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Genetic tests of the taxonomic status of the ring-tailed lemur (Lemur catta) from the high mountain zone of the Andringitra Massif, Madagascar

Authors

  • Anne D. Yoder,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60611
    2. Department of Zoology, Field Museum of Natural History, Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
      *Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, 303 E. Chicago Ave., Ward Building, Chicago, IL 60611-3008, U.S.A. E-mail: ayoder@nwu.edu
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  • Jodi A. Irwin,

    1. Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL 60611
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  • Steven M. Goodman,

    1. Department of Zoology, Field Museum of Natural History, Roosevelt Road at Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, IL 60605
    2. World Wide Fund for Nature, BP 738, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar
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  • Soava V. Rakotoarisoa

    1. Département de Paléontologie et d'Anthropologie Biologique, Université d'Antananarivo, BP 906, Antananarivo (101), Madagascar
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*Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, 303 E. Chicago Ave., Ward Building, Chicago, IL 60611-3008, U.S.A. E-mail: ayoder@nwu.edu

Abstract

A recent survey of the high-mountain zone of the Madagascar Parc National (PN) d'Andringitra revealed the presence of an apparently isolated troop of the ring-tailed lemur Lemur catta. These animals display phenotypic and ecological characteristics that are unusual for the monotypic genus Lemur, thus raising the possibility that they are members of a different undescribed species. We present analyses of two mitochondrial genes to test the hypothesis that L. catta from Andringitra should be considered a distinct species. The results indicate that taxonomic revision is not warranted under the expectations of the phylogenetic, coalescent, or biological species concepts. Rather, the genetic patterns observed among the Andringitra and lowland mitochondrial haplotypes are consistent with those expected for a single species.

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