Eurasian Mole-rats

Family Muridae (Spalacinae)

Mammalian Hybrids

Spalacinae

EUGENE M. MCCARTHY, PHD GENETICS

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nannospalax Lesser mole rat
Nannospalax leucodon
Image: Wikimedia

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The following appears to be the only reported information relevant to hybridization in subfamily Spalacinae:

Nannospalax ehrenbergi [Palestine Mole-Rat] Narrow hybrid zones occur where various chromosomal races of this mole-rat come into contact. Nevo and Bar-El (1976) studied those between four such races in northern Israel. They found that the degree of chromosomal differentiation varied in different hybridizing pairs. Zones were narrower in those cases where the number of karyotypic differences between the hybridizing types was larger. Nevo and Bar-El say (p. 838) that in the hybrid zones between these races

little evidence was found of backcrossing [although backcross litters were indeed found (see p. 836)]. A postmating reproductive barrier due to meiotic imbalance results in nearly complete sterility in male hybrids and a significantly lowered reproductive potential in female hybrids.

The various hybridizing populations have on occasion been treated as separate species (e.g., Nevo 1969), but usually, as conspecific (though their hybrids are of reduced fitness). INdeed, they actually interbreed less than do many mammalian taxa treated as separate species. Nevo 1985, 1986; Nevo and Bar-El 1976; Wahrman et al. 1973. Internet Citation: MUNC.

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Biology Dictionary >>

By the same author: Handbook of Avian Hybrids of the World, Oxford University Press (2006).


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