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SPECIES Apodemus hyrcanicus

Author:Vorontsov, Boyeskorov, and Mezhzherin, 1992.
Citation:Zool. Zh., 71: 127.
Common Name:Hyrcanian Field Mouse
Type Locality:Azerbaijan, Caucasus, Astarinski (R-NO), Hirkauski Preserve, "Piavolil" Dist., 450 m.
Distribution:E Caucasus, where it is found in the low mountain broadleaf forests of the Talysh region of SE Azerbaijan (Gromov and Erbajeva, 1995; Vorontsov et al., 1992:124). Then ranges eastward in the Hyrcanian forests (deciduous formations in which Quercus, Fagus, and Carpinus predominate) along southern border of the Caspian Sea in N Iran (on coast and northern slopes of Elburez Mtns) from Astara on the west coast (USNM 354778); through Sama (FMNH 97462, 97464), Sari (USNM 369857) and Amol (USNM 369858) on southern border; to Dar Kaleh (AMNH series) on SE coast; then extends east of Caspian Sea on northern slopes of Elburez Mtns in Khorassan Province of NE Iran through the Gorgan (large FMNH and USNM samples), Gouladah (AMNH material), Shah Pasand (USNM), and Bojnurd (USNM) regions to vicinity of Dasht (series in AMNH), which is easternmost record of species (at 37E19' N/56E01' E); possibly also occurs in SW Turkmenistan on eastern border of Caspian Sea. Altitudinal range, sea level to 1830 m.
Status:IUCN – Data Deficient.

Sylvaemusgroup. Apodemus hyrcanicus was originally characterized by Vorontsov et al. (1989) using four allozyme loci and subsequently defined by Mezhzherin et al. (1992) and Vorontsov et al. (1992) with 40 loci in addition to chromosomal and morphological characters. Macholán et al. (2001) have recently identified (using allozyme and morphological data) A. hyrcanicus from two localities in N Iran, and our identification of specimens in AMNH, FMNH, and USNM uncovered the range throughout N Iran between the Elburez Mtns and Caspian Sea and east into NE Iran. Frynta et al. (2001) provided the first multivariate analysis of morphological traits for A. hyrcanicus, contrasting specimens from N Iran with samples of A. flavicollis, A.witherbyi (reported as arianus), and A. uralensis from W Iran, Armenia, and E Turkey. Included in Mezhzherin’s (1997a) study of N Eurasian Apodemus. Analysis of 18-38 loci by Filippucci et al. (2002) revealed A. hyrcanicus to be phylogenetically closest to A. uralensis among the ten species sampled.

Throughout its range in Iran, A. hyrcanicus is not sympatric with either A. flavicollis or A. witherbyi, the only other species recorded for the country. The former is known only from the Zagros Mtns in W Iran, but the latter ranges widely in rocky and arid habitats. Goodwin (1940) collected both species in the vicinity of Dasht, but A. hyrcanicus (reported as arianus) was caught at 3000 ft (914 m) in deciduous forest and A. witherbyi (reported as A. sylvaticus chorassanicus) at 5000 ft (1524 m) on rocky, arid nonforested slopes.




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