Mammal Species of the World Logo


HOME --> CLASS MAMMALIA  --> ORDER RODENTIA  --> SUBORDER MYOMORPHA  --> SUPERFAMILY Muroidea  --> FAMILY Cricetidae  --> SUBFAMILY Arvicolinae  --> GENUS Microtus  --> SUBGENUS Pedomys

SPECIES Microtus (Pedomys) ochrogaster

Author:Wagner, 1842.
Citation:In Schreber, Die Säugethiere, Suppl. 3: 592.
Common Name:Prairie Vole
Type Locality:USA, Indiana, Posey Co., New Harmony (as fixed by Bole and Moulthrop, 1942:157).
Distribution:Northern and Central Great Plains—EC Alberta to S Manitoba, Canada; south to N Texas Panhandle (Choate and Killebrew, 1991), SW Oklahoma (Smith, 1992), and Arkansas; eastwards to C Tennessee, westernmost West Virginia, and W Ohio, USA; relictual populations in C Colorado, N New Mexico, and coastal prairies (ludovicianus) of SW Louisiana and adjacent Texas, USA.
Status:IUCN – Lower Risk (lc).

Subgenus Pedomys, which has been employed as a subgenus of Microtus (Bailey, 1900; R. A. Martin, 1995; Van der Meulen, 1978), as a full synonym of Microtus (Hall, 1981), or as a synonym of Pitymys whether ranked as a genus (Repenning, 1983) or subgenus (Hooper and Hart, 1962; Zagorodnyuk, 1990). The purported close affinity of M. (Pedomys) ochrogaster with North American pitymyine species (subgenus Pitymys) has received little support from allozymic and gene-sequence studies (Chaline and Graf, 1988; Conroy and Cook, 2000a; Conroy et al., 2001; Moore and Janacek, 1990). R. A. Martin (1995) retained the two as indigenous North American subgenera based on cladistic analysis of dental traits.

Geographic variation over the Central Great Plains studied by Choate and Williams (1978). The strong morphometric segregation of minor from other M. ochrogaster advises renewed scrutiny of its status (Severinghaus, 1977); also see remarks by R. A. Martin (1991) on the occurrence of "two size classes of M. ochrogaster" in certain late Pleistocene deposits and report of extensive heterochromatin variability by Modi (1993). Extralimital late Pleistocene records summarized by R. A. Martin (1991) and late Holocene occurrence reported for NW Wyoming (Barnosky, 1994); chronological phyletic sequence of fossil taxa leading to M. ochrogaster postulated by R. A. Martin (1995). Includes ludovicianus, an isolated form of the coastal prairies formerly considered a separate species and now apparently extinct (Lowery, 1974). See Stalling (1990, Mammalian Species, 355).




    austerus (Le Conte, 1853)
    cinnamonea (Biard, 1858)
    haydenii (Baird, 1857)
    ludovicianus Bailey, 1900
    minor (Merriam, 1888)
    ohioensis Bole and Moulthrop, 1942
    similis Severinghaus, 1977
    taylori Hibbard and Rinker, 1943

  Bucknell Home Page   Biology Department Home Page


©Bucknell Univesity All Rights Reserved
Comments and questions to