Balakirev A.E., Rozhnov V.V. 2012. Contribution to the species composition and taxonomic status of some Rattus inhabiting Southern Vietnam and Sundaland // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.11. No.1: 33–45 [in English].

Alexander E. Balakirev [] and Viatcheslav V. Rozhnov [], A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskii pr. 33, Moscow, 119071, Russia; Joint Vietnam-Russian Tropical Research and Technological Centre, Nguyen Van Huyen, Nghia Do, Cau Giay, Hanoi, Vietnam.

KEY WORDS: Rattus, Indochina, Vietnam, species composition, mammals, taxonomy.

ABSTRACT. The sequencing of Cyt b and COI mtDNA genes was used to investigate the species composition of Rattus rats in Southern Vietnam and establish an actual correspondence between revealed mtDNA haplogroups and taxonomical species for the group in the region. Seven specific level phylogroups corresponding to Rattus tanezumi, R. norvegicus, R. nitidus, R. andamanensis, R. exulans, R. argentiventer and R. tiomanicus were discovered, with European R. rattus apparently being absent. By comparing original genetic data with other sequences representing different localities in Indochina and the Sundaland regions from GenBank, transsundaic distribution of R. tiomanicus was shown in continental Indochina well beyond the Isthmus of Kra, along with the other species, R. argentiventer, overpassing the limit. The adequacy of species attribution and taxonomic names for three Indochinese species (R. andamanensis, R. argentiventer and R. tiomanicus) is discussed based on comparisons of morphological peculiarities and genetic data set for Vietnamese samples. Corrected nomenclature for specific level haplogroups/species of Rattus in Southeast Asia is proposed.

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