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Pipanacoctomys aureus

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Title: Pipanacoctomys aureus  
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Language: English
Subject: Ploidy, Rodents described in the 2000s
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Pipanacoctomys aureus

Golden vizcacha rat
Conservation status
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Suborder: Hystricomorpha
Superfamily: Octodontoidea
Family: Octodontidae
Tribe: Octodontini
Genus: Pipanacoctomys
Mares, Braun, Barquez, and Díaz, 2000
Species: P. aureus
Binomial name
Pipanacoctomys aureus
Mares, Braun, Barquez, and Díaz, 2000

The golden vizcacha rat (Pipanacoctomys aureus) is the single species of the genus Pipanacoctomys of the rodent family Octodontidae.[2] This animal is tetraploid and has 4x = 2n = 92 chromosomes.[3] This species and its sister-species Tympanoctomys barrerae (4x = 102) appear to have arisen from the diploid mountain vizcacha rat, Octomys mimax[3] (2x = 2n = 56) as a result of doubling and then loss of some chromosomes.

The species is known from Catamarca Province of northwestern Argentina, where specimens are known only from the Salar de Pipanaco, a salt flat. It feeds on halophyte plants.[4] The genus is named after the locale, with “octo” being a reference to the figure-eight ridge on its cheek tooth.

It is threatened by conversion of its very restricted habitat to agricultural use.[1]


  • Mares, M. A.; Braun, J. K.; Barquez, R. M.; Díaz, M. M. 2000. Two new genera and species of halophytic desert mammals from isolated salt flats in Argentina. Occasional Papers, Museum of Texas Tech University 203:i+1-27.

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