Megalomys luciae Forsyth Major, 1901:206

Santa Lucian pilorie, Santa Lucia giant rice rat, St Lucia musk rat



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Oryzomys luciae Forsyth Major, 1901


Conservation Status


Last record: 1852 (Fisher & Blomberg, 2012; Lee et al., 2017); before 1881 (Turvey & Helgen, 2008)

IUCN RedList status: Extinct



Saint Lucia, Lesser Antilles


Biology & Ecology







Above: taxidermy specimen in the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris. Photo by Vassil 2013. Source: Wikimedia Commons.



Original scientific description:

Forsyth Major, C. I. (1901). The musk-rat of Santa Lucia (Antilles). Annals and Magazine of Natural History (7) 7(38): 204-206.


Other references:

Allen GM (1942) Extinct and vanishing mammals of the Western Hemisphere with the marine species of all the oceans. American Committee for International Wild Life Protection, Special Publication 11, 1–620.

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.

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.

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.

Ray, C. E. (1962). Oryzomyine rodents of the Antillean subregion. Unpubl. Ph. D. dissertation, Harvard University, 356 pp.

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, Samuel T. and Helgen, K. (2008). Megalomys luciae. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. ( Downloaded on 28 July 2013.

Turvey, Samuel T. and Helgen, K. (2017). Megalomys luciae. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T12981A22377126. Accessed on 19 June 2022.

Turvey, Samuel T., Weksler, M., Morris, E. L. and 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.

Westergaard, Gitte. (2023). Colonial entanglement in extinction narratives: The afterlives of two Saint Lucia giant rice rats. Journal of Natural Science Collections 11: 3-12.

Westergaard, Gitte. (2024). Island Extinction and Animal Remains in Museums. PhD thesis, University of Stavanger.


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