Chaetomys subspinosus (Olfers, 1818)

Bristle-spined rat, Bristle-spined porcupine, Thin-spined porcupine



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

The familial placement of Chaetomys subspinosus has historically been disputed (Vilela et al., 2009), based on dental morphology, with arguments that it belongs to either Echimyidae (e.g. Patterson & Wood, 1982) or Erethizontidae (e.g. Martin, 1994). Detailed molecular and karyotypic data has recovered it as a basal erethizontid (Vilela et al., 2009).


Conservation Status

Rediscovered in 1987 or earlier

IUCN RedList status: Vulnerable





Biology & Ecology










Catzeflis, F., Patton J., Percequillo, A., Bonvicino, C. and Weksler, M. (2008). Chaetomys subspinosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: e.T4366A10812988. Downloaded on 15 February 2017.

Eisenberg, J. F. and Redford, K. H. (1999). Mammals of the Neotropics. The Central Neotropics. The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Fisher, Diana O. (2011). Trajectories from extinction: where are missing mammals rediscovered? Global Ecology & Biogeography 20: 415-425. [Appendix S1]

Martin, Thomas. (1994). On the Systematic Position of Chaetomys subspinosus (Rodentia: Caviomorpha) Based on Evidence from the Incisor Enamel Microstructure. Journal of Mammalian Evolution 2(2): 117-131.

Patterson, B. and Wood, A. E. (1982). Rodents from the Deseadan Oligocene of Bolivia and the relationships of the Caviomorpha. Bull. Mus. Comp. Zool. 149: 371-543.

Santos, I. B., Oliver, W. L. R. & Rylands, A. B. (1987). Distribution and status of two species of tree porcupines Chaetomys subspinosus and Sphiggurus insidiosus in south-east Brazil Dodo, 43-60.

Scheffers, Brett R., Yong, Ding Li, Harris, J. Berton C., Giam, Xingli and Sodhi, Navjot S. (2011). The world’s rediscovered species: back from the brink? PLoS ONE 6(7): e22531. [Supporting Information (Table S1)]

Vilela, Roberto V. et al. (2009). The taxonomic status of the endangered thin-spined porcupine, Chaetomys subspinosus (Olfers, 1818), based on molecular and karyologic data. BMC Evolutionary Biology 9: 29.

Voss, R. S., Hubbard, C. and Jansa, S. A. (2013). Phylogenetic Relationships of New World Porcupines (Rodentia, Erethizontidae): Implications for Taxonomy, Morphological Evolution, and Biogeography. American Museum Novitates 3769: 1-36.


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