general info about Theriologia Ukrainica

Theriologia Ukrainica

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

2021 Vol. 21 Contents of volume >>>

download pdfEvstafiev, I. 2021. Mice of the genus Mus in the Crimea: species diagnostics, distribution, and ecology. Theriologia Ukrainica, 21: 3753.



Mice of the genus Mus in the Crimea: species diagnostics, distribution, and ecology


Igor Evstafiev (


Crimean Republican Sanitary-Epidemiological Station (Simferopol, Ukraine)


Theriologia Ukrainica. 2021. Vol. 21: 3753.




English, with Ukrainian summary, titles of tables, captures to figs


The paper presents the first detailed summary of the current state of mice of the genus Mus in the Crimea, namely of the house mouse (Mus musculus Linnaeus, 1758) and steppe mouse (Mus spicilegus Petenyi, 1882). Morphological structures of the house mouse and steppe mouse are characterized and external and craniometrical features important for species diagnostics are presented. Most of the morphological characters tend to vary within the entire geographic range of both species. Body length of house mice is significantly greater compared to that of steppe mice. Tail length in house mice is greater than in steppe mice, but the tail index is greater in the latter. Therefore, house mice look more short-tailed, and this feature can be used as an additional diagnostic character. In steppe mice, the tail becomes thinner gradually from base to tip and thus it is awl-shaped. The tail of fit house mice, especially of autumn-winter generations, often has a thickened base, which increases the visual effect of a short tail. Among internal characters, the most significant are the differences between testicles size of mature males. For species diagnostics of mice of the genus Mus, the size and shape of the following cranial structures can be used: location of the root and frontal wall of the crown of the first upper molar (M1) in relation to the diastema; zygomatic process of the maxilla and zygomatic arch; palatine foramens foramina palatinum, and others. These are reliable characters for morphological identification of M. musculus and M. spicilegus in the territory of the Crimea, in the zone of their sympatry. Reliable diagnostic characters are the dimensions of palatine foramens. In general, the entire complex of characters analysed in this study should be used for correct morphological diagnostics of these species. Features of distribution and population dynamics of the house mouse and steppe mouse in the Crimea are studied. It has been revealed that both the house mouse and the steppe mouse are distributed mainly in the lowland part of the Crimea and the forest-steppe belt of the foothills. Data on the ecology of species are presented, including specifics of reproduction and habitat preferences. The place and role of house mice in small-mammal assemblages of various landscape and ecological zones are estimated.


