Reinstatement of the Tamaulipas white-sided jackrabbit, Lepus altamirae, based on DNA sequence data

Karla Vargas, David Brown, Eldridge Wisely, Melanie Culver


In 1904, the Tamaulipas jackrabbit (Lepus altamirae) was described as a subspecies of Lepus merriami. In 1909, E. W. Nelson assigned L. altamirae to the white-sided group of jackrabbits, and in 1951, E. R. Hall reclassified it as a subspecies of black-tailed jackrabbits (Lepus californicus altamirae). Our comparison of the original 5 specimens of the Tamaulipas jackrabbit in the U.S. National Museum suggested this taxon had a close relationship to the whitesided jackrabbit, Lepus callotis. To validate Nelson’s placement of the Tamaulipas jackrabbit within the white-sided group, we conducted phylogenetic analyses using the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene (MT-CYB). Our analyses of 2 specimens collected in 1898, suggest that L. altamirae is most closely related to Lepus flavigularis, a member of the white-sided group. Therefore, the Tamaulipas jackrabbit warrants taxonomic restoration as a species within the white-sided group of jackrabbits, which also includes L. callotis, L. flavigularis, and Lepus alleni.

Palabras clave

black-tailed jackrabbits; cytochrome b; Lepus; Mexico; phylogeny; species reinstatement; white-sided jackrabbits

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Revista Mexicana de Biodiversidad, Año 3, No. 12, enero-marzo 2014, es una publicación trimestral editada por la Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Ciudad Universitaria, Delegación Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, a través del Instituto de Biología, Tercer Circuito Universitario s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Col. Copilco, Del. Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, Tel. (55)56229164,, responsable: Dr. Fernando Álvarez Noguera. Reserva de Derechos al uso Exclusivo No. 04-2013-092709142100-203, ISSN: 2007-8706, ambos otorgados por el Instituto Nacional del Derecho de Autor, Responsable de la última actualización de este número, Instituto de Biología, UNAM, Dr. Fernando Álvarez Noguera, Tercer Circuito Universitario s/n, Ciudad Universitaria, Col. Copilco, Del. Coyoacán, C.P. 04510, Ciudad de México, fecha de la última modificación: 25 de agosto de 2016.

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