• cytochrome b;
  • Erinaceus;
  • hedgehogs;
  • mtDNA;
  • phylogeography;
  • Pleistocene

European hedgehog populations belonging to Erinaceus europaeus and E. concolor have been investigated by mitochondrial DNA analysis. A 383 bp fragment of the cytochrome b gene has been sequenced and maximum parsimony and neighbour-joining trees of Tamura–Nei genetic distance values have been constructed. Similar topologies have been produced by both methods, showing a deep divergence between E. europaeus and E. concolor and a further subdivision of each species into a western and an eastern clade. A comparison with previously published allozyme data is made, and concordant and discordant patterns are discussed. The influence of Pleistocene glaciations on the observed pattern of divergence is inferred.