Cytogenetics of the genus **Arvicanthis** (Rodentia, Muridae) : 3 : comparative cytogenetics of **A-neumanni** and **A-nairobae** from Tanzania
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Genetica. - The Hague
, p. 33-39
University of Antwerp
The African rats of the genus Arvicanthis have been widely studied during recent years to clarify species boundaries and phylogenetic relationships. The wide chromosomal variability of the genus has been highlighted in several studies, with each accepted species characterised by its individual karyotypes and others being revealed as cryptic species. In the present paper we report the karyotype and the C- and G-banding patterns of the two species A. nairobae and A. neumanni from seven localities of Tanzania, an area of the range poorly studied. The two karyotypes were compared to that of A. niloticus, which is considered to be primitive. The karyotype of A. neumanni is characterised by 2n = 53-54 and NFa = 62. This karyotypic variability depends on a widespread Robertsonian polymorphism. The karyotype of A. nairobae shows 2n = 62 and NFa = 78; it diverges from that of A. niloticus through one reciprocal translocation, five inversions and three heterochromatic additions. The comparison with the karyotypes of other species of the genus showed that A. neumanni belongs to the east African lineage (with A. abyssinicus, A. blicki, A. niloticus), while A. nairobae is closer to the central and the west African representatives which were all previously under the name of A. niloticus (ANI-2, ANI-3, ANI-4). The distribution of A. nairobae in east Africa opens new scenarios in the biogeographical pattern of evolution of the genus.