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SPECIES Apodemus alpicola

Author:Heinrich, 1952.
Citation:J. Mammal., 33: 260.
Common Name:Alpine Field Mouse
Type Locality:Allgäu, Osterachtal, S Germany.
Distribution:Endemic to NW parts of the Alps: S Germany, Austria (Bauer and Spitzenberger, 1996; Spitzenberger and Englisch, 1996), Liechtenstein, Switzerland (Hausser, 1995; Margry, 1996; Maurizio, 1994), N Italy (Amori et al., 1999), and SE France; altitudinal range 550-2000 m (Mitchell-Jones et al., 1999).
Status:IUCN – Data Deficient.
Comments:Sylvaemus group. Originally described as a high-altitude form of A. flavicollis, but recognized as distinct by Storch and Lütt (1989), who reviewed morphology and distribution of S. alpicola and noted that it occurred syntopically with A. sylvaticus and A. flavicollis. The specific integrity of S. alpicola has been confirmed by allozymic and gene sequence studies (Filippucci, 1992; Filippucci et al., 2002; Liu et al., 2004; Michaux et al., 2002a; Reutter et al., 2003; Serizawa et al., 2000; Suzuki et al., 2003; Vogel et al., 1991). Filippucci’s (1992) report of allozymic variation at 28-33 loci suggested that A. alpicola may be most closely related to A. uralensis, which occurs from E Europe to NW China (similar results are reported for Turkish samples by Filippucci et al., 1996), and that A. uralensis, A. flavicollis, A. alpicola, and A. hermonensis (= A. witherbyi) separated recently from a common ancestor. The sister-species relationship between A. alpicola and A. uralensis was corroborated by Michaux et al.’s (2002a) phylogenetic analyses of the mtDNA cytochrome b and 12S rRNA sequences, and Reutter et al.’s (2003) analyses of cytochrome b haplotype divergences, but not by complete mtDNA cytochrome b sequences (Liu et al., 2004). A discriminant function analysis of cranial and dental measurements for distinguishing samples of A. sylvaticus, A. flavicollis, and A. alpicola provided by Reutter et al. (1999), who also documented variation in banded chromosomes between A. alpicola and A. uralensis (Reutter et al., 2001). Michaux et al. (2001a) and Reutter et al. (2002) described a relatively simple process where species-specific primers derived from mtDNA cytochrome b sequences can be used to rapidly identify specimens of A. alpicola, A. flavicollis, and A. sylvaticus in regions of sympatry or syntopy. Included in Mezhzherin’s (1997a) review of N Eurasian Apodemus, and also reviewed by Mitchell-Jones et al. (1999). Musser et al. (1996) listed specimens and discussed subgeneric allocation.
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    alpinus Heinrich, 1951

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