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Systematic Relationships among Taxa in the Townsend Chipmunk Group

Howard Levenson and Robert S. Hoffmann
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 29, No. 2 (May 30, 1984), pp. 157-168
DOI: 10.2307/3671022
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3671022
Page Count: 12
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Systematic Relationships among Taxa in the Townsend Chipmunk Group
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Abstract

Sutton and Nadler (1974) elevated three of the five previously recognized subspecies of the Townsend chipmunk (Tamias townsendii) to species primarily on the basis of genital bone morphology. We reexamined this complex on the basis of 1) geographical variation in cranial and mandibular morphology and external body measurements of 253 adult specimens, and 2) cladistic analyses of electrophoretic data obtained from 65 specimens. Discriminant function analyses classified specimens more efficiently when the specimens were grouped on the basis of Hall and Kelson's (1959) assignments than when grouped on the basis of Sutton and Nadler's revision. Results of cluster analyses indicated no apparent basis for separation of the five taxa into more than one species, regardless of which classification was used for initial identification. Cladistic analyses yielded a potential classification which differed greatly from Sutton and Nadler's classification. We conclude that available data are insufficient to warrant the changes proposed by Sutton and Nadler. More extensive studies of geographic variation in genital bone morphology and allele frequencies, as well as a better theoretical framework, are needed before the evidently complex relationships within this group can be resolved.

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