Linzey, Donald W. Wytheville Community College, Wytheville, Virginia.
Last reviewed:May 2016
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A rare insectivorous mammal classified in the genus Solenodon. Solenodons belong to the genus Solenodon in the family Solenodontidae (order Eulipotyphla). These mammals, which are among the largest living insectivores, were formerly assigned to the now-abandoned Insectivora taxon. There are only two extant species. The Hispaniolan, or Haitian, solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus; see illustration) is restricted to the remote, wet, densely vegetated central highland regions on the island of Hispaniola (Dominican Republic and Haiti). The coarse pelage (coat) varies in color from blackish to reddish brown. Most individuals possess a small, square, whitish area on the nape of the neck. Adults measure 28–33 cm (11–13 in.) in body length, with a tail that is 17.5–26 cm (6.9–10.2 in.) long, and weigh 0.6–1 kg (1.3–2.2 lb). The smaller Cuban solenodon, or almiqui (also almique) [S. cubanus], has longer and finer fur, which is colored blackish brown with white or buff. It is now restricted to the eastern provinces of Cuba. Adults measure 20–30 cm (7.9–11.8 in.) in body length, with a tail that is 26–30 cm (10.2–11.8 in.) long, and weigh 0.6–0.7 kg (1.3–1.5 lb). Two additional species are known only from skeletal remains in Haiti and Cuba. See also: Insectivora; Mammalia
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