Morphological evolution and phylogenetic relationships of the European ground voles (Arvicolidae, Rodentia)



Brunet-Lecomte, P. & Chaline, J. 1991 01 15: Morphological evolution and phylogcnctic relationships of the European ground voles (Arvicolidae. Rodentia). Lethaia. Vol. 24. pp. 45–53. Oslo. ISSN 0024–1164.

A new morphological study of the first lower molar M1 of European Quaternary ground voles (Arvicolidac. Rodcntia. Microtus (Terricola)) by means of multivariate analysis renews the systematics. phylogenetic relationships and their evolutionary group history. An Allophaiomyan origin of ground voles has been confirmed and the evolution of Mediterranean and middle Europcan groups has now been clarified. Primitive species of middle European groups display plesiomorphics. except for M. (T.) arvalidens, which shows certain apomorphies of the present species. The occurrence of M. (T.) multiplex in France at the end of the middle Pleistocene before the appearance of M. (T.) suhterraneus completely reverses previous ideas which considered that M. (T.) multiplex was a sibling species derived from M. (T.) subterraneus during the Würmian glaciation. The Atlantic species M. (T.) pyrenaicus is probably derived from the middle Pleistocene species M. (T.) mariaclaudiue whose exact origin is unknown. M. (T.) sauii, M. (T.) tarentina. M. (T.) melirensis and M. (T.) henseli belong to the same geographic group. Perhaps M. (T.) savii derived from M. (T.) tarentina or shares the same ancestor with M. (T.) tarentina. M. (T.) duodecimcostarus probably indirectly derived from an Iberian specics of Allophuiomys such as A. chalinei, while M. (T.) lusitanicus was separated from M. (T.) duodecimcostutus about 60,000 years ago. A sketch of the stratigraphical records and geographical distribution of the Terricola species in Western Europe showing their phylogenetic relationships and migrations during the middle and upper Pleistocene is included. Morphometry, variance analysis, phylogeneric relationships. Mammalia. Rodentia. Arvicolidae. Microtus, Terricola.