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SUBFAMILY Leithiinae

Author:Lydekker, 1895.
Actual Date:1896
Citation:Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1895: 862.
Comments:

Lydekker (1895) proposed Leithiidae to separate the giant Pleistocene dormouse of Malta from other glirids, and Leithia for the type genus. Major (1899) argued that Leithia was in fact a glirid, and Leithiidae a junior synonym of Gliridae. De Bruijn (1967) proposed Dryomyinae, which included Leithia, Dryomys, Eliomys, and other genera. The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (1999:45) mandates that when a nominal taxon is lowered in rank in the family group, its type genus remains the same. Because Dryomyinae de Bruijn contains Leithia, the correct name for the subfamily is Leithiinae. The results of the phylogenetic analysis by Wahlert et al. (1993) indicated that the genera listed below [excluding Chaetocauda, which was not available for study] form a monophyletic group composed of two tribes: Leithiini (Dryomys and Eliomys) and Seleviniini (Myomimus and Selevinia).

Daams and de Bruijn (1995) argued that it is imprudent to revive the subfamily name Leithiinae because Leithia does not exhibit all the character states outlined for the subfamily by Wahlert et al. (1993). Additionally, they do not advocate use of Leithiini and Seleviini, because they believe that too little published information is available for Selevinia to serve as type genus for the tribe. Rossolimo et al. (2001) employed both Leithiinae and Seleviniinae. Daams and de Bruijn (1995) arranged Dryomys, Eliomys, Graphiurus, Glirulus and Chaetocauda under the Dryomyinae de Bruijn, 1967, and placed Myomimus in its own subfamily. For synonyms see McKenna and Bell (1997).

Yachontov and Potapova (1991) considerd Selevinia to be closely related to Glirinae genera Glis and Muscardinus. Wahlert et al. (1993) concluded that Myomimus and Selevinia are related, and placed them both in Seleviniini, uniting them with Leithiini (containing Eliomys and Dryomys) in Leithiinae. Storch (1995b) grouped Dryomys and Eliomys into Dryomyinae, and placed Selevinia, Chaetocauda, and Myomimus in a separate subfamily, Seleviniinae. Koenigswald (1993, 1995) placed Dryomys and Eliomys into his derived "Group II", and Myomimus and Selevinia (along with Muscardinus and Graphiurus) in his derived "Group III". Simson et al. (1995) found that Myomimus clustered with Dryomys, and that Glis clustered with Eliomys, based on phallic and bacular characters. Bentz and Mongelardís (1999) mitochondrial analyses suggest that Eliomys and Dryomys (the only two genera sampled from Leithiinae) form a monophyletic group; however, in some of their analyses, Eliomys also appeared in the basal position within Gliridae. Rossolimo (2001) included Dryomys, Eliomys, and "?Chaetocauda" in Leithiinae, and recognized Seleviniinae containing Myomimini (comprised of Myomimus), and Seleviniini (comprised of Selevinia). Potapovaís (2001) analysis of middle ear morphology supports a close relationship of Dryomys and Eliomys, and of Selevinia with Myomimus. Phylogenetic analyses of nuclear DNA fragments and mitochondrial 12S rRNA sequences identified Eliomys, Dryomys, Myomimus, and Muscardinus as comprising a major evolutionary lineage, with Muscardinus basal to the other three genera (Mongelard et al., 2003). This cladistic position reflects that of Rossolimo et al. (2001), who did not allocate Muscardinus to subfamily, but suggested it was related to Dryomys and Eliomys; Potapova (2001), who hypothesized that Muscardinus represents an independent group that is more closely related to Dryomys and Eliomys than to Glis; and Pavlinovís (2001b) conclusion, based upon upper molar crown pattern, that Glis and Muscardinus are "most dissimilar both from each other and from the remainder of the glirids studied."

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Offspring:

GENUS Chaetocauda

SPECIES sichuanensis

GENUS Dryomys

SPECIES laniger

SPECIES niethammeri

SPECIES nitedula

GENUS Eliomys

SPECIES melanurus

SPECIES munbyanus

SPECIES quercinus

GENUS Muscardinus

SPECIES avellanarius

GENUS Myomimus

SPECIES personatus

SPECIES roachi

SPECIES setzeri

GENUS Selevinia

SPECIES betpakdalaensis

Synonyms:

    Dryomyinae de Bruijn, 1967
    Leithiinae Trouessart, 1897
    Muscardininae Palmer, 1904
    Myomiminae Daams, 1981
    Seleviniidae Bashanov and Belosludov, 1939
    Seleviniinae Ognev, 1947

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