In 1859 Andrew Murray, an Edinburgh naturalist, described, under the name of Galago murinus, what he believed to be a new species. His account was based upon material from Old Calabar sent to him by a missionary, Rev. W. C. Thomson, who had kept the animal some time in captivity. Murray was, at first, undecided whether to allocate his specimen to one or other of the two previously known smaller Galagidæ, namely G. senegalensis or G. demidovii, and sought the advice of Gray, who thought it probably a juvenile Senegal Galago. (The more usual rendering demidoffi was shown by Schwarz (1931) to be incorrect, the first usage as a Latin name being demidovii (G. Fischer, 1808).) Murray did not accept this opinion, for he considered his specimen an adult, though not old, because its fontanelles were closed. He specified the distinctions from senegalensis as follows:—
(a) Small size, it being only half the size of the larger species, declared by the missionaries (Thomson and Robb) to inhabit the same locality.
(b) Difference in colour—mouse-coloured instead of the “orange-tawny-yellow” of senegalensis.
(c) The nakedness of the ears.
(d) The long fourth digit of the hand (according to Audebert's (1801) figure of senegalensis, the third was supposed to be longest in that species).
(e) The slenderer, less bushy tail.
All the above are perfectly good reasons for separating murinus from senegalensis and its allies, but, unfortunately, Murray gave no reasons against its being identified as demidovii, previously known from Senegal, but erroneously believed by Murray to come from Madagascar and hence, probably, regarded as a justification for distinguishing it from murinus.