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Taxonomic revision of pikas Ochotona (Lagomorpha, Mammalia) at the species level

  • Andrey A. Lissovsky EMAIL logo
From the journal Mammalia


I examined a sample comprising 1090 intact skulls, representing all recognized Palearctic species of pika (Ochotona), as well as 394 complete sequences of the cytochrome b gene from all recognized pika species. The results of the analyses suggest that 28 species should be recognized in the genus. Six of these species are “allospecies” (allopatric taxa with vague taxonomic rank) or could potentially be reduced to subspecific rank if one accepts the principle of the strict monophyly within species. Two taxa (Ochotona himalayana and O. muliensis) are considered to be junior synonyms of O. roylei and O. gloveri, respectively. Recent hybridization between O. nubrica and O. curzoniae with elimination of O. nubrica’s mtDNA is hypothesized. Analysis of the type specimens of O. huangensis indicates that this name is the junior synonym of O. dauurica; the senior synonym for taxon from the thibetana group, for which the name “O. huangensis” was used previously, is O. syrinx.

Corresponding author: Andrey A. Lissovsky, Zoological Museum of Moscow State University, B. Nikitskaya, 6, Moscow 125009, Russia, Fax: +7(495)6294825, e-mail:


I thank A. Averianov and G. Baranova (Saint-Petersburg); P. Jenkins (London); Q. Yang, D. Ge, and L. Xia (Beijing); W. Li (Xining); F. Mayer, R. Asher, and I. Mann (Berlin); J. Cuisin (Paris); and A. Pozdnyakov and N. Lopatina (Novosibirsk) for the opportunity of study collections and help. I am also grateful to the people who helped me in different ways during my work on the manuscript: R. Angermann (Berlin, Dresden); N. Dahal (Bangalore); S. Yatsentyuk, E. Obolenskaya, I. Pavlinov (Moscow); and S. Bodrov (Saint-Petersburg). L. Ruedas and an anonymous reviewer made a number of valuable comments on this article. The study was partly supported by the Russian Foundation for Basic Research, grants 06-04-49134, 09-04-00283, and the International Centre of the Roerichs.


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Received: 2012-12-4
Accepted: 2013-8-6
Published Online: 2013-9-4
Published in Print: 2014-5-1

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

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