Get access
Advertisement

The house mice of Faray, Orkney

Authors

  • R. J. Berry,

    1. Department of Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 1

      Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton NJ 08544, USA

  • A. J. Berry,

    1. Zoology Department, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3PS
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 2

      Department of Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester NY 14627, USA

  • T. J. C. Anderson,

    1. Zoology Department, Oxford University, Oxford OX1 3PS
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 3

      S.E. Thames Regional Genetics Centre, Guy's Hospital, London SE1 9RT, UK

  • P. Scriven

    1. Department of Biology, University College London, London WC1E 6BT
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 4

      Marshall & Sage (1981) argue that the semi-species M. musculus musculus and M. m. domesticus should be regarded as two full species. The British house mouse thus becomes M. domesticus [see also Corbet (1988); International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (1990)]


Abstract

Faray is a 250 ha island in Orkney, uninhabited by humans since 1946. The only small mammal is the house mouse, Mus domesticus, which between 1982 and 1986 fluctuated in numbers from a maximum of 400–500 to less than 50. Over the period when the population was at its smallest, the frequency of Hbbs increased from 29.1% to 46.6%. There was also a decrease in the frequency of a Robertsonian translocation, Rb (4.10) from 36.4% to 13.3% during the study period; two other Robertsonian chromosomes, Rb (3.14) and Rb (9.12), were always homozygous. The change at the Hbb locus is probably the result of genetic drift; this conclusion was reached only after other possibilities were excluded.

Get access to the full text of this article

Ancillary