Geometric morphometric comparison of mandible and skull of five species of genus Allactaga (Rodentia: Dipodidae) from Iran

Document Type : Articles


1 Department of Animal Biology, Faculty of Science, Tehran University

2 Department of Environmental Sciences and Fisheries, Faculty of Natural Resources, University of Tehran

3 Rodentology Research Department, Faculty of Science, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad


The genus Allactaga is distributed in North Africa, Iran, Afghanistan, southwestern Syria, North Turkemenistan, the Middle East, Central Asia, and Mongolia. Six morphospecies have been reported from regions of Iran. Morphological differences among 41 specimens of A. elater, A. williamsi, A. hotsoni, A. firouzi, and A. toussi were investigated using landmark-based geometric morphometrics of the dorsal aspect of the skull and ventral aspect of the mandible. Results of canonical variate analysis (CVA) indicated that all species are distinguishable by skull shape. Canonical variate analysis showed that most studied species of Allactaga were separated along CV1. Cluster analysis indicated a high morphometric distance between A. toussi and A. elater, confirming the division of A. toussi and A. elater into different species. The species Allactaga williamsi exhibited the greatest morphometric distance from other studied species. Based on mandible shape, A. williamsi is similar to A. elater and A. toussi. Allactaga firouzi clustered with A. hotsoni, in comparison with the results obtained from skull shape variation, the morphometric distance between these two species is higher than other species.