Myodini. Or placed in subtribe Myodina, Prometheomyini (Pavlinov and Rossolimo, 1998; Pavlinov et al., 1995a). Alticola is broadly related to Myodes, an affinity early acknowledged by Hooper and Hart (1962), who associated Alticola with Clethrionomys (= Myodes), Eothenomys, Hyperacrius, Dinaromys, and Phenacomys in Clethrionomyini, a grouping later supported by Gromov and Polyakov (1977) and Mezhzherin et al. (1995). Appendicular myological and osteological traits reinforce the monophyly of Alticola and its close association with Myodes and Eothenomys (Stein, 1987). We follow Gromov and Polyakov (1977) and others (Hille and Stubbe, 1996; Pavlinov and Rossolimo, 1987; Pavlinov et al., 1995a) who recognize the subgenera Alticola, Aschizomys, and Platycranius.
Alticola is implicated as polyphyletic in DNA-DNA hybridization studies that disclose Alticola macrotis as sister species to Myodes rufocanus and A. argentatus as sister species to M. rutilus M. glareolus (Gileva et al., 1989). Phylogenetic analyses of mitochondrial genes also support closer relationship of A. macrotis to species of Myodes (Conroy and Cook, 1999). Since only two of the 11 species of Alticola have been thus far surveyed in molecular studies, its paraphyly relative to Myodes will require broader taxonomic sampling. Schwarz (1939) reviewed the Himalayan species, and cytogenetic results are documented by Hielscher et al. (1992). Phylogenetic analysis of electrophoretic data by Hille and Stubbe (1996) supported relationships among A. argentatus, A. barakshin, and A. semicanus, as proposed by Rossolimo and Pavlinov (1992).