Quantitative morphological characters of the skull suggest that Akodon oenos (Rodentia, Cricetidae, Sigmodontinae) is not a junior synonym of A. spegazzinii

J. Pablo Jayat 1 , Pablo E. Ortiz 2 , Agustina A. Ojeda 3 , Agustina Novillo 4 , Pablo Teta 5 , Guillermo D’Elía 6 ,  and Ricardo A. Ojeda 3
  • 1 Unidad Ejecutora Lillo (CONICET - Fundación M. Lillo), Miguel Lillo 251, CP 4000, Tucumán, Argentina
  • 2 Instituto Superior de Correlación Geológica (INSUGEO, CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Tucumán), Miguel Lillo 205, CP 4000, Tucumán, Argentina
  • 3 Grupo de investigaciones de la Biodiversidad (GiB), Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de las Zonas Áridas (IADIZA, CCT-CONICET-MENDOZA), Parque San Martín, 5500 Mendoza, Argentina
  • 4 Instituto de Biodiversidad Neotropical (CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Tucumán), Residencia Universitaria Horco Molle s/n, CP 4017, Tucumán, Argentina
  • 5 División Mastozoología, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, Avenida Ángel Gallardo 470, C1405DJR Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 6 Instituto de Ciencias Ambientales y Evolutivas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Campus Isla Teja s/n, 5090000 Valdivia, Chile
J. Pablo Jayat
  • Corresponding author
  • Unidad Ejecutora Lillo (CONICET - Fundación M. Lillo), Miguel Lillo 251, CP 4000, Tucumán, Argentina
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, Pablo E. Ortiz
  • Instituto Superior de Correlación Geológica (INSUGEO, CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Tucumán), Miguel Lillo 205, CP 4000, Tucumán, Argentina
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, Agustina A. Ojeda
  • Grupo de investigaciones de la Biodiversidad (GiB), Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de las Zonas Áridas (IADIZA, CCT-CONICET-MENDOZA), Parque San Martín, 5500 Mendoza, Argentina
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, Agustina Novillo
  • Instituto de Biodiversidad Neotropical (CONICET-Universidad Nacional de Tucumán), Residencia Universitaria Horco Molle s/n, CP 4017, Tucumán, Argentina
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, Pablo Teta
  • División Mastozoología, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales “Bernardino Rivadavia”, Avenida Ángel Gallardo 470, C1405DJR Buenos Aires, Argentina
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, Guillermo D’Elía
  • Instituto de Ciencias Ambientales y Evolutivas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Campus Isla Teja s/n, 5090000 Valdivia, Chile
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and Ricardo A. Ojeda
  • Grupo de investigaciones de la Biodiversidad (GiB), Instituto Argentino de Investigaciones de las Zonas Áridas (IADIZA, CCT-CONICET-MENDOZA), Parque San Martín, 5500 Mendoza, Argentina
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Abstract

Akodon oenos, a nominal form with type locality in northern Mendoza province, Argentina, has an intricate taxonomic history. Recently, it was considered a junior synonym of Akodon spegazzinii on the basis of morphological similarities of one individual captured in southern Mendoza with specimens belonging to the type series of A. oenos, plus the genetic similarity of that single specimen with representatives of A. spegazzinii. We compared specimens of the Akodon boliviensis species group recently captured in Mendoza with the type series of A. oenos and series of A. spegazzinii from northwestern Argentina. We conducted an analysis of molecular markers (cytochrome-b gene) and quantitative morphological studies (comparisons of skull measurements). Our results showed that: (1) all sequenced specimens of the A. boliviensis group from Mendoza form a monophyletic clade closely related to A. spegazzinii; (2) contrary to previous hypothesis, specimens of Akodon from Mendoza are morphologically distinctive in size and shape of the skull, from A. spegazzinii; and (3) within the A. boliviensis species group, specimens from Mendoza are distinctive. We argue that the synonymy of A. oenos under A. spegazzinii must await further studies, including molecular markers other than mitochondrial and samples of DNA sequences from topotypical specimens of A. oenos.

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Mammalia is a peer-reviewed journal devoted to the inventory, analysis and interpretation of Mammalian diversity. It publishes original results on all aspects of systematics (comparative, functional and evolutionary morphology; morphometrics; phylogeny; biogeography; taxonomy and nomenclature), biology, ecology and conservation of mammals.

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