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SPECIES Arvicola scherman

Author:Shaw, 1801.
Citation:Gen. Zool., II(Pt. 1): 75.
Common Name:Montane Water Vole
Type Locality:Germany, Strassburg.
Distribution:Mountains of N Spain, through C Europe (S Netherlands to SC France and eastwards to Slovakia), to C Romania (Panteleyev, 2000:Fig. 2).
Comments:Earlier recognized as a species (Trouessart, 1910; Miller, 1912a; Hinton, 1926a; Ognev, 1950) until Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951) reassigned scherman as another subspecies of an all-embracing terrestris, a classification observed through the late 1900s (Gromov and Polyakov, 1977; Corbet, 1978c, 1984; Honacki et al., 1982; Corbet and Hill, 1991; Musser and Carleton, 1993). However, the two long known ecological morphotypes clearly correspond to two biological species: an amphibious form (A. amphibius) that is widely distributed in Eurasia, and a smaller fossorial species (A. scherman) isolated in certain European mountains (Alps, Carpathians, Cantabrian, Massif Central, Pyrenees). They contrast in body mass, pelage coloration, social behavior, mating system, use of space, cranial size and shape, and incisor protrusion (LaVille, 1989; Mitchell-Jones et al., 1999; Panteleyev, 1996; Sausy, 2000; Warmerdam, 1982). In the Netherlands and Belgium, Warmerdam (1982) meticuously characterized the geographic complementarity and morphometric discrimination of the two forms, as did Panteleyev (1996) in a geographically broader synopsis of the two. Although both authors ultimately retained the fossorial scherman as a distinctive race of terrestris (here = A. amphibius), theirs is an exceptionally robust application of subspecies usage. Based on this persuasive body of literature, coupled with examinations of AMNH and USNM series, we can only endorse the recent views of Panteleyev (2000) and Zagorodnyuk (1992b, c, 2000) in acknowledging scherman as a species. Genetic distances based on allozymic analysis are slightly less between samples of A. scherman and A. amphibius than are any pair-wise comparisons among 10 Microtus species sampled by Mezhzherin et al. (1993).



    albus (Bechstein, 1801)
    argentoratensis Desmarest, 1822
    buffonii (Fischer, 1829)
    cantabriae Ventura and Gosálbez, 1989
    canus (Bechstein, 1801)
    castaneus de Sélys Longchamps, 1845
    exilis Lydekker, 1910
    exitus Miller, 1910
    gutsulius Zagorodnyuk, 2000
    monticola de Sélys Longchamps, 1838
    minor (Leske, 1779)
    niger de Sélys Longchamps, 1845
    schermaus (Hermann, 1804)

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