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One or two species of the rare Malagasy carnivoran Eupleres (Eupleridae)? New insights from molecular data

  • Géraldine Veron EMAIL logo and Steven M. Goodman
From the journal Mammalia


Members of the genus Eupleres are poorly known insectivorous carnivorans belonging to the family Eupleridae (order Carnivora), which are endemic to Madagascar. Recently, using morphological characters, the two previously recognized subspecies of Eupleres goudotii were raised to the species level, with E. goudotii occurring in the humid forests of the island, largely in the east, and Eupleres major in northwestern dry deciduous forests. Using some of the few museum specimens and fresh tissue samples available for this genus, we assessed differences between these two forms based on the cytochrome b gene. The results show that individuals identified as E. major, based on a combination of morphological characters and collection locality, do not form a monophyletic group, and the level of polymorphism within the genus is not in agreement with the recognition of two species. Additional molecular data, in particular from nuclear markers, are needed to verify these results.


We thank the following people (and their institutions) for their help in the context of this study: T. Radovimiandrinifarany (Université d’Antananarivo); F. Catzeflis (Institut des Sciences de l’Evolution, Université de Montpellier); L. Dollar, J. Pomerantz and J. Flynn (American Museum of Natural History); A. Hassanin (UMR 7205, Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle); and A.P. Jennings. We also thank the following curators and museums for access to specimens and samples: J. Feinstein [Ambrose Monell Cryo Collection (AMCC), American Museum of Natural History]; J.D. Phelps, the late W.T. Stanley and B. Patterson (Field Museum of Natural History); and M. Omura, B. Zimkus and J. Chupasko (Harvard Museum of Comparative Zoology). We thank D. Dupré for help in the laboratory. Molecular work was undertaken at the ‘Service de Systématique Moléculaire’ (UMS CNRS 2700, MNHN), and we are grateful to D. Zuccon and C. Bonillo for their assistance. GV received financial support from MNHN, CNRS and from the “Action Transversale du Museum, Biodiversité actuelle et fossile” (MNHN, French Ministry of Research). Two anonymous reviewers helped improve an earlier version of this paper.


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Received: 2016-12-14
Accepted: 2017-3-1
Published Online: 2017-4-7
Published in Print: 2018-2-23

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