house mouse, steppe mouse, Mus, diagnostics, distribution, population, Crimea



Argyropulo, A. I. 1933. Notes on the taxonomy of the house mouse (Mus musculus L.) (Mammalia). Proceedings of the ZIN, .S. USSR, 1 (2): 223228. (In Russian)
Argyropulo, A. I. 1940. Family Muridae mice. AN SSSR Publ. House, Moskva, Leningrad, 1182. (Series: Fauna SSSR, Mammals; Vol. 3, issue 5). (In Russian)
Cserkesz, T., A. Gubanyi, J. Farkas. 2008. Distinguishing Mus spicilegus from Mus domesticus (Rodentia, Muridae) by using cranial measurements. Acta Zoologica Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae, 54 (3): 305318.
Colak, E., N. Y. Yigit, M. Sozen, et al. 2006. The morphological analysis of Mus domesticus and Mus macedonicus (Mammalia: Rodentia) in Turkey. Turkish Journal of Zoology, 30: 309317.
Dulitsky, A. I., N. N. Tovpinets. 1997. The annotated list of mammals of Crimea. In: To Memory of Prof. A. Brauner. Astroprint, Odesa, 92100.
Dulitsky, A. I. 2001. Biodiversity of Crimea. Mammals: History, State, Protection, Prospects. Sonat, Simferopol, 1208.
Evstafiev, I. L. 2004. Zonal-biotopic distribution of small mammals of the Crimea. Scientific Notes of V. I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University. Biology. Chemistry, 17 (56, 2): 9097. (In Russian)
Evstafiev, I. L. 2015. Results of a 30-years-long investigation of small mammals in Crimea. Part 1. Introduction, fauna composition, ranges. Proceedings of the Theriological School, 13: 2034. (In Russian)
Evstafiev, I. L. 2017. Results of a 30-years-long investigation of small mammals in Crimea. Part 3. Parasitology and epizootiology. Proceedings of the Theriological School, 15: 111135. (In Russian)
Evstafiev, I. L. 2020. Small mammals as inhabitants of buildings of cities and other settlements of Crimea. Journal RAT-info (Moskva), No. 4: 812. (In Russian)
Gromov, I. M., M. A. Erbajeva. 1995. The mammals of Russia and adjacent territories lagomorphs and rodents. Ed. by. . . ristov, G. I. Baranova. ZIN RAS, Sankt-Petersburg, 1522.
Guliy, G. I. 1930. Systematic signs of the hillock mouse. Bulletin of the North Caucasian Regional Plant Protection Station, 5: 105127. (In Russian)
Hodykina, Z. S. 1964. Seasonal movements of small rodents in the steppe Crimea. Bulletin of the Kyiv University, 6: 137140. (In Ukrainian)
Karaseva, E.V., A. Yu. Telitsyna, B. L. Samoylov. 1999. Mammals of Moscow in the past and present. Nauka, Moscow, 1245. (In Russian)
Klausnitzer, B. 1990. Ecology of Urban Fauna. Mir, Moscow, 1246. (In Russian)
Kondratenko, A. V. 2006. The mound-building mouse, Mus spicilegus (Mammalia, Rodentia) in eastern regions of Ukraine. Proceedings of Theriological School, 7: 6366. (In Russian)
Korobitsina, K. V., L. V. Yakimenko, L. V. Frisman. 1990. On the systematics of house mice of the USSR fauna: cytogenetic data. Evolutionary and genetic studies of mammals. Part 1. Vladivostok, 5578. (In Russian)
Kotenkova, E. V., A. G. Mikhaylenko, S. V. Mezhzherin. 1994. Areas of mound-building mice M. spicilegus and Mus tataricus ("abboti"). House mouse: Origin, distribution, systematics, behavior. Nauka, Moscow, 8186. (In Russian)
Kotenkova, E. V. 2000. Synanthropic and wild-living mice of the supraspecific complex Mus musculus s. l.: systematics, distribution, lifestyle, isolation mechanisms, and evolution. Abstract Doct. Biol. Sciences. Institute of ecology and evolution. RAS, oskva, 155. (In Russian)
Kotenkova, E. V., N. S. Bulatova (Eds). 1994. House mouse: Origin. Distribution. Systematics. Behavior. Nauka, Moskva, 1267.
Kucheruk, V. V. 1963. New in the method of quantitative accounting of harmful rodents and shrews. Organization and Methods of Accounting for Birds and Harmful Rodents. Publ. A.S. USSR, Moscow, 159183. (In Russian)
Lyalyukhina, S. I., A. G. Mikhailenko, E. V. Kotenkova. 1989. Cadastral reference map of the area of the mound-building mice in the USSR. In: Sokolov, V. E. (ed.). House Mice: a collection of scientific papers. IEMEZH USSR. Moscow, 2851. (In Russian)
Lyalyukhina, S., E. Kotenkova, W. Walkowa, K. Adamczyk. 1991. Comparison of craniological parameters in Mus musculus musculus Linnaeus, 1758 and Mus hortulanus Nordmann, 1840. Acta Thcriologica, 36 (12): 95107.
Macholan, M. 1996. Morphometric analysis of European house mice. Acta Theriologica, 41: 255275.
