Megalomys desmarestii Fischer, 1829:316

Martinique muskrat, Antillean giant rice rat, Desmarest’s pilorie, Martinique rice rat, Martinique giant rice rat, pilorie



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Oryzomys desmaresti Fischer, 1829; Mus desmarestii Fischer, 1829; Rat piloris Desmarest, 1826; Mus pilorides Desmarest, 1826


Conservation Status


Last record: c. 1897?; 1902 (Goodwin & Goodwin, 1973; Fisher & Blomberg, 2012; Lee et al., 2017)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



Martinique, Lesser Antilles


Biology & Ecology




The available hypodigm of this species was given by (Miljutin, 2010:218-219).






Original scientific description:

Fischer, J. B. (1829). Synopsis Mammalium. J. G. Cottae, Stuttgardtiae.


Other references:

Alen, G. M. (1942). Extinct and Vanishing Mammals of the Western Hemisphere. American Committee for International Wildlife Protection, Special Publication No. 11.

Borroto-Páez, Rafael, Mancina, Carlos A., Woods, Charles A. and Kilpatrick, C. William. (2012). Checklist: Updated Checklist of Endemic Terrestrial Mammals of the West Indies, pp. 389-415. In: Borroto-Páez, Rafael, Woods, Charles A. and Sergile, F. E. (eds.). Terrestrial Mammals of the West Indies: Contributions. Gainesville, Florida: Florida Museum of Natural History and Wacahoota Press. 482 pp.

Brace, Selina et al. (2015). Unexpected evolutionary diversity in a recently extinct Caribbean mammal radiation. Proc Biol Sci. B 282(1807): 20142371.

Cooke, Siobhán B., Dávalos, Liliana M., Mychajliw, Alexis M. Turvey, Samuel T. and Upham, Nathan S. (2017). Anthropogenic Extinction Dominates Holocene Declines of West Indian Mammals. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 48: 301-327.

Day, David. (1981). The Doomsday Book of Animals: A Natural History of Vanished Species. New York, N.Y.: The Viking Press.

Desmarest, A. G. (1826). Rat piloris. In Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles (Levrault, F. G., ed.), Vol. 44, p. 483. Strasbourg, Paris.

Durocher, Marine et al. (2020). Archaeobiogeography of extinct rice rats (Oryzomyini) in the Lesser Antilles during the Ceramic Age (500 BCE–1500 CE). The Holocene. doi: [Abstract]

Elliot, D. G. (1904). The Land and Sea Mammals of Middle America and the West Indies. Chicago: Publication of the Field Columbian Museum.

Fisher, Diana O. and Blomberg, Simon P. (2012). Inferring Extinction of Mammals from Sighting Records, Threats, and Biological Traits. Conservation Biology 26(1): 57-67.

Goodwin, Harry A. and Goodwin, J. M. (1973). List of mammals which have become extinct or are possibly extinct since 1600. Int. Union Conserv. Nat. Occas. Pap. 8: 1-20.

Lee, T. E., Fisher, D. O., Blomberg, S. P. and Wintle, B. A. (2017). Extinct or still out there? Disentangling influences on extinction and rediscovery helps to clarify the fate of species on the edge. Global Change Biology 23(2): 621-634.

Miljutin, Andrei. (2010). Notes on the external morphology, ecology, and origin of Megalomys desmarestii (Sigmodontinae, Cricetidae, Rodentia), the extinct giant rat of Martinique Island, Lesser Antilles. Estonian Journal of Ecology 59(3): 216-229.

Mistretta, Brittany A., Giovas, Christina M., Weskler, Marcelo and Turvey, Samuel T. (2021). Extinct insular oryzomyine rice rats (Rodentia: Sigmodontinae) from the Grenada Bank, southern Caribbean. Zootaxa 4951(3): 434-460.

Trouessart, E. L. (1885). Note sur le rat Mosque des Antilles, type du sous-genre Megalomys et sur la place de se sous genre dans le groupe des rats Americains ou Hesperomyidae. Ann. Sci. Nat., Zool. 19(5).

Turvey, Samuel T. (2009). Holocene mammal extinctions, pp. 41-61. In: Turvey, Samuel T. (ed.). Holocene Extinctions. Oxford, UK & New York, USA: Oxford University Press. xii + 352 pp.

Turvey, Samuel T. and Fritz, Susanne A. (2011). The ghosts of mammals past: biological and geographical patterns of global mammalian extinction across the Holocene. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 366(1577): 2564-2576. [Supplementary Information]

Turvey, S. & Helgen, K. (2008). Megalomys desmarestii. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.1. ( Downloaded on 18 September 2012.

Turvey, S.T. & Helgen, K. 2017. Megalomys desmarestii. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T12980A22377057. Accessed on 19 June 2022.

Turvey, S.T., Weksler, M., Morris, E.L. & Nokkert, M. 2010 Taxonomy, phylogeny and diversity of the extinct Lesser Antillean rice rats (Sigmodontinae: Oryzomyini), with description of a new genus and species. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 160: 748-772.

UICN Comité français, OFB & MNHN (2020). La Liste rouge des espèces menacées en France - Chapitres Faune de Martinique. Paris, France.


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