Mammalian Biology

, Volume 77, Issue 1, pp 6–12 | Cite as

Taxonomical status and phylogenetic relations between the “thomasi” and “atticus” chromosomal races of the underground vole Microtus thomasi (Rodentia, Arvicolinae)

  • M. Th. RovatsosEmail author
  • E. B. Giagia-Athanasopoulou
Original Investigation


Laboratory crosses among wild caught individuals of the chromosomal races “atticus” and “thomasi”, were performed to analyze the degree of interracial reproductive isolation. The fertility of the studied specimens was evaluated by taking into consideration the reproductive success, the litter size and performing comparative histological examination of the testicular material. All studied populations were submitted to classical cytogenetic and mitochondrial analysis (cytochrome b gene), providing new evidences to the potential phylogenetic relations and taxonomical status of the two chromosomal races. The previously described “atticus” populations are divided in two genetically distinct, geographically and reproductively isolated lineages (2.9% total and 2.4% net divergence), which probably derived from different glacial refugia of Southern Greece. Here, we suggest that the lineage, consisting of the populations from Attiki and Evia Island, should be distinguished as a valid species, named Microtus atticus, including the two chromosomal races “atticus” and “evia”. On the contrary, the ex-“atticus” populations from North Peloponnesus belong to the same mitochondrial lineage with the other Microtus thomasi populations and should be considered as a chromosomal polymorphism inside the chromosomal race “thomasi”.


Microtus Fertility Reproduction Cytochrome b Chromosomal race 


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Th. Rovatsos
    • 1
    Email author
  • E. B. Giagia-Athanasopoulou
    • 1
  1. 1.Section of Animal Biology, Department of BiologyUniversity of PatrasPatrasGreece

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