Review of unique odd chromosome-numbered underground rodent species of the Palearctic region: Ellobius lutescens Thomas 1897 (Rodentia: Cricetidae)


Abstract: A review of the species within the genus Ellobius from Turkey is provided. The Transcaucasian mole vole, Ellobius lutescens, is the westernmost representative of the genus and among the most enigmatic and yet most neglected of the Palearctic placental mammals. Currently, its distribution is thought to be restricted to eastern Anatolia. The Transcaucasian mole voles inhabit a wide variety of habitats across this distribution area in semiarid or grassland territories and high-elevation cultivated fields. The species' distribution, feeding ecology, population structure, behavior, reproduction, genetics, and fossil records are reviewed here for Turkey. This paper brings together information published during the last century in books and scientific papers. Future research needs to include collation of further data on population dynamics, maximum length of the breeding season, reliable abundance estimates, and studies of distribution and migration. Other areas worthy of investigation are the identification of wintering areas, acquisition of up-to-date data on reproduction and mortality, and investigations into the consequences of environmental changes for the species.

Keywords: Mammalia, Rodentia, Cricetidae, Arvicolinae, Ellobius lutescens, review, Turkey

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