History of discovery and some taxonomic problems in the alpine shrew (Sorex alpinus) and pygmy field mouse (Apodemus microps) in Slovakia [História objavenia a niektoré taxonomické otázky u piskora vrchovského (Sorex alpinus) a ryšavk
Marcela Kocianová-Adamcová, Ľudovít Kocian
The occurrence of alpine shrew, Sorex alpinus Schinz, 1837, in Slovakia has been known since the second half of the 19th century, yet detailed taxonomic studies have been published only as late as by the end of the 1940s. In 1952, Kratochvíl and Rosický studied a material of 44 specimens collected throughout the former Czechoslovakia and found individuals that had a longer body and a shorter tail when compared to other subspecies, and described them as a new subspecies, Sorex alpinus tatricus Kratochvíl et Rosický, 1952. They considered the High Tatras to be the terra typica of this new subspecies. The question of this, but also of other alpine shrew subspecies, has been a matter of polemics and discussions for a long time, and recently the validity of this subspecies could not be confirmed. Again in 1952, another new species, the pygmy field mouse, Apodemus microps Kratochvíl et Rosický, 1952, was described from Slovakia. Later on, this species originally considered to occur in lowlands was found also in alpine valleys. The situation in Slovakia is complicated by the findings of small individuals of the pygmy field mouse from the timberline zone in the Western Tatras which Mošanský (1963, 1994) classified as a separate taxon. Besides that, some studies have been published recently in which A. microps is considered to be synonymous with A. uralensis (Pallas, 1811).