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Taxonomic status of the genus Spermophilus (Mammalia : Rodentia) in Turkey and Iran with description of a new species

S. O. Ozkurt, M. Sozen, N. Yigit, I. Kandemir, R. Colak, M. M. Gharkheloo, E. Colak


We report a new species of Spermophilus ( Rodentia: Sciuridae), here designated as S. torosensis sp. nov., distributed in the Taurus Mountains in southern Anatolia, Turkey. A total of 161 specimens of the genus Spermophilus from Turkey and Iran were analyzed for their morphological, morphometric, and karyological characteristics. Uni- and multi-variate statistical analyses of morphologic data for 95 adult specimens yielded 4 distinct groups. Taxonomic evaluations classified the specimens into 4 species Spermophilus citellus, S. xanthopymnus, S. fulvus and S. torosensis sp. nov. Morphometrics, coat coloration, a brush-shaped tail, and a NFa value of 72 are diagnostic characters that distinguish S. torosensis sp. nov. from the other species. In Turkey, S. torosensis sp. nov. was found in 6 locations. The karyotype of S. fulvus also is described for the first time as 2n= 36, NFa= 70 and NFa= 66; new karyotypic data is reported for S. xanthoprymnus from Iran and Turkey.


Spermophilus citellus, Spermophilus xanthoprymnus, Spermophilus fulvus, Spermophilus torosensis sp. nov., sousliks, karyology, morphology, nonmetric characters, Turkey, Iran

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ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa