Karyological and Some Morphological Characteristics of Spalax leucodon Nordmann, 1840 (Mammalia: Rodentia) Superspecies around Kastamonu Province, Turkey


Abstract: The karyotypes and morphology of 98 specimens of the subterranean mole rat Spalax leucodon Nordmann, 1840 across 18 localities in and around Kastamonu province were analysed. It was determined that S. leucodon has 2n = 54, NF = 72; 2n = 56, NF = 74; 2n = 58, NF = 74; 2n =60, NF = 74 in the populations from the Kastamonu region. According to these karyological findings based on chromosome morphology the diploid chromosome numbers of 2n = 56, 2n =58, and 2n = 60 determined here are new for Spalax leucodon in Turkey. Because diploid numbers of these populations were formerly found from geographically distant localities in Turkey, they were given as 2n = 56N, 58N, and 60N, to differentiate them from the other forms having the same diploid chromosome numbers but different chromosome morphology. As a result of t-test analysis, separation of all chromosomal forms from each other beside 2n values by many character measurements supported the opinion that each of the chromosomal forms of Spalax should be evaluated as good biological species.

Keywords: Spalax leucodon, karyology, morphology, Kastamonu, Turkey

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