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Identification and Distribution of Three Species of Pocket Mice (Genus Perognathus) in Trans-Pecos Texas

Kenneth T. Wilkins and David J. Schmidly
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 24, No. 1 (Mar. 30, 1979), pp. 17-31
DOI: 10.2307/3670621
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3670621
Page Count: 15
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Identification and Distribution of Three Species of Pocket Mice (Genus Perognathus) in Trans-Pecos Texas
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Abstract

Confusion frequently exists with regard to the identification of three species of pocket mice (Perognathus penicillatus, P. intermedius, and P. nelsoni) of the subgenus Chaetodipus. To determine accurate ways of distinguishing these species, we recorded 12 cranial and 4 external measurements from large series of specimens of each species in Trans-Pecos Texas. Methods of identifying skin-only and skull-only specimens are presented. Skins are most easily distinguished on the basis of degree of presence or absence of rump spines. Because qualitative cranial features reported in the literature were not consistently reliable in distinguishing species, discriminant function analysis was used to identify skulls of these species. Correct identification of specimens has resulted in the first record of sympatry between P. intermedius and P. nelsoni as well as a redefinition of the ranges of these three species in Trans-Pecos Texas.

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