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Volume 81, Issue 5


Taxonomic and geographic setting of Royle’s mountain vole Alticola roylei revisited

Boris Kryštufek / Georgy I. Shenbrot
  • Mitrani Department of Desert Ecology, Jacob Blaustein Institutes for Desert Research, Ben-GurionUniversity of the Negev, Midreshet Ben-Gurion, Israel
  • Other articles by this author:
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/ Janez Gregori / Petr Benda
  • Department of Zoology, National Museum (Natural History), Václavské nám, 68, CZ–115 79 Praha 1, Czech Republic
  • Department of Zoology, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Viničná 7, 128 44 Praha 2, Czech Republic
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/ Rainer Hutterer
Published Online: 2016-11-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2016-0102


In the not too distant past the name Alticola roylei was used to encompass mountain voles which are currently classified as six different species. Such wide use of the taxonomic name still blurs the lines among species of mountain voles in northern India and adjacent Pakistan. By studying museum vouchers we redefine the taxonomic and geographical scope of A. roylei, a mountain vole which is characterized by a combination of dark (hair-brown) dorsal fur and moderately long tail, bowed zygomatic arches, small bullae, and moderately complex third upper molars. Two names (lahulius and cautus) are listed as junior synonyms of roylei. We identified 19 localities as evidence on the presence of Royle’s mountain vole in Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal in India. Further three localities extend the range into Nepal. The total area of the species’ occurrence is estimated as 15,290 km2. Royle’s mountain vole is allopatric with respect to further two mountain voles of Nepal and northern India, Alticola stoliczkanus (a single case of sympatry in Manaslu) and Aticola montosus.

Keywords: Alticola montosus; Alticola stoliczkanus; habitat modeling; museum collections; zoological nomenclature


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About the article

Received: 2016-07-16

Accepted: 2016-09-28

Published Online: 2016-11-19

Published in Print: 2017-08-28

Citation Information: Mammalia, Volume 81, Issue 5, Pages 503–511, ISSN (Online) 1864-1547, ISSN (Print) 0025-1461, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/mammalia-2016-0102.

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