Abstract

Chromosomes, allozymes, and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) were analyzed to examine the taxonomic and systematic relationships of coastal Peromyscusfrom northern Washington to southern Alaska. All three datasets indicate that Peromyscusfrom this region constitute two distinct groups. One group comprises P. oreas, P. sitkensis, and several currently recognized subspecies of P. maniculatusincluding P. m. algidus, P. m. hylaeus, P. m. keeni, P. m. macrorhinus, and P. m. prevostensis. The second group comprises only populations of P. m. austerus. The former group is differentiated from the latter by number of autosomal arms, allele-frequency differences, and mtDNA haplotypes. This dichotomy in karyotype, and the level of allozymic and mtDNA divergence between the groups suggest that the groups constitute distinct species. We recommend that P. oreas, P. sitkensis, P. maniculatus algidus, P. m. hylaeus, P. m. keeni, P. m. macrorhinus, and P. m. prevostensisbe recognized under the specific epithet of Peromyscus keeni.

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