New phylogenetic perspectives among species of South-east Asian wild pig (Sus sp.) based on mtDNA sequences and morphometric data

Authors


All correspondence to: E. Randi, Istituto Nazionale per la Fauna Selvatica (INFS), 40064 Ozzano Emilia (BO), Italy. E-mail: met0217@iperbole.bo.it

Abstract

There are more taxa of wild pig in South-east Asia (SEA) than in any other comparable area in the world, but the number of species and subspecies is still uncertain. The taxonomy of some wild pig populations distributed in Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines, was investigated using molecular and morphometric techniques. Our results suggest the existence of two main evolutionary clades that are likely to have diverged during the Pliocene in SEA: one including wild pig populations distributed in the Philippines (Sus cebifrons) and Sulawesi (S. celebensis); the other including the Indonesian and Malaysian bearded pigs (S. barbatus), and the widespread Eurasian wild boar (S. scrofa). A possible scenario for pig speciation in SEA is developed, and the need for a taxonomic revision of bearded pigs suggested, particularly concerning the taxonomic status of S. b. ahoenobarbus from Palawan Island, and the existence a new species distributed in the Tawi Tawi Islands (Philippines). Unexpectedly, bearded pigs in the Malay Peninsula are closely related to the Bornean population, but distinct from Sumatran S. barbatus, and they should be considered as belonging to a different subspecies.

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