The holotype and only known specimen of Marmosa formosa Shamel, a nominal species currently synonymized with Gracilinanus agilis Burmeister, is strikingly unlike any other known didelphid marsupial. Phylogenetic analyses based on nonmolecular characters and IRBP sequences suggest that formosa is either the sister-taxon of Thylamys (including Lestodelphys) or Monodelphis. Because neither alternative is strongly supported by the data at hand, and because including formosa in Thylamys or in Monodelphis would compromise the diagnosability of those taxa, a new genus?Chacodelphys?is proposed to contain it. Currently known only from northern Argentina, Chacodelphys formosa may be widely distributed in the Chaco and other adjacent Neotropical biomes.
Additional publication details
On the relationships of 'Marmosa' formosa Shamel, 1930 (Marsupialia: Didelphidae), a phylogenetic puzzle from the Chaco of northern Argentina