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SPECIES Ondatra zibethicus

Author:Linnaeus, 1766.
Citation:Syst. Nat., 12th ed., 1: 79.
Common Name:Common Muskrat
Type Locality:E Canada.
Distribution:North America, north to the treeline, including Newfoundland; south to the Gulf of México, Rio Grande and lower Colorado River valleys. Introduced to Czech Republic in 1905 and now widespread in the Palearctic, including C and N Europe, most of Ukraine, Russia, and Siberia, adjacent parts of Mongolia and scattered throughout China, NE Korea, and Honshu Isl, Japan (Gromov and Erbajeva, 1995, for Eurasian range; Mitchell-Jones et al., 1999, for European range); also into southernmost Argentina (Galliari et al., 1996; Olrog and Lucero, 1981).
Status:IUCN – Data Deficient as O. z. ripensis, otherwise Lower Risk (lc).

Subspecific classification revised, under the name Fiber, by Hollister (1911); Whitaker and Hamilton (1998) regarded macrodon as inseparable from O. z. zibethicus. Comprehensive summaries of systematics, ecology, population biology, and economic status provided by Pietsch (1982), Perry (1982), and Sokolov and Lavrov (1993). Correlation between masticatory muscles and cranial architecture monographed by Vendeloo (1953). Viriot et al. (1993) used digital imaging to analyze molar ontogeny and wear effects in extant samples; the technique may quantitatively refine the evolutionary chronocline as traced in the stratigraphic record (e.g., Chaline et al., 1999; R. A. Martin, 1996).

History of introductions, mostly for fur farming, and early population spread in Eurasia and USA reviewed by Storer (1937) and Willner (1984). Recent faunal studies—including records of introduction, distribution, and population expansion—collectively underscore the muskrat’s pervasive exploitation of Eurasian aquatic habitats: Netherlands (Hoeve and Wijlaars, 1992); Sumava Mtn region, SW Bohemia (Andĕra and Červený, 1994); Switzerland (Hausser, 1995); Italy (Amori et al., 1999; Andreotti et al., 2001); Slovakia (Mošanský, 1994; Stanko and Mošanský, 2000); Czech Republic (Šmaha, 1996); Serbia and Montenegro (Petrov, 1992); Slovenia (Kryštufek, 1991); E Baltic region (Miljutin, 1997, 1998; Timm et al., 1998); Korea (Won and Smith, 1999); Svjatoj Nos peninsula and isthmus in Lake Baikal (Reiter et al., 1995); Kamchatka region (Nikanorov, 2000); Russia and adjacent regions (Gromov and Erbajeva, 1995); China (Zhang et al., 1997); and Japan (Kaneko, 1994). See Willner et al. (1980, Mammalian Species, 141).




    albus (Sabine, 1823)
    americana Tiedemann, 1808
    aquilonius (Bangs, 1899)
    bernardi Goldman, 1932
    cinnamominus (Hollister, 1910)
    hudsonius (Preble, 1902)
    goldmani Huey, 1938
    maculosa (Richardson, 1829)
    macrodon (Merriam, 1897)
    mergens (Hollister, 1910)
    niger (Fitzinger, 1867)
    niger (Brass, 1911)
    nigra (Richardson, 1829)
    obscurus (Bangs, 1894)
    occipitalis (Elliot, 1903)
    osoyoosensis (Lord, 1863)
    pallidus (Mearns, 1890)
    ripensis (Bailey, 1902)
    rivalicius (Bangs, 1895)
    spatulatus (Osgood, 1900)
    varius (Fitzinger, 1867)
    zalophus (Hollister, 1910)

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