphs, with special reference to the systematic classification. Acta Anatomica 87 (Suppl 62): 1-160.

[GE05] Grimaldi, D., & M. S. Engel. 2005. Evolution of the Insects. Cambridge University Press: New York.

[IT07] Isaac, N. J. B., S. T. Turvey, B. Collen, C. Waterman & J. E. M. Baillie. 2007. Mammals on the EDGE: conservation priorities based on threat and phylogeny. PLoS One 2 (3): e296.

[J88] Jaeger, J.-J. 1988. Rodent phylogeny: new data and old problems. In The Phylogeny and Classification of the Tetrapods, vol. 2. Mammals (M. J. Benton, ed.) pp. 177-199. Clarendon Press: Oxford.

[L78] Lavocat, L. 1978. Rodentia and Lagomorpha. In Evolution of African Mammals (V. J. Maglio & H. B. S. Cooke, eds) pp. 69-89. Harvard University Press: Cambridge (Massachusetts).

[W68] Wood, A. E. 1968. The African Oligocene Rodentia. Peabody Museum of Natural History, Yale University, Bulletin 28: 23-105.

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