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SPECIES Microtus (See comments.) longicaudus

Author:Merriam, 1888.
Citation:Am. Nat., 22: 934.
Common Name:Long-tailed Vole
Type Locality:USA, South Dakota, Custer Co., Black Hills, Custer, 5500 ft (1676 m).
Distribution:Rocky Mountains and adjacent foothills, from E Alaska and N Yukon, south through British Columbia and SW Alberta, Canada, to E California and W Colorado; including Pacific coastal taiga to N California; disjunct southern pockets in S California, Arizona, and New Mexico, USA.
Status:IUCN Data Deficient as M. l. bernardinus, M. l. coronarius, and M. l. leucophaeus, otherwise Lower Risk (lc).

Sometimes viewed as a Nearctic member of Chionomys (Anderson, 1959), or allocated to subgenus Microtus (Chaline, 1974; Hall, 1981), or to subgenus Aulacomys (Zagorodnyuk, 1990). Although strongly differentiated relative to other North American Microtus (e.g., Hooper and Hart, 1962; Modi, 1987; Moore and Janecek, 1990), the phyletic affinity of M. longicaudus lies with this complex and not Old World Chionomys (Chaline and Graf, 1988; Conroy and Cook, 2000a; Gromov and Polyakov, 1977; Zagorodnyuk, 1990).

Extensive karyotypic (Judd and Cross, 1980) and molecular (Conroy and Cook, 2000b) variation reported, albeit not necessarily concordant, which invites continued taxonomic investigation. Well-defined geographic groupings of cytochrome b haplotypes interpreted in light of Pleistocene climatic changes, possible refugia, and likely isolation during northward reexpansion along different colonizing routes (Conroy and Cook, 2000b). Finley and Bogan (1995) discussed the inconsistent usage and problematic identification of subspecies (alticola, mordax, and longicaudus) in NW Colorado, an area which tellingly circumscribes some of the most distinctive populations (Southern Rockies Clade) identified by Conroy and Cook (2000b) and whose genetic divergence approaches that of other Microtus species. Includes coronarius, which Jones et al. (1986) viewed as an insular derivative and subspecies of M. longicaudus; MacDonald and Cook (1996) continued to list coronarius as species and advised broader comparisons with M. longicaudus populations to vindicate its status. See Smolen and Keller (1987, Mammalian Species, 271).




    abditus A. B. Howell, 1923
    alticola (Merriam, 1890)
    angusticeps Bailey, 1898
    angustus Hall, 1931
    baileyi Goldman, 1938
    bernardinus Merriam, 1908
    cautus J. A. Allen, 1899
    coronarius Swarth, 1911
    halli Hayman and Holt, 1941
    incanus Lee and Durrant, 1960
    latus Hall, 1931
    leucophaeus (J. A. Allen, 1894)
    littoralis Swarth, 1933
    macrurus Merriam, 1898
    mordax (Merriam, 1891)
    sierrae Kellogg, 1922
    vellerosus J. A. Allen, 1899

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