Biosystematics study of Steppe Field Mouse Apodemus witherbyi (Rodentia: Muridae) from North-West Iran

Document Type : Research articles



Apodemus witherbyi is a species with wide distribution and geographic variation in the
Iranian plateau. This species exists in syntopic, sympatric or parapatric with other four
reported Sylvaemus species from Iran, i.e. A. hyrcanicus, A. uralensis, A. flavicolis and A.
avicennicus. In this study 33 specimens from different localities in NW Iran were examined
to study the taxonomic status and the intra-specific variation of the populations. The
study was carried out based on the RFLP analysis of cytochrome b (mtDNA), as well as
the morphological and morphometric analyses external, cranial and dental characters. The
results reveal that all the specimens studied belong to a same species, A. witherbyi.
Variation range of the morphometric characters and the frequency of the morphological
traits are provided.