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At the foot of the shrew: manus morphology distinguishes closely-related Cryptotis goodwini and Cryptotis griseoventris (Mammalia: Soricidae) in Central America

Biological Journal of the Linnean Society

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DOI: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2009.01343.x

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Abstract

Small-eared shrews (Mammalia, Soricidae) of the New World genus Cryptotis are distributed from eastern North America to the northern Andes of South America. One well-defined clade in this genus is the Central American Cryptotis mexicana group, whose members are set off from other species in the genus by their variably broader fore feet and more elongate and broadened fore claws. Two species in the C. mexicana group, Cryptotis goodwini Jackson and Cryptotis griseoventris Jackson, inhabit highlands in Guatemala and southern Mexico and are presumed to be sister species whose primary distinguishing feature is the larger body size of C. goodwini. To better characterize these species and confirm the identification of recently-collected specimens, we obtained digital X-ray images of the manus from large series of dried skins of both species. Measurements of the metacarpals and phalanges successfully separated most specimens of C. goodwini and C. griseoventris. These measurements also show that the fore feet of C. griseoventris from Chiapas, Mexico, are morphologically distinct from those of members of the species inhabiting Guatemala. Univariate, bivariate, and multivariate analyses indicate that fore foot characters are more conservative within species of the C. mexicana group than are cranio-mandibular characters. Patterns of evolution of fore foot characters that superficially appear to be linear gradations are actually more complex, illustrating individual evolutionary trajectories.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
Federal Government Series
Title:
At the foot of the shrew: manus morphology distinguishes closely-related Cryptotis goodwini and Cryptotis griseoventris (Mammalia: Soricidae) in Central America
Series title:
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
DOI:
10.1111/j.1095-8312.2009.01343.x
Volume
99
Issue:
1
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Publisher location:
Hoboken, NJ
Contributing office(s):
Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description:
17 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Biological Journal of the Linnean Society
First page:
118
Last page:
134
Number of Pages:
17
Other Geospatial:
Central America