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Russian Journal of Theriology

A preliminary study on molecular phylogeny of giant flying squirrels, genus Petaurista (Rodentia, Sciuridae) based on mitochondrial cytochrome b gene sequences // Russian J. Theriol. Vol.3. No.1: 1524 [in English].

Phylogenetic relationships among five species of the genus Petaurista (P. alborufus, P.elegans, P. leucogenys, P. petaurista, and P. philippensis) were investigated using the complete cytochrome b gene sequences (1140 bp). Phylogenetic trees indicated (1) P.alborufus castaneus from southern China was closely related to P. petaurista albiventer from Pakistan, (2) P. alborufus lena from Taiwan, P. petaurista melanotus from China and Laos, and P. philippensis grandis from Taiwan were grouped, and (3) P. leucogenys, which is endemic to Japan, distinctly separated from other species. Our results critically refuse the present classification in Petaurista, and suggest that it is reasonable to regard P. alborufus lena as a distinct species from P. alborufuscastaneus, and P. petaurista albiventer as a distinct species from P. petauristamelanotus. Key words :Petaurista, giant flying squirrel, molecular phylogeny, mitochondrial DNA, cytochrome b.