Maltsev, A. N., V. V. Stakheev, A.S. Bogdanov, N.V. Panasyuk, E. V. Kotenkova. 2018. New information on the genetic differentiation of the mound-building mouse Mus spicilegus Petenyi, 1882. Zhivye i biokosnye sistemy, 23: 111. (In Russian)
Marshall, I. T., R. D. Sage. 1981. Taxonomy of house mouse. In: Biology of the house mouse. B. Y. Betty (ed.). Symp. zool. Soc. Lond., 47: 1524.
Marshall, I. T. 1986. Systematics of the genus Mus. Curr. Top. Microbiol. & Immunol., 127: 1218.
Mezhzherin, S. V., E. V. Kotenkova. 1989. Genetic marking of subspecies of house mice of the USSR fauna. Doklady Akad. Nauk. SSSR, 304 (5): 12721275. (In Russian)
Mezhzherin, S. V., I. V. Zagorodniuk. 1989. Morphological, Karyological and genetic divergences of the house (Mus musculus musculus) and mound-building mice (Mus musculus hortulanus). In: Sokolov, V. E. (ed.). House Mice: a collection of scientific papers. IEMEZH USSR. Moscow, 99114. (In Russian)
Mygulin, O. O. 1937. The hillock mouse (Mus sergii Valkh) as species. Zbirnyk Prats Zool. Mus. (Kyiv), 20: 115120. (Series: Proc. Inst. zool. & biol. Ukr. AS; Vol. 18). (In Ukrainian)
Mygulin, O. O. 1938. Subgenus House Mice, Mus Lin., 1758 . In: Mygulin, O. O. Mammals of the Ukr. RSR (Materials to the Fauna). Publ. House of the Ukr. Acad. Sci, Kyiv, 324333. (In Ukrainian)
Orsini, P., F. Bonhomme, J. Britton-Davidian, H. Croset, S. Gerasimov, L. Thaler. 1983. Le complexe depeces du genre Mus en Europe Centrale et Orientale. II. Criteres didentification, repartition et caracteristiques ecologiques. Zeitschrift fur Saugetierkunde., 48: 8695.
Pesenko, Yu. A. 1982. Principles and Methods of Quantitative Analysis in Faunal Research. Nauka Press, Moskva, 1287. (In Russian)
Polishchuk, I. K. 2009. Experience in assessing the population of small mammals in the Askania-Nova Biosphere reserve using by pellets method. Biosphere reserve Askania-Nova, Askania-Nova, 154. (In Russian)
Sokolov, V. E., E.V. Kotenkova, S. I. Lyalyukhina. 1990. Biology of House and Mound-Building Mice. Ed. by E. V. Karaseva. Nauka, Moskva, 1207. (In Russian)
Takada, Y., T. Tateishi, E. Sakai, Y. Uematsu. 2002. Morfological variation of mice Mus musculus on the Ogasawara Islands and their relationship to those on the Izu Islands, Japan. Mammal Study, 27: 2330.
Tovpinets, N. N., I. L. Evstafiev. 2005. Current state of hygrophilic and hydrophilic groups of small mammals of the Crimea. Scientific Bulletin of Uzhhorod University. Series biology, 17: 9399. (In Ukrainian)
Tovpinets, N. N., I. L. Evstafiev. 2010. Distribution and dynamics of abundance of Micromammalia in the Crimea. Proceedings of the Theriological School, 10: 95106. (In Russian)
Tovpinets, N. N. 2012. Statistical structure of the population of small mammals of the Crimea. Dynamics of Biodiversity: collection of scientific papers. Ed. by I. Zagorodniuk. Luhansk National University Press, Lugansk, 150153. (In Russian)
Tovpinets, N. N., I. L. Evstafiev. 2013. Small mammals in winter diet of the eared owl (Asio otus) in the Crimea: ecological and epizootological aspects. Berkut, 22 (2): 113121. (In Russian)
Tsvelykh, A. N. 2009. Distribution of the mound-building mice M. spicilegus (Mammalia) in the mountainous Crimea. Vestnik zoologii, 43 (2): 184188. (In Russian)
Volyanskiy, B. E. 1929. Notes on the mammals of the Kerch peninsula (Crimea). Proc. of the Department of Physics and Mathematics VUAN, 13 (1): 2934.
Zagorodniuk, I. 1994. Rodent species new for the fauna of the European part of Russian Federation. Vestnik zoologii, 28 (6): 73. (In Russian)
Zagorodniuk, I. V., V. A. Naglov, A. V. Zorya. 1995. Modern distribution of Mus spicilegus in the Slobozhanska Ukraine. Vestnik zoologii, 29 (56): 75. (In Russian)
Zagorodniuk, I. V. 1996. Sibling species of mice from Eastern Europe: taxonomy, diagnostics and distribution. Reports of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, No 12: 166173.
Zagorodniuk, I. V. 1996. Taxonomic revision and diagnostics of the rodent genus Mus from Eastern Europe. Communication 1. Vestnik zoologii, 6 (1): 2846. (In Russian)
Zagorodniuk, I. V. 2002. Taxonomic revision and diagnostics of the rodent genus Mus from Eastern Europe. Communication 2. News Biosphere Reserve Askania Nova, 4: 130140. (In Russian)
Zagorodniuk, I. Naglov, V. 2017. The index of habitat preference in ecological studies of species and of the structure of communities. Novitates Theriologicae, 10: 176182. (In Ukrainian)


to main page of journal >>>

created: 01.07.2021
updated: 15.07.2021

Locations of visitors to this page