general info about Theriologia Ukrainica

Theriologia Ukrainica

ISSN 2616-7379 (print) • ISSN 2617-1120 (online)

2023 • Vol. 25 • Contents of volume >>>

download pdfMarkovska, O. 2022. Identification of species of the genus Sylvaemus of north-eastern Ukraine by metric characters. Theriologia Ukrainica, 25: 68–86. [In English, with Ukrainian summary]



Identification of species of the genus Sylvaemus of northeastern Ukraine by metric characters


Oksana Markovska (orcid: 0000-0002-2573-4524)


V. N. Karazin National University of Kharkiv (Kharkiv, Ukraine)


Theriologia Ukrainica. 2023. Vol. 25: 68–86.




English, with Ukrainian summary, titles of tables, captures to figs


The reliable identification of representatives of the genus Sylvaemus is compli-cated by the huge coincidence of external and metrical characters, as well as by the fact that in most of their range, mice are in conditions of sympatry or even syntopy Moreover, identification is complicated by opposite clinal variability in size and geographic variability in fur colouration. The species are also similar in karyotypes, so their reliable identification is usually possible only based on biochemical or molecular analysis. The craniological collection of small mam-mals of O. V. Zorya and collection specimens of the Museum of Nature of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University were studied. In total, 436 speci-mens of three species of the genus Sylvaemus were analysed: Sylvaemus ura-lensis, Sylvaemus sylvaticus, and Sylvaemus tauricus. Analysed were 14 odon-tometric and 23 craniological characters. Among the metric characters, three odontometrical—width of first upper molar (WM1), length of second lower molar (LM2), length of lower molar row (LM123)—and seven craniometrical characters—length of first upper molar (LM1), length of foramen incisivum (LFI), length of upper molar row (LUM), width of choana (WCH), height of skull including bulla tympanica (HBCB), length of lower molar row (LLM), length of mandible (LM)—made the greatest contribution to the differentiation of mice of the genus Sylvaemus. Width of first upper molar (WM1), length of first lower molar (LM1), length of second lower molar (LM2), length of brain-case (LBC), least interorbital constriction (LIOC), width of braincase (WBC), distance between incisor and M3 (LIM3), length of upper molar row (LUM), condylobasal length of skull (CBL), palatal length (LPP), greatest length of skull (GLS), and length of lower molar row (LLM) are the least variable metric char-acters. Scatterplots linking LLM/CBL, LUM/CBL, and LUM/GLS appeared to be the most suitable for differentiating the specimens, with minimal overlap of species in the morphospace. In north-eastern Ukraine, the best distribution of mice of the genus Sylvaemus was obtained as a result of the analysis based on both odontometrical and craniological characters, when the correctness of the classification was 100%.


Sylvaemus, geographic variability, odontometry, craniometry



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