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Systematics of microtus subterraneus and microtus savii on the apennine peninsula and neighboring regions

Saeugetierkundliche Mitteilungen 24(3): 166-179

Systematics of microtus subterraneus and microtus savii on the apennine peninsula and neighboring regions

The southernmost records of M. (P.) subterraneus are from the montane and beech habitats (> 1000 m above sea level [ASL]) of the Veronese Pre-Alps (Monti Lessini), [Italy]. There are only 2 more localities known from the south of the alpine main chain: 1 old record from the Brenner Pass and 1 from Puschlav Valley (with chromosome complement known). From the western part of the Italian Alps there are neither specimens nor published records available. On comparing Veronese material with series from all over the Alps to the Balkan, noted particular traits are: Veronese animals reach considerable skull dimensions, have relatively short tails, and their M3 [upper molar3] shows primitive patterns (many, usually 5 closed triangles). The present knowledge is summarized with: tables of measurements, illustrations of skull and teeth, and a map of the species' distribution on the Apennine and Balkan peninsulas. Studies on M. P. savii were based on population samples from all over its range. In the Veronese Pre-Alps the species was found up to the chestnut region (> 400 m ACL), in the Italian part of Western alps the species can be found at higher altitudes at Monesi (Province Imperia) between 1400-1450 m, near San Giacomo (Valle di Piantonetto, Gran Paradiso National Park, Prov. Turin) at 1100 m. From the plains of the river Po in the North all over the Apennine chain the whole Peninsula and all of Sicily are colonized at all elevations. The documented maximum adult size of skull measurements differs between various populations. The population in the valley of the Sangro near Pescasseroli, Abruzzese National Park, reaches different extremes in, e.g., condylobasal length and jugal width in different years. The variability in the size and shape of certain morphological traits as proodonty of upper incisors, attrition patterns of M3 is larger than previously thought. A reduced "complex"-character in M3 is known from the Abruzzes. Arvicola nebrodensis Mina-Palumbo, 1868 is conspecific with M. (P.) savii; it corresponds morphologically and karyologically with this species.

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Accession: 006574611

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