Discovery of a new species of Proboscis Mole belonging to the genus Uropsilus (Eulipotyphla: Talpidae) in Northwest, Vietnam

Within the framework of cooperation between the Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST) and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), scientists from the Institute of Genome Research (VAST) and the University of Kyoto University (Kyoto University, Japan) have discovered a new species of Proboscis Mole for science.

Sequencing results of nuclear gene segments (RAG1, RAG2) and mitochondrial gene (Cytb) with a total length of 2901 bp of 2 specimens collected at Fansipan peak area (Hoang Lien National Park, Lao Cai province) at an altitude of approximately 2900m, combined analysis with 107 other sequences from Genbank showed a clear branching of the Uropsilus Proboscis Mole population in Vietnam compared to populations in China. Comparing the Cytb gene sequence also showed a difference of 8.63% to 20.70% of the population in Fansipan compared to 8 species of the same genus previously published in China. At the same time, the authors also compared body morphology and skull morphology with many standard samples kept at the London Museum of Natural History (UK).

Combining the above analysis, the authors have announced a new species Uropsilus fansipanensis to science. This species of Proboscis Mole is characterized by a nose that elongates into the shape of a proboscis. The fur on the back is dark red-brown, the fur on the belly is gray; single dark gray tail with white scales at the base. It has 38 teeth, of which the lower anterior teeth No. 1 and No. 3 are similar in size.

This is also the first time the genus Uropsilus proboscis mole has been recorded in Vietnam, and expands the distribution area of this group of mammals south compared to species recorded in China and Myanmar to the Hoang Lien Son range of Vietnam. 

This discovery, in addition to adding one new genus and one new species to the Vietnamese mammal fauna, also shows the close connection in biodiversity between the mountainous region of Northern Vietnam and Southern China.

Appearance, skull morphology, habitat and distribution of the Uropsilus fansipanensis (Photo taken from Zootaxa magazine)

The results were published in Zootaxa magazine, August 28, 2023 at:


Translated by Phuong Huyen
Link to Vietnamese version 

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