Electrophoretic and morphological analysis of the systematics of the phalanger orientalis (Marsupialia) species complex in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands

D. Colgan, T. F. Flannery, J. Trimble, K. Aplin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Three electrophoretically and morphologically distinct populations previously referred to Phalanger orientalis are recognised within Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands: Phalanger orientalis orientalis from northern Papua New Guinea and some nearby offshore islands, Phalanger orientalis breviceps from the Bismarck Archipelago and Solomon Islands, and Phalanger intercastellanus from eastern and southern Papua New Guinea and the islands of Milne Bay. P. o. orientalis is genetically and geographically relatively uniform. P. o. breviceps may have been introduced by humans over most of its range, and it is extremely variable, even within island populations. P. intercastellanus shows considerable intraspecific geographic variation, and is genetically divergent from P. o. orientalis (Nei's unbiased distance of 0.216) and P. o. breviceps (Nei's unbiased distance of 0.171). Indeed, this divergence is so marked that the previously recognised taxa Phalanger carmelitae and Phalanger vestitus are apparently genetically closer to P. orientalis than to P. intercastellanus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)355-378
Number of pages24
JournalAustralian Journal of Zoology
Volume41
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1993

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