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SPECIES Microtus (Stenocranius) gregalis

Author:Pallas, 1779.
Citation:Nova Spec. Quad. Glir. Ord.: 238.
Common Name:Narrow-headed Vole
Type Locality:Russia, Siberia, E of Chulym River.
Distribution:Discontinuous distribution in four regions. Largest range is in forests or steppes from Volga River eastward through Kazakhstan, across the Pamirs, Tien Shan and Altai Mtns, NW China (NW Xinjiang), N Mongolia, and Transbaikalia to Amur area and NE China (Heilongjiang, Nei Mongol, Hebei, and Henan; Zhang et al., 1997); another area is to the north in the Lena River Basin; last two are farther north in the Siberian tundra, where one area stretches from the Kolyma River area west to Taymyr Peninsula, the other from mouth of the Ob River to the White Sea. Absent from the British Isles.
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:

Subgenus Stenocranius, the only included species (Gromov and Polyakov, 1977; Pavlinov and Rossolimo, 1987, 1998; Pavlinov et al., 1995a; Zagorodnyuk, 1990). Corbet (1978c) claimed that M. abbreviatus on Hall and St Matthews Isls in the Bering Sea and M. miurus in Alaska are closely related vicariant species; based on morphological and zoogeographic criteria, Rausch (1964) considered North American miurus to be conspecific with Asian gregalis. Ample studies and an array of data convincingly refute this connection and reveal the morphological similarities between M. gregalis and M. miurus as convergent (Conroy and Cook, 2000a; Fedyk, 1970; Vorontsov and Lyapunova, 1976; Zagorodnyuk, 1990; also see M. miurus). Allozymic analysis by Mezhzherin et al. (1993) placed M. gregalis in a clade with M. oeconomus, M. middendorfii, M. fortis, and Lasiopodomys brandtii, but their taxon sampling was limited.

Intraspecific chromosomal variation among Mongolian samples documented by Kovalskaya (1989) and earlier chromosomal data presented by Zima and Kral (1984a). Occurrence on the Svjatoj Nos peninsula and isthmus in Lake Baikal documented by Reiter et al. (1995). Dupal (1998) reported chronoclinal changes in m1s from ancestral M. hintoni of the early Pleistocene, through the middle Pleistocene M. gregaloides, to living M. gregalis in Russia; transformations in crown length can be correlated with three trends associated with geographical and physical environmental gradients. An early origin of M. gregalis is consistent with its phylogenetic position basal to both Eurasian and North American species, as suggested by analysis of cytochrome b sequences (Conroy and Cook, 2000a). The taxa egorovi and kriogenicus, based on late Pleistocene fossils, were described as subspecies of M. gregalis (Dupal, 1998). Although not part of the modern fauna on the British Isles, M. gregalis occurred there during Late Glacial times in the Pleistocene (Kowalski, 1967; Yalden, 1999).

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Synonyms:

    angelicus Hinton, 1910
    angustus Thomas, 1908
    brevicauda Kastschenko, 1901
    buturlini (Ognev, 1922)
    castaneus Kashkarov, 1923
    dolguschini Afanasiev, 1939
    dukelskiae Ognev, 1950
    egorovi Baranov and Feigin, 1980
    eversmanni (Poljakov, 1881)
    kossogolicus (Ognev, 1923)
    kriogenicus Rekovets, 1978
    major (Ognev, 1923)
    montosus Argyropulo, 1932
    nordenskioldi (Poljakov, 1881)
    pallasii Kastschenko, 1901
    raddei (Poljakov, 1881)
    ravidulus Miller, 1899
    sirtalaensis Yung, 1966
    slowzowi (Poljakov, 1881)
    talassicus Heptner, 1948
    tarbagataicus Ognev, 1944
    tianschanicus Buchner, 1889
    tundrae Ognev, 1944
    unguiculatus (Vinogradov, 1935)
    zachvatkini Heptner, 1945

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