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Biota Neotropica

On-line version ISSN 1676-0611


MARTIN, Paula Sanches; GHELER-COSTA, Carla  and  VERDADE, Luciano Martins. Microstructures of the hair of non-volant small mammals: key to the identification of species from agroecosystems of the State of São Paulo, Brazil. Biota Neotrop. [online]. 2009, vol.9, n.1. ISSN 1676-0611.

Hair microstructure characteristics have been used for species identification in taxonomic, ecological, paleontological, archeological and forensic research. This study aims to describe the hair structure from small mammals commonly found in agroecosystems of the São Paulo State. The hairs were collected from the dorsal region of previously identified specimens collected in agricultural areas (sugar-cane plantations), pasture areas, silviculture areas (eucalyptus plantation) and fragments of native vegetation (semideciduos Atlantic Forest and Cerrado). Optic microscope was not effective for describing the form and the border of scales, which were described using scanning electronic microscope. A dichotomic key of identification is presented for 11 species of non-volant small mammals (seven rodents and four marsupials).

Keywords : cuticle; guard-hairs; medulla; small mammals; tricology.

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