Systematic Relationships within the Dasyurid Marsupial Tribe Sminthopsini—A Multigene Approach Academic Article uri icon


  • We report analyses of complete DNA sequences of the mitochondrial cytochrome b (1146 bp), 12S rRNA (974 bp), partial control region (371 bp) loci, and the nuclear protamine P1 (616 bp) gene from all but one species (Sminthopsis butleri) of the dasyurid marsupial tribe Sminthopsini, as well as several outgroups. Parsimony analyses of combined nuclear and mitochondrial data suggest that Antechinomys is sister to a clade consisting of Sminthopsis and Ningaui. Parsimony, maximum-likelihood, and mixed-model distance analyses consistently resolve several species groups within Sminthopsis. The Macroura group includes S. macroura, S. virginiae, S. douglasi, and S. bindi; S. butleri is also included here on the basis of partial 12S rRNA sequences. S. crassicaudata is resolved as sister to the Macroura clade. The Murina group includes S. murina, S. leucopus, S. gilberti, S. dolichura, and S. archeri. S. griseoventer and S. aitkeni are resolved as a clade, and there is moderate support for a group consisting of the genetically divergent species S. psammophila, S. hirtipes, S. youngsoni, and S. ooldea (possibly along with S. longicaudata and S. granulipes). Compositions of species groups are partially congruent with clades previously proposed on the basis of morphological data. Radiations within Sminthopsini appear to be coincident with major environmental changes since the mid-Miocene.


  • Blacket, Mark J
  • Krajewski, Carey
  • Labrinidis, Agatha
  • Cambron, Brian
  • Cooper, Steven
  • Westerman, Michael

publication date

  • July 1999