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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Department ofVertebrate Zoology

Division of Mammals

Tarsius bancanus
bar Don Wilson
    Don E. Wilson
    Curator Emeritus

  • Phone: (202)633-1265
  • Fax: (202)633-0182
  • E-mail: wilsond[at]

  • Mailing Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    PO Box 37012, MRC 108
    Washington, DC 20013-7012

  • Shipping Address:
    Smithsonian Institution
    National Museum of Natural History
    10th and Constitution Ave, NW
    Washington, DC 20560-0108


Ph.D.: University of New Mexico, 1970
M.S.: University of New Mexico, 1967
B.S.: University of Arizona, 1965

Research Interests

I am interested in mammalian evolution and classification in general, spurred primarily by 2 decades of shepherding "Mammal Species of the World" through 2 editions. A career-long fascination with bats continues unabated, and a smattering of my research time is devoted to various aspects of chiropteran biology. My current major project involves the production of an 8-volume treatise entitled "Handbook of Mammals of the World." The first volume, covering Carnivores, was published by Lynx Edicions in 2009. The second volume, on hoofed mammals, appeared in 2011. I also retain an interest in the mammals of North America, which began with "The Smithsonian Book of North American Mammals," and continued through 2 editions of the Princeton Field Guide to North American Mammals. Using text and photos from those 2 publications, we spun off a website devoted to North American Mammals and there is now an I-phone application as well.

Recent Publications

Moratelli, Ricardo and Wilson, Don E. 2015. A second record of Myotis diminutus (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae): its bearing on the taxonomy of the species and discrimination from M. nigricans. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 127(4): 533-542. doi:10.2988/0006-324X-127.4.533

Wilson, Don E. and Mittermeier, Russell A. (eds.) 2014. Handbook of Mammals of the World: Sea Mammals Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. 614 pages.

Moratelli, Ricardo and Wilson, Don E. 2014. A new species of Myotis from Bolivia (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae). Journal of Mammalogy, 95(4): E17-E25. doi:10.1644/14-MAMM-149

Helgen, Kristofer M., Pinto, Miguel, Kays, Roland, Helgen, Lauren, Tsuchiya, Mirian, Quinn, Aleta, Wilson, Don E. and Maldonado, Jesus E. 2013. Taxonomic revision of the olingos (Bassaricyon), with description of a new species, the Olinguito. Zookeys, 324: 1-83. doi:10.3897/zookeys.324.5827

Moratelli, Ricardo and Wilson, Don E. 2013. Distribution and natural history of Myotis lavali (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae). Journal of Mammalogy, 94(3): 650-656. doi:10.1644/12-MAMM-A-257.1

Mittermeier, Russell A., Rylands, Anthony B. and Wilson, Don E.. 2013. Handbook of Mammals of the World: Primates. Barcelona: LYNX.

Ceballos, Gerardo and Wilson, Don E. 2013. Family Sciuridae. In: Ceballos, Gerardo, Mammals of Mexico. Mexico City: UNAM, pp.1-1016.

Wilson, Don E. 2013. Palabras de Don E. Wilson, distinguido con del premio Zotz por la Red Latinoamericana para la Conservación de los Murciélagos (RELCOM). In: Bernal Rodriguez, 16th International Bat Research Conference (IBRC). San Jose: RELCOM, pp.3

Moratelli, Ricardo, Gardner, Alfred L., de Olivera, J. A. and Wilson, Don E. 2013. Review of Myotis (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae) from northern South America, including description of a new species. American Museum Novitates, 3780: 1-36.

Wilson, Don E. 2013. Chiroptera. In: Smith, A. T. and Xie, Y., Pocket guide to Mammals of China. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, pp.217-274.

Larsen, Roxanne J., Knapp, Michelle C., Genoways, Hugh H., Khan, Faisal Ali Anwarali, Larsen, Peter A., Wilson, Don E. and Baker, Robert J. 2012. Genetic Diversity of Neotropical Myotis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae) with an Emphasis on South American Species. Plos One, 7(10): 1-9. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0046578

Wilson, Don E. and Murariu, Dumitru T. 2011. Review of: The Eponym Dictionary of Mammals. Journal of mammalogy, 92(2): 474-475.

Wilson, Don E. and Timm, Robert M. 2011. Robert S. Hoffmann: 1929–2010. Journal of Mammalogy, 92(2): 460-473. doi:10.1644/10-MAMM-O-421.1

Moratelli, Ricardo and Wilson, Don E. 2011. The identity of Myotis punensis (Chiroptera: Vespertilionidae). Zoologia, 28(1): 115-121. doi:10.1590/S1984-46702011000100016

Moratelli, Ricardo and Wilson, Don E. 2011. A new species of Myotis Kaup, 1829 (Chiroptera, Vespertilionidae) from Ecuador. Mammalian Biology, 76(5): 608-614. doi:10.1016/j.mambio.2010.10.003

Wilson, Don E., Young, Richard and Amori, Giovanni 2011. Formation of the Small Mammal Specialist Group. Species, 53: 30

Complete List of Wilson's Publications and Downloadable PDFs

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