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Habitat, morphology and karyotype of the Saharan shrew Crocidura tarfayaensis (Mammalia : Soricidae)
The Saharan shrew Crocidura tarfayaensis Vesmanis and Vesmanis, 1980, has a limited disribution along the Atlantic coast of Sahara, south of Agadir (Morocco) through Western Sahara into Mauritania and is only known from few captures and some owl pellets. Here we report field data from the successful trapping of five specimens of C. tarfayaensis in the Guelmim region. The habitat was characterized by sand dunes along a river, with dense shrubberies of Tamarix sp., the huge grass Erianthus ravennae (Poaceae) and flat bushes of Atriplex glauca var. ifniensis (Chenopodiaceae). Morphological discrimination with C. whitakeri were examined. The chromosomes of C. tarfayaensis revealed a karyotype of 2n = 36, similar to that of the Canary shrew C. canariensis and the Sicilian shrew C. sicula. In conclusion, C. tarfayaensis seems to be a descendant of the presumed continental ancestor of the two island species.
crocidura tarfayaensis crocidura canariensis crocidura sicula cytotaxonomy ecology morocco white-toothed-shrew canary-islands national-park morocco chromosome mtdna
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