Molecular relationships of the Israeli shrews (Eulipotyphla: Soricidae) based on cytochrome b sequences

Erez Shpirer, Michal Haddas-Sasson, Maya Spivak-Glater, Tamar Feldstein, Shai Meiri*, Dorothée Huchon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The number of shrew species in Israel has been and still is the subject of debate. In this work we used for the first time a molecular marker, the cytochrome b gene, to investigate the number and identity of shrew species in Israel. Our molecular results confirmed the presence of four species: Crocidura leucodon, Crocidura suaveolens gueldenstaedtii, Crocidura ramona, and Suncus etruscus. The C. ramona sequences were found to differ from all other Crocidura species sequenced to date, supporting its status as a distinct species. Whether it is conspecific with Crocidura portali (described in 1920 from Israel and usually synonymized with C. suaveolens), will require additional study. The sequences of Israeli C. suaveolens were found to be very similar to those of Iran, Turkey, and Georgia (i.e., C. suaveolens gueldenstaedtii), in agreement with previous studies. The Israeli C. leucodon sequences, however, formed a distinct clade among C. leucodon. Finally, the S. etruscus sequences clustered with sequences from France, Italy, and Iran.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-89
Number of pages11
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2021


  • Crocidura
  • barcoding
  • cyt b
  • levant
  • suncus


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