Microtus


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Microtus

 

(meadow mice), a genus of rodents of the subfamily Microtinae. The body length reaches 20 cm; the slightly or moderately bushy tail is no greater than one-half as long as the body. The molars have no roots and are ever-growing. The coloration of the upper parts is usually grayish brown; the lower parts are lighter, sometimes white.

Meadow mice are distributed in Eurasia and North America from the tundra to the subtropics; in the mountains they are present even in the alpine zone. There are approximately 60 species, assigned to four subgenera (according to other data, five to ten subgenera). In the USSR there are 12 species of the subgenus Microtus. The most common species are M. arvalis and M. oeconomus. Meadow mice feed mainly on green parts of plants and on roots; some store a substantial quantity of roots. In winter the mice usually congregate in haystacks and similar places. Many species are characterized by mass reproduction. Most meadow mice are dangerous pests of pasture plants and grain and fruit crops; they also are carriers of the causative agents of a number of diseases (tularemia, leptospiroses).

References in periodicals archive ?
The growth curve parameters of Yangtze vole Microtus fortis at different population densities.
2004: Molecular phylogeny of the speciose vole genus Microtus (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) inferred from mitochondrial DNA sequences.
Microtus ochrogaster has a short generation time due to year-round breeding in some areas, a 21 d gestation and lactation period, and age of reproduction of 31 d (Solomon, 1991).
Male dominance, female choice and male copulatory behavior in two species of voles (Microtus ochrogaster and Microtus montanus).
While there is no definite association between the reduction of Microtus populations and the decline of these two species, the near-elimination of this previously common small prey species could have widespread effects.
Vole numbers are known to fluctuate (Hoffmeister, 1989), so a year of particularly high Microtus abundance could have led to this discrepancy.
Examples include Chionomys nivalis, Microtus oeconomus, Microtus agrestis and Microtus arvalis (Table 1), found at all the sites studied.
En un estudio desarrollado durante un ano completo, Ma y colaboradores (1991) estimaron que la ingestion diaria de cadmio por la musarana Sorex araneus, cuyo habitat se situaba en las proximidades de una fabrica de metal, era 50 veces superior que la del herbivoro Microtus agrestis (esto es, un factor de 50 veces).
Is population performance of Microtus pennsylvanicus positively related to the amount of time since disturbance in habitats that are recovering from surface-mining?