Reinstatement of the Tamaulipas white-sided jackrabbit, Lepus altamirae, based on DNA sequence data
Palabras clave:black-tailed jackrabbits, cytochrome b, Lepus, Mexico, phylogeny, species reinstatement, white-sided jackrabbits
ResumenIn 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.
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