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Type: Article
Published: 2018-02-26
Page range: 331–349
Abstract views: 172
PDF downloaded: 8

Molecular phylogenetics and taxonomy of dwarf hamsters Cricetulus Milne-Edwards, 1867 (Cricetidae, Rodentia): description of a new genus and reinstatement of another

Zoological Museum, Moscow State University, B.Nikitskaya 6, Moscow, Russia
Lomonosov Moscow State University, Vorobievy Gory 1/12, Moscow, Russia
Institute of Pathology, City Hospital Dessau, Auenweg 38, D-06847 Dessau-Roßlau, Germany
Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskii pr. 33, Moscow, Russia
Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, University of Guelph, N1G 2W1, Guelph, Canada
Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Russian Academy of Sciences, Leninskii pr. 33, Moscow, Russia
Mammalia molecular taxonomy Cricetinae molecular clock species tree


The taxonomy of the genus Cricetulus has been controversial. The phylogenetic relationships both within the genus and among Cricetulus lineages and other genera were examined using a set of five nuclear and two mitochondrial genes. The results demonstrate that Cricetulus in its current treatment is a polyphyletic assemblage because the subgenus Urocricetus is phylogenetically unrelated to all other Cricetulus and is a distant sister group to Phodopus. The grey hamster (C. migratorius) proved to be closer to Cricetus and Allocricetulus than to Cricetulus proper, which includes C. barabensis C. sokolovi and C. longicaudatus. Based on these results Urocricetus is elevated to the rank of a full genus and a new genus Nothocricetulus gen.nov. is described for the grey hamster.



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