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Evidence for the presence of a second species of mongoose in the Fiji Islands

Morley, Craig and McLenachan, P.A. and Lockhart, P.J. (2007) Evidence for the presence of a second species of mongoose in the Fiji Islands. Pacific Conservation Biology, 13 (1). pp. 29-34. ISSN 1038-2097

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The small Indian Mongoose Herpestes javanicus was introduced in the late nineteenth century into Fiji and is now found throughout the two main islands of Fiji (Viti Levu and Vanua Levu) and on another 11 small outer islands. When trapping mongoose as part of an investigation into the spread of leptospirosis around Suva, six large red-coloured mongoose were also captured. The body measurements (weight, length and hind-foot size) of these red-coloured mongoose were significantly larger than a random sample of the grey-coloured mongoose H. javanicus normally seen. To clarify whether the red-coloured mongoose was a different species or just a different colour morph of H. javanicus, mitochondrial cytochrome B cytb DNA sequences were determined from muscle tissue of four red-coloured individuals. Phylogenetic analyses using cytb sequences show that while the red-coloured mongoose belongs to an Asian clade, it is not H. javanicus or H. edwardsi. Further research is needed to determine the identity and origin of the red-coloured mongoose and to ascertain its prevalence in Fiji.

Item Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Q Science > QH Natural history > QH301 Biology
Divisions: Faculty of Science, Technology and Environment (FSTE) > School of Biological and Chemical Sciences
Depositing User: Ms Mereoni Camailakeba
Date Deposited: 25 May 2007 03:20
Last Modified: 29 May 2012 09:23

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