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A molecular and chromosomal study of the moonshine shrew, Crocidura luna Dollman, 1910 from Zambia with a description of a new remarkable karyotype

Riccardo Castiglia1 / Flavia Annesi2 / Alfred M. Sichilima3 / Rainer Hutterer4

1Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, via Borelli 50, 00161 Rome, Italy

2Dipartimento di Biologia Animale e dell'Uomo, Università di Roma “La Sapienza”, via Borelli 50, 00161 Rome, Italy

3Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa

4Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig, Adenauerallee 160, D-53113 Bonn, Germany

Corresponding author

Citation Information: mammalia. Volume 73, Issue 1, Pages 56–59, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: 10.1515/MAMM.2009.005, February 2009

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The genus Crocidura Wagler, 1832 represents the most diverse group of Soricidae. It is widely accepted that the genus is in need of revision, because the taxonomy of several species is still unresolved. In this paper, we present a chromosomal (standard and G-banding) and molecular genetic (16S rDNA, 1112bp; cytochrome b, 501bp) characterization of specimens of Crocidura luna from Zambia. We compare these data with those obtained for the same species from Burundi. The genetic divergence (uncorrected p-distance) between the two samples is 4.1% for cytochrome b and 1.1% for 16S. These values are usually found among close sister species or different populations of the same species in Crocidura. The karyotype found in C. luna (2n=28 and FN=56) is of particular interest, as it represents one of the lowest diploid numbers among the genus Crocidura. Moreover, it presents large chromosomal differences compared to the karyotype of C. luna, previously described in the specimens from Burundi with 2n=36 and NF=56.

Keywords: African shrews; cytogenetics; mtDNA; taxonomy; Zambia

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