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Keywords:

  • 12S rRNA;
  • 16S rRNA;
  • control region;
  • cytochrome b;
  • Microtus (Microtus) guentheri;
  • phylogeography

The present article extends our previous work on the phylogenetic history of Microtus (Terricola) thomasi, analysing cytochrome b, 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA and the control region in 65 Greek populations. The analysis revealed three clades: one grouping the populations from Peloponnisos (Southern Greece); the second, the populations from Agios (Ag.) Stefanos and Evvoia island (Central East Greece); and the third, all the remaining populations with no geographical substructure. Genetic distances were low for most populations, with only the populations of Evvoia and Ag. Stefanos being substantially distant. Thus, although this species has a recent colonization history and probably descends from a highly polymorphic ancestor, a monophyletic and highly differentiated lineage is formed in Greece and is distributed in Ag. Stefanos and Evvoia. Molecular differentiation, distinct geographical distribution and restriction of gene flow between this lineage and the rest of the Greek populations provide evidence for its probable subspecific status, Microtus (Tericola) thomasi atticus. A possible mechanism leading the differentiation process of the proposed subspecies is suggested, based on the displacement of this species in central Greece by its congeneric, probably better-fitted Microtus (Microtus) guentheri and the subsequent separation of Ag. Stefanos and Evvoia from the remaining Greek populations. © 2008 The Linnean Society of London, Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, 2008, 95, 117–130.