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SPECIES Microtus (Terricola) majori

Author:Thomas, 1906.
Citation:Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist., ser. 7, 17: 419.
Common Name:Major’s Pine Vole
Type Locality:Turkey, Trabzon Prov., Sumelas (= Meryemana), 30 mi (48 km) S Trabzon.
Distribution:NE Turkey (humid forest along southern shore of Black Sea east of type locality; Kryštufek and Vohralík, 2001; Macholán et al., 2001a), N Caucasus (Russia), S Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia, and W Azerbaijan), and NW Iran.

Subgenus Terricola, subterraneus species group (Chaline et al., 1988) or majori species group (Pavlinov and Rossolimo, 1998; Pavlinov et al., 1995a; Zagorodnyuk, 1990). Morphologically and genetically closely related to M. subterraneus and M. daghestanicus (Baskevich, 1997; Macholán et al., 2001a; Mezhzherin et al., 1995). Geographic range once thought to extend into the Balkans, S Greece, and W Turkey (Kivanc, 1986; Niethammer, 1987b), but a diverse character base aligns those populations with M. subterraneus and excludes M. majori from the European fauna (Kryštufek et al., 1994).

Reviewed by Storch (1982) and comparative chromosomal data summarized by Zima and Kral (1984a). Macholán et al. (2001a) documented karyotypic and allozymic contrasts between Turkish and European M. subterraneus and Turkish M. majori; their ranges approach closely in NW Turkey but sympatry not yet demonstrated (see account of M. subterraneus). Karyotypic and spermatozoal comparisons among M. majori (2n = 54, FN = 60), M. daghestanicus (2n = 54, FN = 58), and M. subterraneus (2n = 52, FN = 60) validated the species status of each, indicated closer relationship between M. daghestanicus and M. subterraneus, and identified traits useful for separating sympatric samples of the morphologically similar M. majori and M. daghestanicus (Baskevich, 1997). Invariant karyotype of M. majori from the Caucasus contrasted with highly variable 2n (38-54) and conservative FN (58) of M. daghestanicus by Achverdjan et al. (1992), who discussed their significance to pine vole evolution.




    ciscaucasicus (Ognev, 1924)
    colchicus Shidlovsky, 1919
    dinniki Satunin, 1903
    labensis Heptner, 1948
    rubelianus Shidlovsky, 1919
    transcaucasicus (Khatukhov and Tembotov, 1982)
    vinogradovi Sviridenko, 1936

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