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Article << Previous     |     Next >>   Contents Vol 51(5)

Speciation of Antechinus stuartii and A. subtropicus (Marsupialia : Dasyuridae) in eastern Australia: molecular and morphological evidence

M. S. Crowther, J. Sumner and C. R. Dickman

Australian Journal of Zoology 51(5) 443 - 462
Published: 30 December 2003


This paper evaluates the systematic status of the Antechinus populations of northern New South Wales and southern Queensland, using a combined morphological and molecular (allozymes and mitochondrial DNA) approach. Analysis of the d-loop section of the mitochondrial DNA control region revealed two highly supported clades within A. stuartii sensu lato that were sympatric in the Border Ranges of northern New South Wales. However, genetic distances between these clades were small (approximately 3%), indicating that time of divergence was probably relatively recent. Allozyme electrophoresis also showed very small differences between clades/species. Analyses of cranial and dental characters showed that the members of each of these clades differed morphologically and that the clades corresponded to A. stuartii and the recently described A. subtropicus. The combined results support the species status of A. stuartii and A. subtropicus, and suggest that speciation was likely a result of a recent vicariant event.

Full text doi:10.1071/ZO02009

© CSIRO 2003

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