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 ?
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).
Social organization of the male field vole (Microtus agrestis): a case of transient territoriality?
The cytb phylogenetic trees of Microtus were inferred from either a more compact alignment including only sequences longer than 900 bp or an extended alignment consisting of all available sequences for the subgenus Alexandromys (except M.
The effects of chronic tannic acid intake on prairie vole (Microtus ochrogaster) reproduction.
Recent large-scale range expansion and outbreaks of the common vole (Microtus arvalis) in NW Spain.
Sin embargo, varios autores encontraron que en las especies poliginicas Myodes glareolus y Microtus oeconomus (Lambin et al., 1992; Horne e Ylonen, 1996; Kruczek, 1997; Kruczek y Zatorska, 2008), y en la promiscua-poliginica Microtus pennsylvanicus (Johnston et al., 1997a,b), las hembras receptivas aumentaron la frecuencia de sus marcas odorificas en presencia de machos dominantes.
Nevertheless, overgrazing can undoubtedly reduce or even eliminate Microtus populations, as has been documented throughout its range (Eadie, 1953; Jones et al., 2003; Evans et al., 2006; Johnston
Responses of a population of California voles, Microtus californiens, to odor-baited traps.
Graber (1962), working in central Illinois, found that the majority of Long-eared Owl prey was Microtus (64%), with Peromyscus (18%) and Mus (11%) making up a lesser part of their diet, while Saw-whet Owl preyed primarily on Peromyscus (67-91%).