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Article     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 48(5)

Genetic variation within the dasyurid marsupial genus Planigale

Mark J. Blacket, Mark Adams, Carey Krajewski and Michael Westerman

Australian Journal of Zoology 48(5) 443 - 459
Published: 2000


Genetic variation within the genus Planigale was examined through analyses of 12S rRNA gene sequences and allozymes. The level of genetic divergence between the five currently recognised Planigale species was compared and the magnitude of divergence among populations assessed. This examination of molecular variation within the genus revealed that Planigale contains far more taxonomic diversity than is currently recognised. Specifically, the Pilbara region of Western Australia probably contains two currently unrecognised Planigale species and there is substantial genetic heterogeneity within the widespread species P. maculata. Ambiguity over the status of several genetic and/or morphological forms within the genus indicates that further taxonomic changes are likely to be warranted in the future. This study also demonstrates that the currently accepted geographic ranges of many planigale species require careful re-evaluation and that many specimens in collections are apparently misidentified. This is especially true of P. ingrami, which appears to have a much greater range than is currently recognised, being present in South Australia.

Full text doi:10.1071/ZO00020

© CSIRO 2000

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