Journal of Zoology

Phylogenetic relationships within the family Talpidae (Mammalia: Insectivora)

Masaharu Motokawa a1c1
a1 The Kyoto University Museum, Kyoto 606-8501, Japan

Article author query
motokawa m   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 


The phylogenetic relationships within the family Talpidae (Mammalia, Insectivora) were inferred from parsimonious analysis of 55 morphological characters, which were collected from 43 skulls of 22 species, and which included all of the extant genera in the current taxonomy of the Talpidae. Two equally parsimonious cladograms were obtained. The Uropsilinae, Desmaninae and Talpinae subfamilies formed monophyletic clades, and the Desmaninae and Talpinae subfamilies were sister clades. The Talpinae subfamily was subdivided into the following clades: Urotrichus, Dymecodon, ScalopusScapanus, ParascalopsScapanulus, Condylura, Neurotrichus, Scaptonyx and Talpini (Talpa, Euroscaptor, Scaptochirus, Parascaptor and Mogera). The Urotrichini (Urotrichus, Dymecodon and Neurotrichus) and Scalopini (Scalopus, Scapanus, Parascalops and Scapanulus) were considered to be paraphyletic, and were defined primarily by their ancestral characteristics. Since the genus Dymecodon was not clustered with Urotrichus, it was considered to be a valid genus, and not just a junior synonym of the latter. The Asian genus Euroscaptor was found to be a paraphyletic group, and deserves further systematic revision. The evolution from semi-fossorial habit to fully fossorial habit seems to have occurred three times in the ScalopusScapanus, ParascalopsScapanulus and Talpini clades. The migration of the Talpinae to North America from Eurasia probably occurred on four separate occasions in the Scalopus–Scapanus, Parascalops, Condylura and Neurotrichus lineages.

(Accepted November 18 2003)

Key Words: Talpidae; phylogeny; cranial morphology; systematics; biogeography.

c1 E-mail: