Thesis Title

An Analysis Of Phenetic Variation In The Least Shrew Cryptotis Parva (Say)


David C. Belt

Date of Graduation

Summer 1975


Master of Science in Biology



Committee Chair

Tom Stombough


No study of the taxonomy of Cryptotis parva has been undertaken since 1942. The purpose of this study was to observe and describe the patterns of phenetic variation in C. parva in the United States and to use the patterns to assess the status of currently recognized subspecies. To accomplish this 11 characters of 443 specimens from 37 localities were subjected to an analysis of variance, a Student-Newman-Keuls multiple range test and trend surface analysis. A phenogram was computed by cluster analysis by the unweighted pair-group method using arithmetic averages. The phenogram was not found to show distinct geographically continuous groups. The Student-Newman-Keuls test showed different patterns of variation for each of the characters, while the trend surface analysis shows that regional trends explain the majority of the variation in four of the characters. On the basis of the data presented, I believe that the presently recognized subspecies are not valid and that Cryptotis parva be considered a monotypic species exhibiting considerable variation.

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© David C. Belt