Taxonomy of the lesser jerboa Jaculus jaculus (Dipodidae,Rodentia) based on allozymic and morphological variation
<正> The lesser Egyptian jerboa Jaculus jaculus, is a member of the subfamily Dipodinae, known to have a number ofsubspecies. Previous studies of J. jaculus from North Africa found various morphological forms of unknown taxonomic status,which are frequently grouped into two taxa: J. jaculus and J. deserti. We assessed the taxonomic status of this taxon in Tunisiausing allozymic (phylogenetic analysis of 23 genetic loci encoding 16 enzymatic proteins) and morphological (multivariateanalysis of 13 craniodental characters) analyses of 136 J. jaculus specimens collected from seven localities within its distributionrange. Allozymic analysis clearly indicated the existence of two distinct groups of J. jaculus, with a mean genetic distance (D)value of 0.99 and F_(ST)=0.52. Individuals within the two groups did not show any obvious geographical structuration, even withinthe Matmata locality which represents the meeting point for the two groups where they were found in sympatry. Additionally,morphometric analysis of 13 craniodental characters was clearly separated the two groups. These results were obtained over avery restricted area of the total distribution of J. jaculus and strongly suggest the occurrence of two separate and often sympatricspecies within the currently accepted J. jaculus in Tunisia: J. jaculus and J. deserti .