Microtinae

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Microtinae

[mī′krät·ən‚ē]
(vertebrate zoology)
A subfamily of rodents in the family Muridae that includes lemmings and muskrats.

Microtinae

 

a subfamily of rodents of the family Cricetidae; some zoologists place the rodents in a separate family. The average body length is 10–12 cm (sometimes as long as 36 cm); the tail is half as long as the body (sometimes shorter). The upper-part of the body is usually solid gray or brown. The cheek teeth of most species are rootless and ever-growing. Only a few extant species and most fossil forms have cheek teeth with roots. The chewing surface of the teeth is prismatic.

There are more than 40 genera of microtines, more than half of which are extinct. The USSR has 12 extant genera, with 43 species. In the northern hemisphere they inhabit the continents and many islands south to northern Africa. The animals also dwell in northern India, Japan, the Kuril and Komandorskie islands, and northern Mexico. They live in the mountains to elevations having no vegetation. In the north, microtines are even found in coastal regions. The greatest diversity of species and the largest number of individuals are found in the open terrain of the temperate zone. Most microtines settle in colonies. They are active year-round, feeding primarily on the above-ground parts of plants. Some species hoard food. The animals reproduce throughout the warm periods of the year, and some species reproduce even in the winter. The number of microtines may vary sharply from year to year. Most species are serious pests of agricultural crops and are natural carriers of the organisms causing tularemia, leptospirosis, and other diseases. The skins of large species, for example, muskrats, are used in the manufacture of fur goods.

I. M. GROMOV

References in periodicals archive ?
6% for hantaviruses harbored by Arvicolinae, Neotominae, and Sigmodontinae rodents.
Most mice and rats are currently placed in the family Muridae, which contains three subfamilies: the Sigmodontinae (previously the Cricetinae), the Arvicolinae (previously the Microtinae) and the Murinae.
4% at the nucleotide and amino acid levels, respectively, from representative hantaviruses harbored by Murinae, Arvicolinae, Neotominae, and Sigmodontinae rodents (Table 2).
Given the sympatric and synchronistic coexistence of northern short-tailed shrews with Neotominae and Arvicolinae rodents (such as Peromyscus leucopus and Microtus pennsylvanicus) and their ferocious territorial behavior, hantavirus spillover may be possible.
Reverse transcription and nested amplification were performed with primers previously designed to detect partial S and M segment sequences from hantaviruses associated with rodents of the Murinae and Arvicolinae subfamilies (14,15).
Total RNA was extracted from homogenized tissues, and nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was performed with two sets of nested primers (2): one set designed to detect the partial G1 coding region of hantaviruses associated with rodents of the subfamily Murinae (Hantaan, Dobrava, and Seoul viruses), and another to detect the N coding region of hantaviruses associated with rodents of the subfamily Arvicolinae (Prospect Hill virus).
mexicanus Arvicolinae associated Prospect Hill Microtus pennsylvanicus Bloodland Lake M.
Most North American hantaviruses are associated with the subfamily Sigmodontinae; only a small number are associated with the subfamilies Arvicolinae or Murinae.
The Arvicolinae are a panarctic group containing several species that undergo fairly regular population cycles with a 3- to 4-year periodicity.