On Helogale parvula, Sundevall
Dr. Gray created in 1861 (P. Z. S. L. p. 308) the genus Helogale and thus separated three small species of African Mungooses with the dental formula I. 3/3, C. 1/1, P. M. 3/3, M. 2/2= 36, from the other true Herpestidae. The three species are: Herpestes parvulus Sundevall (1846), collected by Wahlberg in the neighborhood of Natal, Herpestes undulatus Peters (1852) from Mossambique, and Ichneumon taenionotus Smith (1835) from S. Africa (Natal apud Gray). A skull (P. Z. S. L. 1861, p. 308), belonging to a skeleton (Catalogue of the bones, 1862, p. 76) of one of Smith’s types, was in the British Museum, but it seems that the skeleton has been lost, for in P. Z. S. L., 1864, p. 565, Gray states that in the British Museum is a skull only; meanwhile the teeth had increased in number, from 36 (in 1861) to 40 (in 1864)! Now Gray thought it correct to give another genus-name to that highly interesting skull and called it Ariela taenionota and under the very name he cited it in the Catalogue of the Carnivorous a. s. o. Mammalia, 1869, p. 163. Later on the number of teeth again decreased from 40 (in 1869) to 36 (in 1882) and finally Oldfield Thomas (on the African Mungooses, P. Z. S. L. 1882, p. 90) placed it under the synonyma of Crossarchus fasciatus Desmarest, where I hope that it will be buried for ever. As Oldfield Thomas observed in the above named excellent monograph, there are in most of the larger European Museums typical specimens of Sundevall’s Herpestes parvulus; so we possess too one of these type-specimens with its skull.
|Journal||Notes from the Leyden Museum|
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Jentink, F.A. (1889). On Helogale parvula, Sundevall. Notes from the Leyden Museum, 11(1), 31–33.