The first phylogenetic data on the elusive shrews of the Crocidura pergrisea species complex
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Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Lomonosov Moscow State University
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorobievy Gory, 119991 Moscow, Russia
Zoological Museum of Moscow State University, 125009 Moscow, Russia
Zoological Institute, Russian Academy of Sciences, Universitetskaya nab. 1, Saint Petersburg 199034, Russia
A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskii pr., 33, Moscow, Russia
Slovenian Museum of Natural History, Prešernova 20, SI-1000 Ljubljana, Slovenia
Online publication date: 2023-05-12
Publication date: 2023-05-12
Corresponding author
Anna Andreevna Bannikova   

Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Lomonosov Moscow State University
Within the most speciose genus of extant mammals – Crocidura, the pergrisea species complex distributed in South West Asia remains the least studied, largely due to the rarity of its representatives. We examined the phylogenetic position of two putative species of the pergrisea species complex (C. serezkyensis and C. arispa) using historical DNA isolated from museum specimens. On the basis of sequence data for two nuclear and one mitochondrial genes we have come to the following conclusions: C. serezkyensis and C. arispa are rather close to each other and belong to a separate lineage of white–toothed shrews for which C. ramona from Israel is the relatively close sister branch. The pergrisea species complex does not include C. zarudnyi, which was previously shown to be close to C. suaveolens. The clade including C. pergrisea species complex and C. ramona likely belongs to a large Afro-Mediterranean clade, which includes also the Afromontane clade, the Mediterranean clade and C. leucodon. The problems of systematics within the pergrisea species complex are discussed. Key words: Crocidura, molecular phylogeny, South West Asia