The jungle crow Corvus macrorhynchos Wagler, 1827, and the carrion crow Corvus corone L., 1758, are two closely related species with similar ecological requirements that occupy wide distribution ranges in the Palearctic. We studied patterns of their genetic variation by using sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene. Corvus macrorhynchos demonstrates a low level of variation and differentiation throughout its range, except for a highly diverged population of Cheju Island (Korea). The haplotype network shows two haplogroups. The island group comprises populations of Sakhalin, Hokkaido, Honshu, and Kyushu, while the haplotypes of Taiwan and Ryukyu Islands proved to be closer to the mainland group, which also includes populations from the Primorye, Khabarovsk, Amur, and Magadan regions in the Russian Far East. This pattern allowed us to develop a phylogeographic hypothesis regarding the two modes of settling of the island populations. Concerning C. corone, the presence of two distinct haplogroups was confirmed within the range of C. c. orientalis. Both haplogroups are found within the same populations in Kamchatka and North Sakhalin, which implies secondary contacts there. Populations of C. corone are found to be rather stable in the western parts of its range, while in the Far East populations experienced recent growth, as was observed for C. macrorhynchos in general. The two species appear to have passed through different evolutionary scenarios.
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Vol. 29 • No. 8