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Crocidura cossyrensis Contoli, 1989 (Mammalia, Soridiae): karyotype, biochemical genetics and hybridization experiments
Revue Suisse de Zoologie
Crocidura cossyrensis Contoli, 1989 (Mammalia, Soricidae): karyotype, biochemical genetics and hybridization experiments. - The shrew Crocidura cossyrensis Contoli, 1989 from Pantelleria (I), a Mediterranean island 100 km south of Sicily and 70 km west from Tunisia, was investigated in order to understand its origin and its relationship with C. russula from Tunisia, Morocco and Switzerland. With the exception of a single heterozygote centric fusion, C. cossyrensis had a karyotype identical with that of C russula from Tunisia (2N = 42, NF = 70 to 72), but it differed from C russula from Morocco and Switzerland (2N = 42, NF = 60). The former have 5-6 pairs of chromosomes with small arms that are acrocentric in the latter. Genetic comparisons with allozyme data revealed small genetic distance (0.04) between C cossyrensis and C russula from Tunisia. In contrast, this eastern clade (Tunisia and Pantelleria) is separated from the western clade (Switzerland and Morocco) by a genetic distance of 0.14. A hybridization experiment between shrews from Pantelleria and Switzerland lead rapidly to an F1 generation. From 12 F1 hybrids that were backcrossed, females reproduced normally, but none of the males did so. Concluding from the results, C. cossyrensis from Pantelleria and C. russula cf. agilis from Tunisia belong to the same taxon that may have reached the differentiation of a biological species within the C. russula group. More geographic samples are needed to determine the definitive taxonomic positions of these shrews.
Soricidae, Crocidura, Pantelleria, Tunisia, phylogeography, chromosomes, hybrids
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