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SPECIES Meriones (Pallasiomys) libycus

Author:Lichtenstein, 1823.
Citation:Verz. Doublet. Zool. Mus. Univ. Berlin: 5.
Common Name:Libyan Jird
Type Locality:"Libische Wuste" (Libyan Desert), as restricted by lectotype designation by Pavlinov (1982c:1767); usually listed as Egypt, near Alexandria, due to the interpretation of Lichtenstein’s type locality by Chaworth-Musters and Ellerman (1947:485).
Distribution:North Africa from Western Sahara (Rio de Oro) and Morocco to Egypt, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Afghanistan, and east through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and S Kazakhstan to W China (Xinjiang). A record from SE Anatolia has not been confirmed (Kryštufek and Vohralík, 2001).
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:Subgenus Pallasiomys. Reviewed by Corbet (1978c) and Pavlinov et al. (1990). Regional studies cover populations in Morocco (Aulagnier and Thevenot, 1986), Algeria (Kowalski and Rzebik-Kowalska, 1991), Libya (Ranck, 1968, as caudatus), Egypt (Osborn and Helmy, 1980), Jordan (Qumsiyeh, 1996), Arabian Penninsula (Harrison and Bates, 1991), Iran (Lay, 1967; Morshed and Patton, 2002), Afghanistan (Hassinger, 1973), the Pribalkhashye region of S Kazakhstan (Burdelov et al., 1993, as erythrourus), Russia (Gromov and Erbajeva, 1995), and the Xinjiang Province of W China (Ma et al., 1987; Wang, 2003). Comparative craniometric analyses between Moroccan samples of M. libycus and M. shawi obtained in sympatry were reported by Zaime and Pascal (1988). Morphological and karyotypic contrasts between these same two species as well as laboratory hybridization experiments, were recorded by Lay and Nadler (1969). In North Africa, M. libycus inhabits the Sahara desert, but does extend to the Mediterranean in Morocco, Algeria, and Libya where it overlaps the distribution of M. shawi, which is primarily Mediterranean littoral (Lay and Nadler, 1969; Zaime and Pascal, 1988). Intrapopulation polymorphism of the 13th heterochromatin chromosome among samples of M. libycus from Kazakhstan and its significance for reconstructing possible dispersal routes into C Asia is reported by Korobitsina and Kartavtseva (1992). Citations for synonyms among Russian samples were supplied by Pavlinov and Rossolimo (1987); afghanus is proposed as a new subspecies in that checklist. Schlitter and Setzer (1973) described farsi as a subspecies of M. erythrourus. Lay and Nadler (1969) also clarified why caudatus, used by Ranck (1968) as a species name for Libyan samples, simply refers to M. libycus. Corbet (1978c:127), apparently unaware of the report by Lay and Nadler (1969), followed Ranck and listed caudatus as a species, but cautioned that caudatus may be ". . . conspecific with M. libycus and that the Libyan forms assigned by Ranck to M. libycus should really be allocated to M. shawi." This is correct and restates the past confusion that has ". . . clouded the taxonomy of M. shawi and M. libycus because of uncertainty concerning the number of species in this complex and their nomenclature" (Lay and Nadler, 1969:44). Pavlinov (1982c) documented the identity of erythrourus and caudatus with M. libycus, but Zhang et al. (1997) still recognized erythrourus as a separate species.



    afghanus Pavlinov and Rossolimo, 1987
    amplus Ranck, 1968
    aquilo Thomas, 1912
    caucasicus (Satunin, 1896)
    caucasius Brandt, 1855
    caudatus Thomas, 1919
    collium Severtzov, 1873
    confalonieri de Beaux, 1931
    edithae Cheesman and Hinton, 1924
    erythrourus (Gray, 1842)
    evelynae Cheesman and Hinton, 1924
    eversmanni (Bogdanov, 1889)
    farsi Schlitter and Setzer, 1973
    gaetulus Lataste, 1882
    guyonii (Loche, 1867)
    heptneri Argyropulo, 1936
    intermedius Gromov, 1952
    iranensis Goodwin, 1939
    luridus Ranck, 1968
    marginae (Heptner, 1933)
    mariae Cabrera, 1907
    maxeratis (Heptner, 1933)
    melanurus Rüppell, 1842
    oxianus (Heptner, 1933)
    renaultii (Loche, 1867)
    schousboeii (Loche, 1867)
    schwarzovi Toktosunov, 1977
    sogdianus (Heptner, 1933)
    syrius Thomas, 1919
    tuareg Thomas, 1925
    turfanensis (Satunin, 1903)

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