Taxonomy of Sri Lankan Pigmy Shrews

by Dr. Suyama on February 17th, 2012

The taxonomy of the pigmy shrews Suncus fellowesgordoni and S. etruscus is unclear and their phylogenetic relationships are unknown. Using molecular and morphological data, we confirm the species status of S. fellowesgordoni as being distinct from S. etruscus, its probable sister species. Suncus fellowesgordoni is genetically distant from S. etruscus populations in Sri Lanka, India, and Europe with a percent pairwise uncorrected genetic distance of 7.9–8.2% and 9.2–9.3% for cytochrome-b (mitochondrial DNA), respectively. The genetic distance between S. fellowesgordoni and S. etruscus of Sri Lanka and India for Rag 1 (nuclear DNA, exon) is 1.3–1.7%. The two species are also morphologically distinct by S. fellowesgordoni being larger in all dimensions, darker in hue and having two denticulations on the lower incisors.
Downlaod the full paper: Meegaskumbura, S., Meegaskumbura, M., & Schneider, C. J. 2012. Re-evaluation of the taxonomy of the Sri Lankan pigmy shrew Suncus fellowesgordoni (Soriciicade: Crocidurinae) and its phylogenetic relationship with S. etruscus, ZOOTAXA  3187:57-68 from the list of Publications.