Description: The genetic structure of 26 natural populations of three species (S. tridecemlineatus, S. mexicanus, and S. spilosoma) of the Ictidomys subgenus of ground squirrels was analyzed using chromosomal and electrophoretic techniques. Chromosomal variation was not observed in S. mexicanus, and only slight karyotypic variation was found in the other two species. Chromosomal evidence indicated hybridization between S. tridecemlineatus and S. mexicanus, placing these species within the classical definition of semispecies. Analysis of electrophoretic variation at 29 genetic loci indicated close genetic relationships between these species. Evolution in Ictidomys appears to be linked with Pleistocene events, and speciation appears to have occurred within the last 155,000 years.
Date: December 1975
Creator: Cothran, E. Gus, 1951-