A review of the Eliurus tanala complex (Rodentia, Muroidea, Nesomyidae), with description of a new species from dry forests of western Madagascar. (Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, no. 430)

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American Museum of Natural History.
Based on 372 specimens examined, we integrated information from two mitochondrial and four nuclear gene sequences, morphological comparisons and morphometric analyses, as well as distributional patterns and ecological occurrences to revise the Eliurus tanala species group (Nesomyinae), a rodent complex endemic to Madagascar’s forests. These evidentiary sources generally proved concordant, supporting description of a new species, E. tsingimbato, indigenous to western dry deciduous forest, mostly associated with limestone karst (tsingy); the two other members of this species group, E. ellermani and E. tanala, are restricted to eastern montane humid forest. Phylogenetic relationships among the three species were poorly resolved, suggesting that their speciation was both recent and rapid. We encountered one instance of conflict between mitochondrial DNA and all other data sources, which we interpret as incomplete lineage sorting involving a population of the new western species. Attention was focused on molecular and morphometric discrimination of the E. tanala and E. antsingy groups where their species distributions overlap in limestone-associated forests of western and northern Madagascar. Phyletic divisions demonstrated within the E. tanala species group are discussed apropos of current models of speciation identified for Malagasy forest-dwelling organisms.
67 pages : illustrations (some color), maps ; 26 cm.
Eliurus tsingimbato., Eliurus tanala., Eliurus., Speciation (Biology), Phylogeny., Forest animals., Rodents., Madagascar.