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You are here: Home / Associated publications / Belgian Journal of Zoology / Bibliographic References / Morphological and morphometrical analyses of three cryptic species of Tatera Lataste, 1882 (Rodentia : Muridae) from West Africa

Laurent Granjon (2005)

Morphological and morphometrical analyses of three cryptic species of Tatera Lataste, 1882 (Rodentia : Muridae) from West Africa


Three chromosomally well-differentiated but morphologically similar species of the Gerbilline rodent genus Tatera occur in West Africa, namely T.gambiana, T. guineae and T. kempi. In order to find reliable diagnostic characters, morphological and morphometrical analyses were performed on samples of these three species from Mali, the only country where they are known to occur sympatrically. Body measurement comparisons show that T guineae has a longer tail and hindfoot, and T gambiana a shorter car, relative to the two other species. Skull measurements are less variable between species as only a larger upper tooth row characterizes T kempi, and a shorter tympanic bulla length T guineae. Conversely, geographically distant samples of T kempi from Mali and Chad differ mainly for skull measurements. There is a wide overlap between the ranges of values recorded in the three species. Principal Component and Discriminant Analyses of skull measurements highlight the distinctiveness of T guineae. whose sample is clearly separated from those of T. kempi and T. gambiana. All these results validate the status of morphologically cryptic species for T. kempi and T. gambiana, long treated as synonymous. Tatera guineae is the most differentiated, but the diagnosis of an individual specimen may prove difficult due to the observed interspecific overlap in all the characters considered.

Gerbilline rodents; Tatera; skull measurements; multivariate analyses; phenetic similarity
  • ISSN: 0777-6276

ISSN 2295-0451 (online version)
ISSN 0777-6279 (printed version)
impact factor 2015: 0,87.

Prof. Dr. Isa Schön
Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences
Vautierstraat 29
1000 Brussels, Belgium


Annales de la Société malacologique de Belgique
​Annales de la Société royale malacologique et zoologique de Belgique
Annales de la Société Royale Zoologique de Belgique
Belgian Journal of Zoology