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

Electrophoretic, Chromosomal and Morphometric Studies on the Red-Necked Wallaby, Macropus Rufogriseus (Desmarest).

PG Johnston and GB Sharman

Australian Journal of Zoology 27(3) 433 - 441
Published: 1979


Geographic variation in island and mainland Australian populations of M. rufogriseus was investigated by electrophoretic, chromosomal and skull morphometric studies. Electrophoretic variation was observed at 9 of the 21 genetic loci examined. The mean proportion of polymorphic loci per population was 0.230 and individuals were on the average heterozygous at 6.5% of their loci. Coefficients of genetic similarity between populations ranged from 0.925 to 0.986, which is indicative of little genetic differentiation between populations. No chromosomal variation was observed in animals from the mainland, Tasmania and the Bass Strait islands. Preliminary data on breeding patterns suggest that females from King I. and Flinders I. are seasonal breeders, as has been reported for M. rufogriseus from Tasmania. It is concluded that M. rufogriseus should be divided into two subspecies: M. r. rufogriseus from Tasmania and the Bass Strait islands; M. r. banksianus from mainland Australia.

© CSIRO 1979

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