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Geographic Variation in the Harvest Mouse, Reithrodontomys megalotis, On the Central Great Plains And in Adjacent Regions   By: (1929-1992)

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[Transcriber's Note: The last name of one of the author's is spelled with a breve over the letter g. This accent is shown as [)G].

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS PUBLICATIONS MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Volume 14, No. 2, pp. 9 27, 1 fig. in text July 24, 1961

Geographic Variation in the Harvest Mouse, Reithrodontomys megalotis, On the Central Great Plains And in Adjacent Regions

By

J. KNOX JONES, JR. AND B. MURSALO[)G]LU

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS LAWRENCE 1961

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS PUBLICATIONS, MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY

Editors: E. Raymond Hall, Chairman, Henry S. Fitch, Robert W. Wilson

Volume 14, No. 2, pp. 9 27, 1 fig. in text Published July 24, 1961

UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS Lawrence, Kansas

PRINTED IN THE STATE PRINTING PLANT TOPEKA, KANSAS 1961

Geographic Variation in the Harvest Mouse, Reithrodontomys megalotis, On the Central Great Plains And in Adjacent Regions

By

J. KNOX JONES, JR. AND B. MURSALO[)G]LU

The western harvest mouse, Reithrodontomys megalotis , inhabits most parts of the central Great Plains and adjacent regions of tall grass prairie to the eastward, shows a marked predilection for grassy habitats, is common in many areas, and is notably less variable geographically than most other cricetids found in the same region. R. megalotis occurs (see Hall and Kelson, 1959:586, map 342) from Minnesota, southwestern Wisconsin, northwestern Illinois, Iowa and Missouri westward to, but apparently not across, the Rocky Mountains from southeastern Alberta to Colorado; it is known in Oklahoma only from the Panhandle, thence southward through the Panhandle and Trans Pecos areas of Texas to southern México, westward across the mountains in New Mexico to the Pacific Coast, and northward to the west of the Rockies to southern British Columbia.

Hoffmeister and Warnock (1955) studied western harvest mice from Illinois, Iowa, northeastern Kansas, Minnesota and Wisconsin, concluded that one subspecific name ( Reithrodontomys megalotis dychei J. A. Allen, 1895, with type locality at Lawrence, Douglas Co., Kansas) applied to all, and relegated Reithrodontomys megalotis pectoralis Hanson, 1944 (type locality at Westpoint, Columbia Co., Wisconsin) to synonymy under dychei . Our study, based upon an examination of 1350 specimens, concerns the area west of the Missouri River from Kansas and Nebraska westward to Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and northern New Mexico. Our objectives were to study variation in R. megalotis in the region indicated and to decide what subspecific names properly apply to populations of the species that occur there.

Aside from the name R. m. dychei , currently applied to western harvest mice from a large part of the region here under study, three other subspecific names need consideration:

" Reithrodontomys aztecus " J. A. Allen, 1893 (type locality, La Plata, San Juan Co., New Mexico), currently applied to specimens from northern New Mexico and southern Colorado (and adjacent parts of Arizona and Utah) east to southwestern Kansas and the Oklahoma Panhandle;

" Reithrodontomys megalotis caryi " A. H. Howell, 1935 (type locality, Medano Ranch, 15 mi. NE Mosca, Alamosa Co., Colorado), proposed for, and currently applied to, harvest mice from the San Luis Valley, Colorado, but possibly a synonym of aztecus according to Hooper (1952:218); and

" Reithrodontomys dychei nebrascensis " J. A. Allen, 1895 (type locality, Kennedy, Cherry Co., Nebraska), proposed for harvest mice from western Nebraska and adjacent areas, but regarded as a synonym of dychei by A. H. Howell (1914:30 31).

Our comments concerning the taxonomic status of these several names appear beyond.

We are grateful to Dr. W. Frank Blair, University of Texas, for the loan of a specimen from the Texas Panhandle (TU), and to Dr. Richard H. Manville, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, for the loan of specimens of R. m. caryi from the Biological Surveys Collection (USNM)... Continue reading book >>




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