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Volume 78, Issue 4


Congruence between morphology and phylogeography in the Patagonian long-clawed mouse Chelemys macronyx (Rodentia, Cricetidae)

Pablo Teta
  • Corresponding author
  • Unidad de Investigación Diversidad, Sistemática y Evolución, Centro Nacional Patagónico, Casilla de Correo 128, 9120 Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina
  • Email
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Ulyses F.J. Pardiñas
  • Unidad de Investigación Diversidad, Sistemática y Evolución, Centro Nacional Patagónico, Casilla de Correo 128, 9120 Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina
  • Other articles by this author:
  • De Gruyter OnlineGoogle Scholar
/ Guillermo D’Elía
  • Instituto de Ciencias Ambientales y Evolutivas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Austral de Chile, Campus Isla Teja s/n, Valdivia 5090000, Chile
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Published Online: 2014-02-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2013-0132


Chelemys macronyx is a medium-sized, long-clawed sigmodontine of fossorial habits, distributed between 33°20′ and 51°30′S in the central and southern Andes of Argentina and Chile. Phylogeographic studies based on the analysis of mitochondrial DNA showed that this rodent has a shallow genealogy geographically structured into two main clades: one in the northern part of its range, at high-Andean localities in the Argentinean provinces of Mendoza and northern Neuquén, and the other covering medium- to low-elevation areas from northwestern Neuquén to southern Chile and Argentina. Qualitative and quantitative morphological characters show the existence of two main morphotypes of C. macronyx. Northern populations are characterized by a mesopterygoid fossa rounded at its anterior border and by a large and nearly circular foramen ovale, whereas in central and southern populations the mesopterygoid fossa is quadrate with an ovate to piriform foramen ovale. The described morphological variation is in congruence with the phylogeographic patterns identified by molecular markers. In light of these results, we suggest a simplified taxonomic arrangement on which two subspecies are recognized within C. macronyx, a northern one and a southern one for which the names C. m. macronyx and C. m. vestitus correspond, respectively.

This article offers supplementary material which is provided at the end of the article.

Keywords: Abrotrichini; fossorial rodents; morphology; Sigmodontinae


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About the article

Corresponding author: Pablo Teta, Unidad de Investigación Diversidad, Sistemática y Evolución, Centro Nacional Patagónico, Casilla de Correo 128, 9120 Puerto Madryn, Chubut, Argentina, e-mail:

Received: 2013-08-14

Accepted: 2013-12-25

Published Online: 2014-02-07

Published in Print: 2014-11-01

Citation Information: Mammalia, Volume 78, Issue 4, Pages 547–553, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2013-0132.

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