In order to investigate phylogenetic relationships of the family Sciuridae living in Japan, we sequenced partial regions (379 bases) of mitochondrial 12S rRNA genes in six species of Japanese and other Asian squirrels. Phylogenetic trees constructed by sequence data indicated that two genera of flying squirrels (Petaurista and Pteromys) were clustered in a group distinct from non-flying squirrels, suggesting a possible monophyletic relationships of these flying squirrels. The evolutionary distance between the Japanese squirrel (Sciurus lis) from Honshu island and the Eurasian red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) from Hokkaido island was comparable to intraspecific distances of the remaining species examined.
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