Turkish Journal of Zoology

Diagnostic Characters and Distribution of Meriones Illiger, 1811 Species (Mammalia: Rodentia) in Turkey




In this study, specimens of Meriones collected from various areas of Turkey were evaluated based on morphological and biometrical characters. It was determined that four species; Meriones tristrami, Meriones vinogradovi, Meriones meridianus and Meriones crassus exist in Turkey. External characters such as the terminal tuft on tail, the colour of ventral hairs, the soles of hind foot and the length of tail, and cranial characters such as the structure of suprameatal triangle, the connection of anterior rim of auditory meatus to squomosal and the projection of mastoid portion of tympanic bullae from supraoccipitals were determined to be useful in distinguishing species of Meriones. The range of M. tristrami in steppes and plains below altitude of 1200 m in Anatolia, M. vinogradovi in vicinity of Kars and Iğdır province, M. meridianus at sandy belts in the north of Ağrı mountain and M. crassus in Southeastern Anatolia were determined.


Meriones, Diagnostic characters, Distribution, Turkey.

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