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SPECIES Myospalax aspalax

Author:Pallas, 1776.
Citation:Reise Prov. Russ. Reichs., 3: 692.
Common Name:Steppe Zokor
Type Locality:Russia, Transbaikalia, Dauuria ("Doldogo, on Onon River, below Atchinsk," Ellerman and Morrison-Scott, 1951:652).
Distribution:Steppes and farmland of Russia on banks of Onon and Ingoda Rivers in the Upper Amur basin, N Mongolia (Sokolov and Orlov, 1980), and NE China (Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Nei Mongol, Hebei, and N Shanxi; see Zhang et al., 1997).
Status:IUCN Lower Risk (lc).
Comments:M. myospalax species group. Listed, with a question mark, as a subspecies of M. myospalax by Ellerman and Morrison-Scott (1951), and unequivocally as M. m. aspalax by Ellerman (1941) and Corbet (1978c). Separated as a species by Lawrence (1991) based on morphology, a status supported by karyotypic data (M. myospalax, 2n = 44, FN = 80-84; M. aspalax, 2n = 62, FN =110-114; M. psilurus, 2n = 64, FN =106-108; Martynova, 1975; Nevo, 1999; Vorontsov and Martynova, 1976) and analysis of blood proteins (Martynova et al., 1977). Closest phylogenetic relative is the early Pleistocene M. pseudarmandi, and both belong to the same species group containing the modern M. myospalax and Pliocene M. youngi (Lawrence, 1991).
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Offspring:

Synonyms:

    armandii (Milne-Edwards, 1867)
    dybowskii Sherskey, 1873
    hangaicus (Orlov and Baskevich, 1992)
    talpinus (Pallas, 1811)
    zokor (Desmarest, 1822)

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