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Geographic Variation in the Mouse Peromyscus difficilis

Donald F. Hoffmeister and Luis de la Torre
Journal of Mammalogy
Vol. 42, No. 1 (Feb., 1961), pp. 1-13
DOI: 10.2307/1377235
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1377235
Page Count: 13
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Geographic Variation in the Mouse Peromyscus difficilis
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Abstract

Two species of Peromyscus-P. difficilis and P. nasutus-have been regarded by some authors as conspecific because of resemblances in morphological features and complementary geographical ranges. Specimens from new, critical localities, particularly southeastern Arizona, provide additional evidence bridging the gap between the two "species." These together with many of the other specimens from throughout the range-Colorado to Oaxaca-have made possible a more complete taxonomic reevaluation. Most of the 14 morphological features vary in a clinal fashion. This is best shown for length of head-body, tail, hind foot, ear, toothrow, and breadth of braincase. Where the clines are not continuous, the interruptions usually demark the limits of subspecies. We conclude that there is one species, Peromyscus difficilis (J. A. Allen) 1891, with Peromyscus nasutus (J. A. Allen) 1891 as a synonym. As defined, the species consists of eight sub-species.

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