Mouse opossum Marmosa murina, photographed by François Catzeflis.

Belongs within: Didelphinae.

Marmosa, mouse opossums, are a genus of mostly arboreal opossums found in Central and South America. Molecular phylogenetic analysis suggests that this genus as currently recognised is paraphyletic with regard to Micoureus (Jansa & Voss 2005). Previously, the two genera were distinguished by the longer fur and absence of a throat gland in Micoureus. Micoureus also has the superior border of the frontal bone projecting as a ledge, whereas it is is ridged and beaded in Marmosa sensu stricto (Nowak 1999).

Characters (from Nowak 1999, for Marmosa): Head and body length 85-190 mm, tail length 125-230 mm. Upper parts varying from grey to dark brown to bright reddish brown, underparts paler, from almost white to buff to yellowish; dusky brown or black facial markings usually present around eyes. Fur usually short, fine and velvety (thick, lax and crinkly in Micoureus). Throat gland present in mature males (absent in Micoureus). Tail strongly prehensile, never incrassate, with only short basal brush of hair, either uniformly coloured or slightly paler ventrally than dorsally; caudal scales arranged spirally. Pouch absent. Mammae 9-19, pectoral mammae absent. Skull with lamboidal crest, ridged and beaded superior border on frontal (frontal superior border projected as ledge in Micoureus), and pronounced posterior postorbital process; nasal bones flared at frontomaxillary suture. Second premolar usually larger than third.

<==Marmosa Gray 1821 [incl. Asagis Gloger 1842, Grymaeomys Burmeister 1854, Notogogus Gloger 1842, Quica Liais 1872] C57
    |--+--M. rubra Tate 1931 JV05, C57
    |  `--+--M. mexicana JV05
    |     |    |--M. m. mexicana G69
    |     |    |--M. m. savannarum G69
    |     |    `--M. m. zeldoni G69
    |     `--M. robinsoni Bangs 1898 JV05, C57
    |          |--M. r. robinsoni (see below for synonymy) C57
    |          |--M. r. isthmica Goldman 1917 [=M. mexicana isthmica, M. mitis isthmica, M. ruatanica isthmica] C57
    |          |--M. r. mimetra Thomas 1921 [=M. mitis mimetra, M. ruatanica mimetra] C57
    |          `--M. r. simonsi Thomas 1899 [=M. (Caluromys) simonsi, M. mitis simonsi] C57
    `--+--M. lepida JV05, C57 [=Didelphys (Micoureus) lepida C57, Didelphis lepida C57; incl. M. lepida grandis C57]
       `--+--*M. murina (Linnaeus 1758) C57, JV05, C57 (see below for synonymy)
          |    |--M. m. murina (see below for synonymy) C57
          |    |--M. m. duidae Tate 1931 C57
          |    |--M. m. klagesi Allen 1900 C57
          |    |--M. m. madeirensis Cabrera 1913 C57
          |    |--M. m. meridionalis Miranda Ribeiro 1936 C57
          |    |--M. m. roraimae Tate 1931 C57
          |    `--M. m. waterhousei (Tomes 1860) (see below for synonymy) C57
          `--Micoureus Lesson 1842 JV05, C57
               |--M. alstoni (Allen 1900) CB-E04, C57 (see below for synonymy)
               |--M. constantiae (Thomas 1904) CB-E04, C57 [=Marmosa constantiae C57, Caluromys constantiae C57]
               |    |--M. c. constantiae C57
               |    `--‘Marmosa’ c. budini Thomas 1919 C57
               |--M. demerarae (Thomas 1905) CB-JV05, C57 [=Marmosa cinerea demerarae C57, Caluromys demerarae C57]
               |--M. laventicus MJ11
               |--M. paraguayanus (Thomas 1931) JV05, C57 (see below for synonymy)
               `--M. regina (Thomas 1898) JV05, C57 [=Marmosa regina C57, Caluromys regina C57]

Marmosa incertae sedis:
  M. andersoni CB-E04
  M. canescens CB-E04
    |--M. c. canescens MB86
    |--M. c. oaxacae G69
    `--M. c. sinaloae Allen 1898 MB86
  M. cinerea (Temminck 1824) (see below for synonymy) C57
    |--M. c. cinerea [incl. M. cinerea travassosi Miranda Ribeiro 1936] C57
    |--M. c. areniticola Tate 1931 [=M. demerarae areniticola] C57
    |--M. c. esmeraldae That 1931 [=M. demerarae esmeraldae] C57
    `--M. c. meridae Tate 1931 [=M. demerarae meridae] C57
  M. cracens BP87
  M. domina Thomas 1920 C57
  M. germana Thomas 1904 [=Caluromys germana] C57
    |--M. g. germana C57
    |--M. g. parda Tate 1931 C57
    `--M. g. rutteri Thomas 1924 C57
  M. handleyi BP87
  M. impavida (Tschudi 1844 [=Didelphis impavida] C57
    |--M. i. impavida [incl. M. caucae ucayaliensis Tate 1931] C57
    |--M. i. albiventris Tate 1931 [=M. caucae albiventris] C57
    |--M. i. caucae Thomas 1900 (see below for synonymy) C57
    |--M. i. madescens Osgood 1913 [=Marmosa caucae madescens, Marmosops madescens] C57
    |--M. i. oroensis Anthony 1922 [=M. caucae oroensis; incl. M. celicae Anthony 1922] C57
    `--M. i. purui Miller 1913 [=M. caucae purui, Thylamys purui] C57
  M. juninensis Tate 1931 C57
  M. leucastra Thomas 1927 C57
  M. mapiriensis Tate 1931 C57
  M. ocellata Tate 1931 C57
  M. parvidens Tate 1931 C57
  M. phaea Thomas 1899 [incl. M. perplexa Anthony 1922] C57
  M. quichua Thomas 1899 [incl. Marmosa musicola Osgood 1913, Caluromys musicola] C57
  M. rapposa Thomas 1899 [=Caluromys rapposa] C57
  M. scapulata (Burmeister 1856) [=Grymaeomys scapulatus, G. (Marmosops) scapulatus] C57
  M. tatei BP87
  M. tyleriana Tate 1931 C57
    |--M. t. tyleriana C57
    `--M. t. phelpsi Tate 1939 C57
  M. xerophila CB-E04
  M. yungasensis Tate 1931 C57

