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Article

First mtDNA Sequences and Body Measurements for Rattus norvegicus from the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus

1
Agricultural Research Institute, P.O. Box 22016, Nicosia 1516, Cyprus
2
Society for the Protection of Natural Heritage and the Biodiversity of Cyprus, Keryneias 6, Geri 2200, Cyprus
3
Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Sassari, Viale San Pietro 43/b, 07100 Sassari, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Life 2020, 10(8), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/life10080136
Received: 12 June 2020 / Revised: 28 July 2020 / Accepted: 3 August 2020 / Published: 5 August 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal Science)
Invasive species are the primary driver of island taxa extinctions and, among them, those belonging to the genus Rattus are considered as the most damaging. The presence of black rat (Rattus rattus) on Cyprus has long been established, while that of brown rat (Rattus norvegicus) is dubious. This study is the first to provide molecular and morphological data to document the occurrence of R. norvegicus in the island of Cyprus. A total of 223 black rats and 14 brown rats were collected. Each sample was first taxonomically attributed on the basis of body measurements and cranial observations. Four of the specimens identified as R. norvegicus and one identified as R. rattus were subjected to molecular characterization in order to corroborate species identification. The analyses of the mitochondrial control region were consistent with morphological data, supporting the taxonomic identification of the samples. At least two maternal molecular lineages for R. norvegicus were found in Cyprus. The small number of brown rats collected in the island, as well as the large number of samples of black rats retrieved in the past years might be an indication that the distribution of R. norvegicus is still limited into three out of the six districts of Cyprus. View Full-Text
Keywords: mitochondrial DNA; D-loop; brown rat; alien species; biological invasion mitochondrial DNA; D-loop; brown rat; alien species; biological invasion
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MDPI and ACS Style

Hadjisterkotis, E.; Konstantinou, G.; Sanna, D.; Pirastru, M.; Mereu, P. First mtDNA Sequences and Body Measurements for Rattus norvegicus from the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus. Life 2020, 10, 136. https://doi.org/10.3390/life10080136

AMA Style

Hadjisterkotis E, Konstantinou G, Sanna D, Pirastru M, Mereu P. First mtDNA Sequences and Body Measurements for Rattus norvegicus from the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus. Life. 2020; 10(8):136. https://doi.org/10.3390/life10080136

Chicago/Turabian Style

Hadjisterkotis, Eleftherios, George Konstantinou, Daria Sanna, Monica Pirastru, and Paolo Mereu. 2020. "First mtDNA Sequences and Body Measurements for Rattus norvegicus from the Mediterranean Island of Cyprus" Life 10, no. 8: 136. https://doi.org/10.3390/life10080136

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