To elucidate the phylogenetic relationships among four species belonging to the genus Petaurista (P. alborufus castaneus, P. alborufus lena, P. leucogenys leucogenys, P. leucogenys nikkonis, P. petaurista melanotus, and P. philippensis grandis), we investigated the partial sequences (1,068 bp) of the mitochondrial cytochrome b gene for these giant flying squirrels. Phylogenetic trees (NJ, MP, and ML trees) constructed from cytochrome b sequences indicated that P. leucogenys was grouped independently with other species, and that P. philippensis was most closely related to P. petaurista with 99–100% bootstrap values. In addition, two subspecies of P. alborufus did not form a single clade: P. alborufus castaneus from China was most distantly related to the other species, whereas P. alborufus lena from Taiwan was closely related to P. petaurista and P. philippensis with 82–90% bootstrap values. This result suggests that it is reasonable to regard P. alborufus lena as a distinct species from P. alborufus castaneus.
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