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There are two species (Corbet and Hill 1992; Ellerman and Morrison-Scott 1966; Musser and Carleton in Wilson and Reeder 1993; Wu and Wang 1984):

T. cinereus, central and southern China from southern Gansu and Shaanxi provinces to Yunnan, Guangxi, Anhui, and Fujian;

T. chapensis, known only by 14 specimens from Chapa in northern Vietnam.

Although it usually is included in T. cinereus, Musser and Carleton recognized T. chapensis as a distinct species on the basis of its far greater size. Typhlomys, along with Platacanthomys, has sometimes been placed in a separate family, but the two genera are considered here to represent a subfamily of the Muridae.

Head and body length is 70-98 mm and tail length is 95-135 mm. Wu (1990) listed a weight of 18 grams. The pelage is short, dense, soft, and spineless. The upper parts are uniformly deep mouse gray; the underparts and insides of the limbs are pale grayish, the individual hairs having a gray base and a white tip. The hands are white and the feet are dusky. The long gray tail is sparsely haired and scaly on the basal half but more heavily covered toward the tip, with longer hairs that form a distinct terminal brush. The tip is usually white.

Typhlomys is mouselike in external appearance. It has prominent, scantily haired ears; small eyes; and long, slender hind feet. The claws of all digits are slender and compressed the dental formula and structure of the molar teeth are the same as those of Platacanthomys.

Typhlomys is found at elevations of 1,200-2,100 meters in mountains abundantly covered with dwarfed, moss-laden deciduous trees and an undergrowth of small bamboos. Practically nothing of its natural history has been recorded, but the native people seem to understand its habits and trap it quite readily; they claim that cats will not eat it. T. chapensis is classified as critically endangered by the IUCN. It is known only from a single locality and its habitat is expected to decline.


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