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Identification of Lanius species and subspecies using tandem repeats in the mitochondrial DNA control region

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The number of tandem repeats in the mitochondrial control region were used to differentiate the Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio, Woodchat Shrike Lanius senator, Great Grey Shrike (subspecies Lanius excubitor excubitor) and the Southern Grey Shrike (subspecies L. meridionalis meridionalis, L. m. koenigi, L. m. pallidirostris and L. m. aucheri). The Red-backed and Woodchat Shrikes lacked repeats whereas the Great Grey and Southern Grey had two, three and 2 + 3 repeats. A subspecies of Southern Grey (L. m. koenigi) had 2 + 3 + 4 repeats. These findings are discussed in terms of the taxonomy of the Lanius genus, especially with respect to the Great Grey and Southern Grey Shrikes.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of Zoology and Ecology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Navarra, E-31080 Pamplona, Spain

Publication date: 2004-04-01

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