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GENUS Myospalax

Author:Laxmann, 1769.
Citation:Sibirische Briefe, Gottingen: 75.
Type Species:Mus myospalax Laxmann, 1773.
Comments:Phylogenetic relationships reviewed by Lawrence (1991) and Zheng (1994), both of whose analyses affiliated extant species listed here and extinct Pliocene and Pleistocene species in the same monophyletic group (flat occipital shield, short incisive foramina within premaxillary bone, rooted or rootless molars, and other traits considered primitive for the subfamily). Zheng (1994) revived Episiphneus for the extinct youngi and pseudarmandi (which he called sinensis) and placed rootless forms in Myospalax. Lawrence (1991) demonstrated the artificiality of this arrangement, and we follow her arrangement in recognizing one genus with the M. psilurus and M. myospalax species groups, the latter also including the Pliocene and Pleistocene M. youngi and M. pseudarmandi. Myospalax as represented here is equivalent to Zhengís (1994) Myospalacinae. Corbet (1978c), following Kuzhyakin (1965), treated all Myospalax (they used subgenus Myospalax) as a single highly variable species, a lumping which clashes with Ognevís (1947) recognition of aspalax, myospalax, and psilurus as distinct; his arrangement proves to be a sharper insight into the real species diversity. Morphological, geographic, and other information for species with ranges in Russia and adjacent regions reviewed by Ognev (1947) and Gromov and Erbajeva (1995).
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Offspring:

SPECIES aspalax

SPECIES myospalax

SPECIES psilurus

Synonyms:

    Aspalomys Gervais, 1841
    Episiphneus Kretzoi, 1961
    Myotalpa Kerr, 1792
    Siphneus Brants, 1827

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