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Geographic Variation of the Large Red Flying Squirrel, Petaurista albiventer (Gray, 1834) (Rodentia: Sciuridae), with a Description of a New Subspecies in Southwestern China

Geographic Variation of the Large Red Flying Squirrel, Petaurista albiventer (Gray, 1834) (Rodentia: Sciuridae), with a Description of a New Subspecies in Southwestern China

Song Li1,* and Zuojian Feng2

1Kunming Natural History Museum of Zoology, Kunming Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 32 Jiaochang Donglu, Kunming, Yunnan 650223, China
2Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beichen West Road, Beijing 100101, China

*        Corresponding author: lis@mail.kiz.ac.cn

ABSTRACT

The large red flying squirrel Petaurista albiventer mainly inhabits northern Pakistan eastward to southwestern China, stretching across the whole southern Himalayan mountains. However, relatively little work has been performed on mapping its geographic variations in China. In this study, we used 45 P. albiventer specimens from Xizang and Yunnan in China to conduct multivariate analyses and calculate coefficients of differences on cranial measurements, together with a comparison of pelage characteristics. Results indicated that the allopatric samples from Xizang were obviously different from all those previously defined in Yunnan. Therefore, we describe them as new subspecies P. a. muzongensis subsp. nov. Discussion on the relationships between the differentiation of P. albiventer and its environmental evolution in southwestern China are also provided.
 

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Pakistan Journal of Zoology (Associated Journals)

October

Vol. 49, Iss. 5, Pages 1547-1936

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