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SPECIES Lepus (Eulagos) mandshuricus

Author:Radde, 1861.
Citation:Melanges Biol. Acad. St. Petersbourg, 3: 684.
Common Name:Manchurian Hare
Type Locality:"Im Chy (Gebirge)" Bureya Mtns [Khabarovskii Krai, Russia].
Distribution:Ussuri region (Russia); NE China; extreme NE Korea.
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:Subgenus Eulagos (Averianov, 1998). Distinct from brachyurus; see Angermann (1966, 1983); placed in Caprolagus (Allolagus) brachyurus by Gureev (1964:150); followed by Gromov and Baranova (1981:63). Melanic individuals known since at least the time of Sowerby (1923) have been given the specific designation melainus (Li and Luo, 1979). The range of this taxon is entirely within that of mandshuricus, and we provisionally retain them in that species, although Flux and Angermann (1990) recognized melainus. L. mandshuricus and L. coreanus are parapatric in distribution in NE Korea/SE Heilungjiang, but are described as occupying different habitats; the former, mixed forest in hilly country, the latter, both forest and cultivated land, primarily in the plains (Flux and Angermann, 1990). Moreover, mandshuricus is sympatric with another forest species, timidus, and with the plains species, tolai; as forest is cleared, tolai tends to replace mandshuricus (Flux and Angermann, 1990). L. mandshuricus, L. timidus and L. tolai all occur in the area occupied by the taxon melainus; four species of sympatric hares, three of them forest-dwellers, is unprecedented in hare ecology, and supports the view that melainus is not a distinct species.
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Synonyms:

    melainus Li and Luo, 1979
    melanonotus Ognev, 1922

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