Taxonomy news

A few taxonomic papers from recent issues of Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution:

(1) Slender-horned and Cuvier’s gazelles are almost identical genetically; they probably should be considered subspecies (Lerp at al., MP&E 98:1-10);

(2) Yet another study showed that use of mtDNA for reconstructing phylogeny should be completely avoided; this means that many (over a half?) of recently proposed taxonomic changes should be ignored (Dool et al. MP&E 97:196-212).

(3) Bornean mountain ground squirrel should be called Sundasciurus everetti rather than Dremomys everetti (Hawkins et al., MP&E 94:752-764).

(4) There is another large study (Hope et al., doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2016.04.014) of Tamiasciurus squirrels of North America. The authors suggest recognizing 3 species (T. douglasi  from Baja California to SW British Columbia, T. fremonti in the Southwest, and T. hudsonicus in the northern part of the range). However, their data shows a lot of gene flow between these forms, and hybrid origin of some populations (particularly on Vancouver Island), so it seems to me that recognizing just one species is a better approach, at least until we get a better idea of what is going on in contact zones.

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