The Stripe Field Mouse lineage ( Apodemus agrarius ) was present in the Late Pleistocene in southwestern France (locality of Bouziès-Q, Quercy), according to the age of ca. 17,417–17,044 BC of the collected sample (AMS 14C dating of collagen extracted from small mammal bones). This occurrence demonstrates that a much western expansion of the Stripe Field Mouse lineage than believed occurred at the end of the last cold phase of the Pleistocene, the few fossil populations up to now known being both younger and located inside the present-day distribution area of the lineage. The AMS 14C date supports the hypothesis of the late migration of this species into Europe. If tooth morphology indicates clear differences with respect to Apodemus sylvaticus or A. flavicollis , there are appreciable ones between the Bouziès-Q population and the present-day Apodemus agrarius of western Europe, likely indicating evolution at the sub-specific level despite the short time period involved.
Rodentia, Apodemus agrarius, Late Pleistocene, France, Germany