A new species of Cerradomys is described from the sandy plains of the northeastern littoral of Rio de Janeiro State and the southern littoral of Espírito Santo State, southeastern Brazil. Morphological and karyological characters were used to distinguish the new taxon from the 3 closest related species: C. subflavus, C. vivoi, and C. langguthi. Skull differences include the relatively larger general size, pronounced crests, broader rostrum, broader lacrimals, and wider sphenopalatine vacuities. Canonical variate analyses based on craniometric data showed that the new species has little overlap with C. subflavus, C. vivoi, and C. langguthi in multivariate space. The pelage of the new species has a unique, sparser, and thinner aspect. The diploid number of 54 chromosomes and the autosomal fundamental number of 66 arms (the highest among the 3 related species), added to the morphology of both sexual chromosomes, are diagnostic for the new species. The new taxon is restricted to a particular section of the Brazilian littoral covered by a mosaic of open vegetation locally named restingas, where it is one of the most abundant terrestrial mammals. In the restingas of this region this species is associated more with shrub patches than more forested physiognomies, being captured both on ground and on tree branches, especially of Clusia trees, suggesting a degree of arboreality. The recognition of this species adds further biogeographic uniqueness to the restingas of the northeastern littoral of Rio de Janeiro and southern littoral of Espírito Santo.
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Vol. 92 • No. 3