Mus macedonicus (Petrov & Ruzie, 1983)

Don E. Wilson, Russell A. Mittermeier & Thomas E. Lacher, Jr, 2017, Muridae, Handbook of the Mammals of the World – Volume 7 Rodents II, Barcelona: Lynx Edicions, pp. 536-884 : 790

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Mus macedonicus


534. View Plate 50: Muridae

Macedonian Mouse

Mus macedonicus

French: Souris de Macédoine / German: Balkan-Hausmaus / Spanish: Raton de Macedonia

Other common names: Balkan Short-tailed Mouse

Taxonomy. Mus hortulanus macedonicus Petrov & Ruzié, 1983 ,

near Valandovo, Macedonia.

It was originally described as a subspecies of M. hortulanus or under M. abbott: and later recognized as a valid species following genetic and morphological analyses. Both M. hortulanus and M. abbotti belong to the Mus musculus species group, while M. macedonicus is distinct. The latter species belongs to the subgenus Mus defined

by J. T. Marshall in 1977, and this was confirmed later by various genetic studies. The last molecular analysis by T. Shimada and colleagues in 2010 showed that M. macedonicus belongs to the “ M. musculus ” clade and is the sister taxon of Mus spicilegus . D. M. A. Bate in 1942 described a fossil species from Israel named M. camini. Further authors reexamined this material and concluded it was composed by twolineages: a first old fossil lineage (middle and late Pleistocene) attributed to M. macedonicus and a more recent lineage (since 100,000 BP) with M. musculus morph. Some authors consider that M. m. camini is a valid subspecies from Lebanon, Israel, Palestine (West Bank), and Jordan, but in that case the name camini has priority over macedonicus . B. Krystufek and V. Vorhalik in 2009 pointed out that the type specimen of M. camini was not included in any analysis, and therefore taxonomic conclusions could not be provided about the priority of this name. Moreover, a recent paleontological study by L.. C. Maul and collaborators in 2011 indicated that both musculus and macedonicus lineages may be present since older times at the samesites. So pending further revision of the old and modern material we keep traditional point of view and treat M. macedonicus as monotypic.

Distribution. Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece (including Samothrace, Lesbos, Chios, Samos, and RhodesIs), Turkey (including Gok¢eada and Bozcaada Is), Armenia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, NW Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine (West Bank), and Jordan;it probably also occurs in Iraq View Figure .

Descriptive notes. Head-body 65-98 mm, tail 56-82 mm, ear 9-16 mm, hindfoot 12— 18 mm; weight 11-30 g. Females are heavier than males. This medium-sized species of Mus has a pale to dark gray-brown dorsal pelage and a white to grayish-white belly. Tail is equal to slightly smaller (c.81%) than head-body length. On the skull the incisors are notched like in the House Mouse ( Mus musculus ). The zygomatic width represents 50-59% of the condylobasal length of the skull. Females bear five pairs of mammae. Chromosomal complement has 2n = 40, FNa = 38 with all chromosomes acrocentric.

Habitat. The Macedonian Mouse avoids forests but can be found in various environments from sand dunes to shore vegetation (lakeside and river reed vegetation), as well as cultivated areas (orchards, cultivated fields, gardens, shrubby places) at elevations of up to 1500 m. It is never trapped inside houses.

Food and Feeding. Diet is composed of seeds and other vegetarian matter.

Breeding. Reproduction occurs during spring and summer. In the Balkans, the number of embryos varies from four to ten (average 6-7) and from five to nine in Anatolia (average 7).

Activity patterns. The Macedonian Mouse is terrestrial and nocturnal.

Movements, Home range and Social organization. No information.

Status and Conservation. Classified as Least Concern on The IUCN Red List. The Macedonian Mouse may be locally abundant.

Bibliography. Aulagnier et al. (2009), Bate (1942), Krystufek & Vohralik (2009), Marshall (1977a), Maul et al. (2011), Musser & Carleton (2005), Shimada et al. (2010).














Mus macedonicus

Don E. Wilson, Russell A. Mittermeier & Thomas E. Lacher, Jr 2017

Mus hortulanus macedonicus Petrov & Ruzié, 1983

Petrov & Ruzie 1983