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Taxonomic status of Cansumys canus(Allen,1928)

LIAO Ji-Cheng1,XIAO Zhen-Long 2,3,DONG Yuan1,ZHANG Zhi-Bin 2,LIU Nai-Fa 1,LI Jin-Gang41.School of Life Sciences,Lanzhou University,Lanzhou 730000,China 2.State Key Laboratory of Integrated Management on Pest Insects and Rodents,Institute of Zoology,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100080,China 3.Graduate School of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049,China 4.College of Life Sciences,Shaanxi Normal University,Xi'an 710062,China  
Taxonomic status of Cansumys canus has been widely debated since 1928 when it was first reported by G.M.Allen.We compared the morphological and genetic differences of 169 specimens of greater long-tailed hamster Cricetulus triton collected from Gansu Province(including Zhuoni County where the type specimen was collected),Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region,North China Plain and Northeast China Plain.The results show that there are very little morphological and genetic differences between specimens from Gansu Province and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region and those from North China Plain and Northeast China Plain.The distribution of specimens from Gansu Province and Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region is continuous without gap or overlap with the neighboring subspecies.Analysis of mtDNA D-loop indicates that the relationship between Gansu-Ningxiat population and C.t.fuscipes is closer than that between population of C.t.triton and C.t.fuscipes.In general,our result supports that Cansumys canus should be listed as a subspecies,Cricetulus triton canus,instead of a species.
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