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Zoological Research
Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
ISSN: 2095-8137
Vol. 39, No. 5, 2018, pp. 321-334
Bioline Code: zr18031
Full paper language: English
Document type: Research Article
Document available free of charge

Zoological Research, Vol. 39, No. 5, 2018, pp. 321-334

 en A new genus of Asiatic short-tailed shrew (Soricidae, Eulipotyphla) based on molecular and morphological comparisons
He, Kai; Chen, Xing; Chen, Peng; He, Shui-Wang; Cheng, Feng; Jiang, Xue-Long & Campbell, Kevin L.

Abstract

Blarinellini is a tribe of soricine shrews comprised of nine fossil genera and one extant genus. Blarinelline shrews were once widely distributed throughout Eurasia and North America, though only members of the Asiatic short-tailed shrew genus Blarinella check for this species in other resources currently persist (mostly in southwestern China and adjacent areas). Only three forms of Blarinella have been recognized as either species or subspecies. However, recent molecular studies indicated a strikingly deep divergence within the genus, implying the existence of a distinct genus-level lineage. We sequenced the complete mitochondrial genomes and one nuclear gene of three Asiatic short-tailed and two North American shrews and analyzed them morphometrically and morphologically. Our molecular analyses revealed that specimens ascribed to B. griselda check for this species in other resources formed two deeply diverged lineages, one a close relative to B. quadraticauda check for this species in other resources , whereas the other — comprised of topotype specimens from southern Gansu — diverged from other Blarinella in the middle Miocene (ca. 18.2 million years ago (Ma), 95% confidence interval=13.4–23.6 Ma). Although the skulls were similarly shaped in both lineages, we observed several diagnostic characteristics, including the shape of the upper P4. In consideration of the molecular and morphological evidence, we recognize B. griselda as the sole species of a new genus, namely, Pantherina gen. nov. Interestingly, some characteristics of Pantherina griselda are more similar to fossil genera, suggesting it represents an evolutionarily more primitive form than Blarinella. Recognition of this new genus sheds light on the systematics and evolutionary history of the tribe Blarinellini throughout Eurasia and North America.

Keywords
Blarinellini; Capture-hybridization; Mitogenome; Molecular phylogeny; Next-generation sequencing; Pantherina

 
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