Karyotypes of the Mole Rats, genus Nannospalax (Palmer, 1903) (Spalacidae: Rodentia) populations in eastern Anatolia, Turkey

Document Type : Research articles



The Spalacidae are Southeast European and East Mediterranean blind rodents, highly
adapted for life underground. Their taxonomy needs a modern revision including
chromosomal data as well as morphology. Mole rats of the family Spalacidae range over
Turkey and approximately 30 karyotypes of Nannospalax complex inhabit. The diploid
number of chromosome of Nannospalax ranges from 36 to 62. Also, fundamental number
of chromosomal arms, NF values vary from 66 to 92 while the fundamental number of
autosomal arms, NFa ranging from 62 to 88. Unfortunely, karyological studies of the
Nannospalax populations on the territory of Turkey on the whole are far from being
satisfactory. Karyological studies of this group may yield further chromosomal forms in
Turkey, which has a wide range of climatic and biotic conditions and the boundaries of
the distribution region of the known species might be determined. In this study,
chromosomal forms of Nannospalax in East Anatolia (Erzurum, Kars and Ağrı province)
were investigated. The materials of 16 specimens of Nannospalax were collected at 8
different localities in the region. Preparations of mitotic chromosomes were obtained
from bone marrows by means of the general air-drying technique. Skins and skulls of
specimens have been deposited at the Dicle University, Science Faculty Biology
Department. We have identified two chromosomal forms of Nannospalax in East Anatolia
of which have diploid chromosome numbers (2n) are 2n = 48 and 2n = 50