Australian Journal of Zoology Australian Journal of Zoology Society
Evolutionary, molecular and comparative zoology

Evolution in Some South-East Asian Murinae (Rodentia), as Assessed by Microcomplement Fixation of Albumin, and Their Relationship to Australian Murines

CHS Watts and PR Baverstock

Australian Journal of Zoology 42(6) 711 - 722
Published: 1994


The interrelationships of 16 genera and 49 species of predominantly South-east Asian murine rodents were studied by means of microcomplement fixation of albumin to measure immunological distances among taxa. The results are viewed as a hypothesis of the phylogenetic relationship of these taxa that can be tested by other data sets. Three main groupings are suggested: (1) Maxomys; (2) Leopoldomys, Niviventer and Tokudaia; and (3) Bandicota, Berylmys, Bullimus, Bunomys, Komodomys, Nesokia, Papagomys, Paruromys, Rattus, Stenomys, Sundamys and Taeromys. Within this latter group, Bunomys chrsogasta, Komodomys and Rattus timorensis group together, as do Bullimus, Rattus and Stenomys, and Bandicota with Nesokia. The Australian murines, represented by Mesembriomys, may be part of this South-east Asian radiation but, if so, arose early in its history. Biogeographically, the results support South-east Asia as being a centre of murine evolution with secondary foci in Sulawesi, New Guinea and Australia. There is some evidence to suggest that a relatively recent land bridge between Sulawesi, Flores and Timor may have existed.

© CSIRO 1994

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