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SPECIES Ellobius (Afganomys) lutescens

Author:Thomas, 1897.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 6, 20: 308.
Common Name:Transcaucasian Mole Vole
Type Locality:Turkey, Kurdistan, Van.
Distribution:S Caucasus south through E Turkey and NW Iran.
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:Subgenus Afganomys. Treated by Corbet (1978c) as a synonym of E. fuscocapillus but shown to be a distinct species (Corbet, 1984; Vorontsov et al., 1980, and references therein), as earlier listed by Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951). The low diploid number (17) and "weird" mode of sex determination (both sexes XO, X unpaired in male meiosis, apparent lack of genomic differentiation between males and females) continue to stimulate inquiry (Baumstart et al., 2001; Just et al., 1995, 2002; Vogel et al., 1988, 1998; Zima and Kral, 1984a; and references cited in each). Vogel et al. (1998) concluded that the entire Y chromosome is lost in E. lutescens, and Baumstart et al. (2001) found evidence for a yet unknown gene responsible for testes determination. After extensive synthesis of the literature and equivocal search for other genes effecting gonadal differentiation, Just et al. (2002) remarked that the mechanism of sex determination in E. lutescens "remains bizarre." Vogel et al. (1998) speculated on the origin of E. lutescens from an Ellobius species with XX males, which they proposed as a very recent event in evolutionary time. Geographic distribution, morphology, and karyotype of population in eastern Turkey reported by Coşkun (2001).
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Offspring:

Synonyms:

    legendrei Goodwin, 1940
    woosnami Thomas, 1905

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