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SPECIES Apodemus pallipes

Author:Barrett-Hamilton, 1900.
Citation:Proc. Zool. Soc. Lond., 1900: 417.
Common Name:Himalayan Field Mouse
Type Locality:E Tajikistan, Pamir Altai, Surhad Wahkan; see Barrett-Hamilton (1900:417) and Mezhzherin (1997a:38) for condition of holotype.
Distribution:Pamirs and adjacent mountainous extensions in S Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan (Mezhzherin, 1997a); south through the Hindu Kush and auxiliary high ranges of N Afghanistan from Herat Province in the west (FMNH specimens) to Kabul region (FMNH) and provinces of Badakhshan (FMNH) and Konar (FMNH 103601) in the east; Pamirs and Himalayas in N Pakistan in districts of Chitral (material in AMNH), Swat (USNM series), Dir (USNM), Hazara (large USNM samples, including USNM 411143 and 411144, which are topotypes of pentax), Gilgit (USNM specimens), and Baltistan (USNM); Jammu-Kashmir region of NW India (USNM and AMNH material); eastward through Himalayas to C Nepal (specimens in FMNH) and possibly SW Xizang (Tibet). Altitudinal range, 1465-3965 m, with most records from above 2440 m.
Status:IUCN Ė Lower Risk (lc) as Apodemus wardi.

Sylvaemus group. Originally described as a subspecies of Mus sylvaticus, retained as a subspecies of Apodemus sylvaticus (Ellerman, 1941; Ellerman and Morrison-Scott, 1951), treated as a synonym of that species (Corbet, 1978c; Pavlinov and Rossolimo, 1987), and finally included in A. uralensis (Musser and Carleton, 1993; Pavlinov and Rossolimo, 1998; Pavlinov et al., 1995a). Mezhzherin (1997a), who examined the holotype, used pallipes for a species phylogenetically related to A. uralensis, but larger in body size with paler dorsum, more white on underparts, and occurring farther south in the Pamirs of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and mountainous N Afghanistan and Pakistan. Many of the specimens in the institutions cited above, especially those from high altitudes (Kashmir, for example), conform to original descriptions of pallipes (Barrett-Hamilton, 1990) and wardi from Kashmir (Wroughton, 1908b); specimens from lower altitudes tend to have darker pelage, matching pentax (Wroughton, 1908b) from Thandiani in N Pakistan. Our study of large series in AMNH, FMNH, and USNM (including types and topotypes) supports Mezhzherinís view, and allowed us to expand the range eastward to C Nepal. Musser and Carletonís (1993) account of A. wardi generally corresponds to present definition of A. pallipes. It is this species that was documented as marginally sympatric and syntopic with the C Nepalese A. gurkha but generally occurring at higher altitudes (Corbet and Hill, 1992; Martens and Niethammer, 1972; as A. sylvaticus in both reports). In Suzuki et al.ís (2003) analyses of DNA sequences, their specimen of "A. wardi" from Mt Nilgiri, Nepal refers to A. pallipes. Apodemus pallipes is sympatric with A. rusiges in the Jammu-Kashmir region of NW India and N Pakistan (see that account), and is apparently the only Apodemus occurring elsewhere (except C Nepal) within the range outlined above. That distribution is apparently centered in the Pamirs and follows the Hindu Kush, subsidiary ranges radiating to the southwest from the Pamirs, and the Himalayas extending to the east.

Apodemus pallipes is smaller in body size than either A. gurkha or A. rusiges; its dorsal coat ranges from pale buffy brown to drab brownish gray, ventral fur whitish gray or solid white without a pectoral wash; tail either coequal or longer than head and body, rarely reaching 117 mm in adults (most fall within 100-110 mm); skull length rarely greater than 27 mm, length of molar row 3.6-4.0 (3.8 mm most frequent). Apodemus pallipes is not the same as A. witherbyi, which occurs in S Pakistan, Iran, and farther west (see that account), but the two species closely resemble each other in body size and relative tail length, and some samples are similar in fur coloration. The stephanodont pattern on M1 characterizing most A. witherbyi (Filippucci et al., 1996) occurs at a significantly lower frequency in A. pallipes. If this morphological resemblance reflects phylogeny, it would explain the similarity in protein polymorphism between Nepalese samples identified as wardi and Iranian samples (allozymic data originally reported by Darviche et al, 1979), and the striking differences between them and samples of true A. sylvaticus, which indicated that the Nepalese and Iranian specimens were more closely related to each other than to A. sylvaticus and were unlikely to be geographic representatives of the latter (Gemmeke and Niethammer, 1982). Apparently A. pallipes is also closely related to A. uralensis (see that account).

Two other names may belong in synonymy. The Tibetan bushengensis from SW Xizang was described and subsequently listed as a subspecies of A. sylvaticus (Feng et al., 1986); we provisionally allocate it to A. pallipes until specimens can be examined. Blanfordís (1879) Mus sublimus from Kashmir (Ladakh, west of Pankong Lake, 13,000 ft [3962 m]) had provisionally been associated with M. musculus (e.g., Ellerman, 1961), but the holotype is a young Apodemus (J. T. Marshall, Jr., 1977b:213; Wroughton, 1920). Marshall equated it with wardi ( = A. pallipes), but it could also be a young A. rusiges; the description of sublimus predates both names. Because the holotype is young and the skull is lost (J. T. Marshall, Jr., 1977b), the specimen may not be identifiable. We suggest the name be treated as nomen dubium, at least until another attempt is made to identify Blanfordís specimen and resolve the issue.




    bushengensis Zheng, 1979
    pentax (Wroughton, 1908)
    wardi (Wroughton, 1908)

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