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SPECIES Microtus (Alexandromys) kikuchii

Author:Kuroda, 1920.
Citation:Dobuts. Zasshi, 32: 40-41.
Common Name:Taiwan Vole
Type Locality:Taiwan, Mt Morrison, 10,000 ft (3048 m).
Distribution:Highlands of Taiwan, usually above 3000 m (Lin et al., 1987; H.-T. Yu, 1993; M.-J. Yu, 1996).
Status:IUCN Vulnerable as Volemys kikuckii.
Comments:Subgenus Alexandromys. Zagorodnyuk (1990) listed this species as the only member of the kikuchii species group, genus Volemys, an arrangement followed by Musser and Carleton (1993); treated as a species of Microtus by Corbet and Hill (1992), or listed in Microtus, subgenus Volemys, by Pavlinov et al. (1995a). Contrast in cranial conformation between M. kikuchii and Volemys musseri, as well as their striking coronal dissimilarities, earlier emphasized by Lawrence (1982); Corbet and Hill (1992) speculated that M. kikuchii is closely allied to M. fortis, a kinship certainly indicated by molar patterns. Phylogenetic analysis of cytochrome b sequences arranged M. kikuchii as sister species of M. oeconomus, in a clade that includes M. fortis, M. middendorffii, and M. montebelli (Conroy and Cook, 2000a); furthermore, the standard karyotype of M. kikuchii (2n = 30, FN = 52) is similar to those of M. montebelli and M. oeconomus (Harada et al., 1991). Alliance with M. oeconomus and its kin is zoogeographically sensible since it and M. fortis apparently had a wider geographic distribution during the Pleistocene (including the Ryukyu Isls). Information about the holotype of M. kikuchii and type locality amplified by Jones (1975). Cranial and dental morphometry reported by Kaneko (1987). Ecology, altitudinal distribution, and genetic substructure among populations exhaustively covered by H.-T. Yu (1993, 1994, 1995).
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