Theriologia Ukrainica
(former Proceedings of the Theriological School)

ISSN 2616-7379 (print) ISSN 2617-1120 (online)

2019 Vol. 17 Contents of volume >>>

download pdfZagorodniuk, I. Close non-murid rodent species in the fauna of Ukraine: differences, biogeography, and ecomorphology. Theriologia Ukrainica. 2019. Vol. 17: 9-31.



Close non-murid rodent species in the fauna of Ukraine: differences, biogeography, and ecomorphology


Zagorodniuk, I.


National Museum of Natural History, NAS of Ukraine (Kyiv, Ukraine)


Theriologia Ukrainica. 2019. Vol. 17: 9-31.




Ukrainian, with English extended summary, titles of tables, captures to figs, and references


Summaries of taxonomic revisions, analysis of identification criteria, spatial and eco-morphological differentiation of close pairs of species are summed up. Taxonomic heterogeneity is characteristic of 4 superspecies: Spermophilus suslicus s. l. (2 species), Sicista subtilis s. l. (2 species), Sicista betulina s. l. (2 species), Spalax zemni s. l. (2 species). Unlike other groups of small mammals (in particular, bats and rodents of the superfamily Muridae), all these superspecies complexes are represented by allospecies, in all four cases, by pairs of species. Accordingly, the differences between them on eco-morphological characters are minimal or absent. As it is found out, sympatry is admissible only with species from adjacent taxa of the same ecomorphological groups, in particular, susliks with marmots, forest birch-mice with steppe birch-mice, and mole-rats with mole-voles. In all these allospecies complexes, there is relation of species to forest-steppe or steppe faunal complexes (the only except is the northern forest birch-mice from the superspecies Sicista betulina s. l.), as well as their spatial differentiation is based on the principal inter-river spaces, and the boundaries of their ranges are large watercourses. One of the key factors of spatial segregation is the delimitation of them by large rivers, first of all the Dnipro, partly Dnister, Tyligul, Molochna, Donets. Cases of sympathy, even at least marginal, have not been revealed, but the analysis of ancient literature and collections can reveal signs of recent expansion of species. In particular, signs of the expansion of Spermophilus odessanus to the west were detected; probably the same applies to Sicista loriger and Spalax zemni. The key biogeographic coordinate of the whole complex of "small" species of non-Muridae rodents is the Lower Dnipro, in particular the triangular between the Lower Dnipro, the Black Sea and the Molochna river. Guilds in all these groups are as simplistic as possible (practically mono-species), and in addition, three out of four of these groups are presented by winter hibernation animals. Unlike other groups of mammalian siblings, all analyzed species do not show any tendency to synanthropy.


rodents, non-Muridae, taxonomy, distribution, differences, ecomorphology.



Brusentsova, N. 2018. Alien and keystone mammal species in ecosystems: report on the XղII Theriological School-Workshop. Theriologia Ukrainica, 16: 198200. (In Ukrainian)
Zagorodniuk, I. 2012. Symbol species and thematic years of animals in Ukraine. In: Theriofauna of Protected Areas and Mammal Protection. Hola Prystan, Ukrainian Theriological Society, 74. (Novitates Theriologicae; Pars 8). (In Ukrainian)
Merzlikin, I. R. 2018. XXIV Theriological School (2017) Theriological Collections and identification of samples. Prirodnici nauki, 15: 9396. (In Ukrainian)


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created: 16.06.2019
updated: 01.10.2019

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