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Phylogeography of two sympatric giant flying squirrel subspecies, Petaurista alborufus lena and P. philippensis grandis (Rodentia: Sciuridae), in Taiwan
- OSHIDA, TATSUO, LIN, LIANG-KONG, CHANG, SHIH-WEI, CHEN, YEN-JEAN, LIN, JEI-KER
- Biological journal of the Linnean Society 2011 v.102 no.2 pp. 404-419
- Petaurista, glaciation, haplotypes, lowlands, mixed forests, phylogeny, phylogeography, population dynamics, small mammals, squirrels, Taiwan
- To test the association between Pleistocene forest dynamics relative to elevation and the population dynamics of arboreal small mammals, we examined the phylogeographical predictions for the genetic structure of the red and white giant flying squirrel (Petaurista alborufus lena) and the Indian giant flying squirrel (P. philippensis grandis) using complete mitochondrial control region sequences. Both giant flying squirrels are endemic subspecies to Taiwan and are sympatric in much of their range. In the phylogenetic analyses, we included 35 specimens of P. alborufus lena collected from 20 localities and five specimens with unknown sampling localities. Also, we phylogenetically examined 32 specimens of P. philippensis grandis from 18 localities and three specimens with unknown sampling localities. We identified 36 haplotypes of P. alborufus lena and 33 haplotypes of P. philippensis grandis. Although we did not recognize major phylogroups, we found several minor phylogroups in both subspecies, suggesting similar evolutionary histories. Phylogeographical and demographic tests showed distributions of these two subspecies expanded into coniferous and mixed forests that developed during glaciation in Taiwan's lowlands and middle lands. This suggests that these two Petaurista subspecies shifted elevation from mountainous areas to lowlands during glaciation.