FIGURE 5.2 Distribution of F. silvestris microsatellite and mitochondrial geno-types with associated dendrograms. (A) Textured regions on map reflect the distribution of different STR genotype clades (see key at top). The mtDNA haplotype frequencies are indicated in pie charts specifying the number of specimens carrying each mtDNA haplotype clade. Domestic cats, F. silvestris catus, are distributed worldwide and overwhelmingly carry mtDNA clade IV mtDNA haplotypes. (B) Minimum evolution/neighbor-joining phylogram of 2,604 bp of the ND5 and ND6 gene of 176 mitochondrial haplotypes discerned from 742 specimens sampled across the range of the wildcat (from Europe, Asia, and Africa), Chinese mountain cat, domestic cat, and sand cat. Genetic distance estimators [see Driscoll et al. (2007) for details] provided concordant topologies that specified 6 clusters corresponding to the following subspecies designations: (1) F. silvestris silvestris wildcats from Europe ( mtDNA Clade I); (2) F. silvestris cafra wildcats from Southern Africa (mtDNA Clade II); (3) F. silvestris ornata wildcats from central Asia east of the Caspian Sea (mtDNA Clade III); (4) F. silvestris lybica wildcats from the Near East (mtDNA Clade IV); (5) F. silvestris bieti, Chinese mountain cats (mtDNA Clade V); and (6) F. margarita, sand cat (mtDNA Clade VI). The Chinese mountain cat is here referred to as a wildcat subspecies, F. silvestris bieti, as supported by data presented in Driscoll et al. (2007). The coalescence-based age of mtDNA ancestral nodes for all F. silvestris mtDNA lineages was estimated with the linearized tree method (Takezaki et al., 1995). The estimated age for the ancestor of F. silvestris lybica and domestic cats (mtDNA clade IV) is 131,000 years. Other methods of date estimation suggested a range from 107,000 to 155,000 years (Driscoll et al., 2007). These estimates are all greater by an order of magnitude than archaeological evidence for cat domestication (Vigne et al., 2004). The persistence within mtDNA clade IV of 5 well-supported mtDNA matrilines (A–E) dating back a hundred thousand years before any archaeological record of domestication indicates that domestic cats originated from at least 5 wildcat mtDNA haplotypes. (C) A phenogram [based on short tandem repeat (STR) data] for 851 domestic and wild specimens of Felis silvestris. Clade designations as in B.