The masked palm civet (Paguma larvata) in Japan is considered as an alien species; however, the details on introduction routes to Japan and the expansion history are still unclear. In the present study, to further solve these questions, we analyzed the mitochondrial DNA control region (523 base-pairs) of 226 individuals from Japan and Taiwan, and identified 13 haplotypes, which are phylogenetically closely related to each other. Then, we combined the present control region data with the previously reported cytochrome b sequences, and found multiple haplotypes in Shikoku, Gunma, and Tokyo. The population in Shikoku was formed by several genetic lineages, one of which was not found in other areas, indicating the differentiation of the Shikoku population from those in Central Honshu. In addition, animals with the major cytochrome b haplotype in Eastern Japan in the previous study were found to have three different haplotypes in control region. The results strongly show multiple introduced routes of P. larvata in Eastern Japan. Our study much contributes to further understanding of the expansion history of P. larvata on the Japanese islands, in conjunction with previous genetic data.
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Vol. 45 • No. 3