Prairie (Microtus ochrogaster) and meadow (M. pennsylvanicus) voles are morphologically very similar species of rodents that are often found sympatrically. To assess the reliability of morphological characters typically used to differentiate between these two species, we compared the concordance of species identification based on morphological characteristics with identifications based on a species-specific difference within the avpr1a gene. We found that intraspecific variation in morphological characteristics resulted in erroneous or ambiguous species identification in the field (generally ≤5%) as well as for preserved specimens (up to ∼45%). Our data suggests that genotyping putative M. ochrogaster and M. pennsylvanicus at their avpr1a locus may be warranted for some individuals to ensure accurate species identification.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.
Vol. 165 • No. 2