Reinstatement of the Tamaulipas white-sided jackrabbit, Lepus altamirae, based on DNA sequence data


  • Karla Vargas University of Arizona
  • David Brown Arizona State University
  • Eldridge Wisely University of Arizona
  • Melanie Culver U.S. Geological Survey University of Arizona


Palabras clave:

black-tailed jackrabbits, cytochrome b, Lepus, Mexico, phylogeny, species reinstatement, white-sided jackrabbits


In 1904, the Tamaulipas jackrabbit (Lepus altamirae) was described as a subspecies of Lepus merriami. In 1909, E. W. Nelson assigned L. altamirae to the white-sided group of jackrabbits, and in 1951, E. R. Hall reclassified it as a subspecies of black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus altamirae). Our comparison of the original 5 specimens of the Tamaulipas jackrabbit in the U.S. National Museum suggested this taxon had a close relationship to the whitesided jackrabbit, Lepus callotis. To validate Nelson’s placement of the Tamaulipas jackrabbit within the white-sided group, we conducted phylogenetic analyses using the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (MT-CYB). Our analyses of 2 specimens collected in 1898, suggest that L. altamirae is most closely related to Lepus flavigularis, a member of the white-sided group. Therefore, the Tamaulipas jackrabbit warrants taxonomic restoration as a species within the white-sided group of jackrabbits, which also includes L. callotis, L. flavigularis, and Lepus alleni.

Biografía del autor/a

Karla Vargas, University of Arizona

PhD student / Research Assistant

Conservation Genetics Laboratory

School of Natural Resources and the Environment

David Brown, Arizona State University

School of Life Sciences

Arizona State University

Eldridge Wisely, University of Arizona

Genetics Graduate Interdisciplinary Program

University of Arizona

Melanie Culver, U.S. Geological Survey University of Arizona

U.S. Geological Survey, Arizona Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona


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