Mammalian Biology

, Volume 70, Issue 6, pp 345–358 | Cite as

Morphological relationships among populations in the Sorex caecutiens/shinto group (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) in East Asia, with a description of a new subspecies from Cheju Island, Korea

  • S. D. Ohdachi
  • H. Abe
  • H. S. Oh
  • S. H. HanEmail author
Original investigation


We investigated the morphological relationships among eight populations of Sorex caecutiens/shinto group in East Asia using 11 cranial and dental characters and four external characters. Univariate and multivariate analyses of these characters failed to distinguish S. caecutiens and S. shinto. Morphological characters were, in fact, continuous between populations. Sorex shinto from Honshu was similar to S. caecutiens from the Korean peninsula and Primorye in skull dimensions and to S. caecutiens from Hokkaido-Sakhalin in external dimensions. Sorex caecutiens from Cheju Island is morphologically similar to S. shinto from Sado and Shikoku islands. These three insular populations were characterized by having large body sizes. Sorex caecutiens from Cheju was the largest of the S. caecutiens/shinto group in East Asia. This shrew from Cheju was classified definitively as S. caecutiens on DNA data, but has a unique morphology among S. caecutiens populations in East Asia. We therefore regard this Sorex shrew on Cheju Island as a new subspecies of S. caecutiens and designate it S. c. hallamontanus Abe and Oh.

Key words

Sorex caecutiens hallamontanus Cheju Korea Geographic variation 


Sorex caecutiens Cheju 

Morphologische Beziehungen zwischen Populationen der Sorex caecutiens/shinto Gruppe (Eulipotyphla, Soricidae) in Ostasien mit einer Beschreibung einer neuen Unterart von der Cheju Insel, Korea.


Basierend auf 11 Schädel- und Zahnmerkmalen sowie vier Körpermerkmalen wurden die morphologischen Beziehungen zwischen 8 Populationen der Sorex caecutiens/shinto-Gruppe untersucht. Gemäßs univariaten und multivariaten Analysen dieser Merkmale sind S. caecutiens und S. shinto morphologisch nicht unterscheidbar. Die morphologischen Unterschiede zwischen den Populationen der Sorex caecutiens/shinto-Gruppe gehen vielmehr progressiv ineinander über. Ähnlichkeiten bestehen zwischen Sorex shinto von Honshu und S. caecutiens von der koreanischen Halbinsel und Primorye betreffend Schädelmasse und zu S. caecutiens von Hokkaido-Sakhalin betreffend Körpermasse. Sorex caecutiens von der Cheju Insel gleicht morphologisch S. shinto der Sado und Shikoku Inseln. Die drei Inselpopulationen sind durch ihre auXerordentliche Körpergröße charakterisiert; S. caecutiens der Cheju Insel ist denn auch die größte Spitzmaus der Sorex caecutiens/shinto-Gruppe in Ostasien. Basierend auf Analysen von DNA-Sequenzen gehören die Spitzmäuse der Cheju Insel eindeutig zu S. caecutiens; sie weisen allerdings eine einzigartige Morphologie unter den ostasiatischen S. caecutiens auf. Aufgrund dieser Tatsache betrachten wir die Sorex der Cheju Insel als eine neue Unterart von Sorex caecutiens und benennen sie S. c. hallamontanus Abe etal Oh.


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Copyright information

© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Low Temperature ScienceHokkaido UniversityOtaruJapan
  2. 2.OtaruJapan
  3. 3.Department of Science EducationCheju National UniversityJejuRepublic of Korea
  4. 4.Asiatic Black Bear Management TeamNational Parks AuthorityJeolla-NamdoRepublic of Korea

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