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SPECIES Gerbillus (Gerbillus) pyramidum

Author:Geoffroy, 1803.
Citation:Cat. Mam. Mus. Natl. Hist. Nat., Paris: 202.
Common Name:Greater Egyptian Gerbil
Type Locality:Egypt, Giza Province.
Distribution:Documented from Egypt, Nile delta and valley south to Sudan (N Sudan, oases of Western Desert and SE Eastern Desert, and Khartoum region in EC Sudan (see Osborn and Helmy, 1980:97); specimens with same karyotype have been collected from the Mauritanian coast, N Mali, and W Niger, so actual range may extend from coastal Mauritania to Egypt and Sudan (Dobigny et al., 2001a, b, 2002b).
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:Subgenus Gerbillus. Many authors have viewed this species as ranging extensively from the Sinai throughout North Africa to Morocco and Senegal, and containing many synonyms. Lay (1983), however, discussed the taxonomic quagmire, noting that most synonyms formerly associated with G. pyramidum probably did not represent that species or are presently unidentifiable, and described the wide chromosomal variation in specimens from different geographic regions. "Inasmuch as a distinctive karyotype of 2n = 38 with all biarmed elements has been reported for topotypical material and such a karyotype has not been reported from any locality outside Egypt, it should be assumed that G. pyramidum inhabits only the region mapped by Osborn and Helmy" (Lay, 1983:346). Tawill and Niethammer (1989) discussed the morphological and chromosomal identification of a sample from Khartoum as most probably G. pyramidum. The chromosomal and morphometric analyses of North African samples usually identified as G. pyramidum reinforced the view that it has been recorded only from Egypt and Sudan (Granjon et al., 1999). Dobigny et al. (2001a), however, reported samples with 2n = 38 from coastal Mauritania, NE Mali, and NW Niger that are "probably referable to G. pyramidum " (see also Dobigny et al., 2002b), and Granjon et al. (2002a) identified G. cf. pyramidum as one of the many species of Gerbillus and Dipodillus from the same general region encompassing the subsahelian region of Mauritania, Mali, and W Niger in West Africa. Apparently the species has a wider distribution than realized, a range that overlaps that of its close relative, G. tarabuli. Aspects of G. pyramidum are reviewed by Pavlinov et al. (1990). For publication from Geoffroy, 1803 see Opinion 2005 of the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (2002b).
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Offspring:

Synonyms:

    elbaensis Setzer, 1958
    gedeedus Osborn and Helmy, 1980

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