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SPECIES Apodemus gurkha

Author:Thomas, 1924.
Citation:J. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc., 29: 888.
Common Name:Nepalese Field Mouse
Type Locality:Nepal, Gorkha, Laprak.
Distribution:Endemic to coniferous forest in C Nepal between 2200 and 3600 m (Martens and Niethammer, 1972).
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:gurkhagroup. Usually considered a member of subgenus Alsomys (Pavlinov et al., 1995a), but placed in an Apodemus Group by Musser et al. (1996), which corresponds to subgenus Apodemus. Phylogenetic analyses of mtDNA cytochrome b and nuclear IRBP sequences identified A. gurkha as distinct from any other species sampled (A. argenteus, A. speciosus, A. peninsulae, A. agrarius,A. chevrieri, A. semotus, A. draco, A. latronum, A. sylvaticus, A. flavicollis, and A. alpicola), and to represent an ancient lineage, one of the first to have diverged from an ancestral stock (A. argenteus is the other ancient line), and one that is older than the evolutionary origins of A. agrarius and its East Asian allies and the European species of Apodemus (Serizawa et al., 2000; Suzuki et al., 2003). Reviewed and contrasted with A. sylvaticus by Martens and Niethammer (1972). Chromosomal data reported and compared with other Apodemus by Gemmeke and Niethammer (1983). Reviewed by Musser et al. (1996) and others who also recognized gurkha as a distinct species (Agrawal, 2000; Corbet, 1978c; Corbet and Hill, 1991, 1992). Narrowly sympatric and syntopic with A. pallipes, which occurs primarily at higher altitudes (Corbet and Hill, 1992; Martens and Niethammer, 1972; reported as A. sylvaticus in both reports). Apodemus gurkha, with its restricted endemic range and apparently ancient origin, and A. pallipes, which follows the Himalayas westward to the Pamirs, N Pakistan, and the Hindu Kush of N Afghanistan and is part of the Sylvaemus radiation, are the only Apodemus currently recorded from Nepal.



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