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Type: Journal article
Title: Cryptic grey-bellied dunnart (Sminthopsis griseoventer) discovered in South Australia: genetic, morphological and subfossil analyses show the value of collecting voucher material
Author: Kemper, C.
Cooper, S.
Medlin, G.
Adams, M.
Stemmer, D.
Saint, K.
McDowell, G.
Austin, J.
Citation: Australian Journal of Zoology, 2011; 59(3):127-144
Publisher: C S I R O Publishing
Issue Date: 2011
ISSN: 0004-959X
Statement of
Catherine M. Kemper, Steven J. B. Cooper, Graham C. Medlin, Mark Adams, David Stemmer, Kathleen M. Saint, Matthew C. McDowell and Jeremy J. Austin
Abstract: The assumption that almost all mammal species are known to science has led to a recent trend away from collecting voucher specimens/tissues during field studies. Here we present a case study of a recently discovered cryptic marsupial (Sminthopsis griseoventer) in South Australia (SA) and show how such collections can contribute to rigorous biodiversity and biogeographic assessments. Morphological and genetic (allozyme and mitochondrial control region (CR) sequence data) analyses, including ancient DNA analyses of type material, were applied to 188 voucher specimens and 94 non-vouchered tissues of Sminthopsis held at the SA Museum. These data were used to confirm the presence of S. griseoventer in SA, validate means of identifying it morphologically and describe recent and pre-European distributions. Pelage differences between S. griseoventer and S. dolichura enabled their identification, but external measurements overlapped considerably. Subfossil S. griseoventer were identified from seven deposits and confirmed that in the past the species was more widespread in SA. CR divergences (>1.8%) among Western Australian and SA S. griseoventer suggested its long-term presence in SA. Discrepancies between the mitochondrial and allozyme affinities of S. aitkeni and S. griseoventer, coupled with the lack of obvious morphological differences, indicate that a taxonomic reappraisal of these species is warranted. The study strongly demonstrates an ongoing need for the routine collection of mammal voucher material in biological and environmental impact surveys.
Keywords: Allozyme electrophoresis; dasyurid; distribution; mitochondrial control region; paratype; Sminthopsis aitkeni; Sminthopsis dolichura; taxonomy
Description: Published online 23 November 2011
Rights: Journal compilation © CSIRO 2011
RMID: 0020115597
DOI: 10.1071/ZO11037
Appears in Collections:Australian Centre for Ancient DNA publications
Environment Institute Leaders publications
Environment Institute publications

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