Marmosa cinerea (Temminck 1824) [=Didelphis cinerea, Caluromys cinerea, Grymaeomys cinerea, Marmosa (Micoureus) cinerea, Philander cinerea] C57

Marmosa impavida caucae Thomas 1900 [=Marmosops caucae, Thylamys caucae; incl. Marmosa sobrina Thomas 1913, Marmosa caucae sobrina, Marmosops sobrina] C57

*Marmosa murina (Linnaeus 1758) C57, JV05, C57 [=Didelphis murina C57, Didelphys murinus C57, Philander murina C57, Sarigna murina C57]

*Marmosa murina murina (Linnaeus 1758) [incl. Ma. chloe Thomas 1907, Didelphis dorsigera Linnaeus 1758, Monodelphis dorsigerens, Didelphis guianensis Kerr 1792, Marmosa moreirae Miranda Ribeiro 1936, Didelphis muscula Cabanis in Schomburgk 1848, Didelphys musculus, Marmosa murina muscula, Ma. parata Thomas 1911, Ma. murina parata] C57

Marmosa murina waterhousei (Tomes 1860) [=Didelphys waterhousei, Caluromys waterhousei; incl. Marmosa bombascarae Anthony 1922, M. maranii Thomas 1924, M. murina maranii] C57

Marmosa robinsoni robinsoni Bangs 1898 [=M. mitis robinsoni, incl. M. mitis casta Thomas 1911, M. mitis Bangs 1898, M. mitis pallidiventris Osgood 1812] C57

Micoureus alstoni (Allen 1900) CB-E04, C57 [=Caluromys alstoni C57, Marmosa cinerea alstoni C57; incl. Didelphis cinerea Alston 1880 non Temminck 1824 C57, Didelphys (Micoureus) cinerea C57, Marmosa cinerea C57]

Micoureus paraguayanus (Thomas 1931) JV05, C57 [=Marmosa cinerea paraguayana C57; incl. Ma. cinerea pfrimeri Miranda Ribeiro 1936 C57]

*Type species of generic name indicated


[BP87] Burton, J. A., & B. Pearson. 1987. Collins Guide to the Rare Mammals of the World. Collins: London.

[C57] Cabrera, A. 1957. Catalogo de los mamiferos de America del Sur. I (Metatheria—Unguiculata—Carnivora). Revista del Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia” e Instituto Nacional de Investigacion de Las Ciencias Naturales, Ciencias Zoológicas 4 (1): 1–307.

[CB-E04] Cardillo, M., O. R. P. Bininda-Emonds, E. Boakes & A. Purvis. 2004. A species-level phylogenetic supertree of marsupials. Journal of Zoology 264: 11–31.

[G69] Goodwin, G. G. 1969. Mammals from the State of Oaxaca, Mexico, in the American Museum of Natural History. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 141 (1): 1–269, 40 pls.

[JV05] Jansa, S. A., & R. S. Voss. 2005. Phylogenetic relationships of the marsupial genus Hyladelphys based on nuclear gene sequences and morphology. Journal of Mammalogy 86 (5): 853–865.

[MB86] Matson, J. O. & R. H. Baker. 1986. Mammals of Zacatecas. Special Publications, Museum of Texas Tech University 24: 1–88.

[MJ11] Meredith, R. W., J. E. Janečka, J. Gatesy, O. A. Ryder, C. A. Fisher, E. C. Teeling, A. Goodbla, E. Eizirik, T. L. L. Simão, T. Stadler, D. L. Rabosky, R. L. Honeycutt, J. J. Flynn, C. M. Ingram, C. Steiner, T. L. Williams, T. J. Robinson, A. Burk-Herrick, M. Westerman, N. A. Ayoub, M. S. Springer & W. J. Murphy. 2011. Impacts of the Cretaceous terrestrial revolution and KPg extinction on mammal diversification. Science 334: 521–524.

Nowak, R. M. 1999. Walker's Mammals of the World vol. 2. JHU Press.

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