Mammalian Biology

, Volume 69, Issue 1, pp 28–45 | Cite as

Phylogenetic relationships between Indian and Burmese hares (Lepus nigricollis and L. peguensis) inferred from epigenetic dental characters

  • F. SuchentrunkEmail author
Original investigation


Systematic relationships among several forms of hares from South and Southeast Asia currently included in the Indian hare, Lepus nigricollis, and the Burmese hare, L peguensis, are not well understood. In this study, 29 epigenetic occlusal characters (enamel fold patterns) were analyzed quantitatively to infer phylogenetic relationships among the following operational taxonomie units (0TU): L. n. nigricollis (n = 29), L. n. singhala (n = 9), L. n. simcoxi (n = 18), L n. mahadeva (n = 7), L. n. dayanus (n = 29), L. n. ruficaudatus (n = 52), and L. peguensis (L. p. peguensis, L p. siamensis, L p. vassali, combined n = 25). Pairwise epigenetic distances (C. A. B. Smith’s MMD) among OTUs were calculated from OTU-specific frequencies of character states. All cluster analyses performed on the distance matrices revealed close relationships among the OTUs of L. nigricollis, including rufous-tailed hares, L. n. ruficaudatus, and an only slightly separate status of Burmese hares, but a distinct separation of both Indian and Burmese hares from woolly hares, L. oiostolus (n = 27), and Chinese hares, L. sinensis (n = 28), that where used as outgroups. The results conformed the current provisional systematic evaluation, positioning rufous-tailed hares within Indian hares, but rendering the separate species status of L. peguensis still open.


Lepus Indian hare Burmese hare teeth meristic characters 

Phylogenetische Beziehungen zwischen indischen Hasen und burmesischen Hasen (Lepus nigricollis und L. peguensis) anhand epigenetischer Zahnmerkmale


Die Hasen (Genus Lepus) des süd- und südostasiatischen Festlandes werden - abgesehen von L. ca-pensis, L. comus, L. oiostolus und L. sinensis - provisorisch zu zwei Arten zusammengefaßt; zu den indischen Hasen (L. nigricollis) und den burmesischen Hasen (L. peguensis). Innerhalb der ersteren Art werden provisorisch 13 und innerhalb der letzteren Art drei Subspecies unterschieden. Einzelne Formen von L. nigricollis könnten eigene Arten darstellen, zu L. peguensis oder auch zu L. capensis gehören. L. nigricollis und L. peguensis könnten auch Vertreter einer Art sein. Quantitative morpho-logische Analysen fehlen, urn die einzelnen Hypothesen zu stützen. In dieser Untersuchung wurden die Frequenzen von 29 non-metrischen Merkmalen der Zahnoberflächen indischer und burmesischer Hasen zur Berechnung “epigenetischer Distanzen” (C.A.B: Smith’s MMD - “Mean Measure of Divergence”) zwischen folgenden “operationalen taxonomischen Einheiten” (OTU) herangezogen: L. n. dayanus (n = 29), L. n. mahadeva (n = 7), L. n. nigricollis (n = 29), L. n. simcoxi (n = 18), L. n. singhala (n = 9), L. n. ruficaudatus (n = 52), und L. peguensis (n = 25). Verschiedene Cluster-Analysen der paarweisen MMD-Werte ergaben unter Einbeziehung von L. oiostolus (n = 27) und L. sinensis (n = 28) eine sehr enge Beziehung zwischen den OTUs von L. nigricollis und L. peguensis. Dies spricht für die Zugehörigkeit aLLer untersuchter OTUs zu L. nigricollis und stützt die Ansicht, daß. L. nigricollis und L. peguensis konspezifisch seien.


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© Deutsche Gesellschaft für Säugetierkunde 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Research Institute of Wildlife EcologyUniversity of Veterinary MedicineViennaViennaAustria

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