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Microtus xanthognathus

Taiga Vole

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Image of Microtus xanthognathus
Microtus xanthognathus - left (with M. abbreviatus)
Click to enlarge. (81 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Taiga Voles eat mostly grass, but include some other plant matter in their diets. They inhabit forest habitats near streams and bogs, using both underground and surface runways. Taiga Voles construct communal nests and food caches in August and September. The nests, made of dry grasses, are about 15-20 cm underground. The entrance to the food supply is through the nest, where 5-10 individuals huddle together for warmth during the winter and share the food supply. As with most voles, their life span is short: voles born one summer breed the next summer but do not survive the following winter.

Also known as:
Yellow-cheeked Vole, Chesnut-cheeked Vole

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Length:
Range: 152-226 mm

Weight:
Range: 85-158 g

References:

Leach, W.E., 1815.  Arvicola xanthognatha.  In The Zoological Miscellany, p. 60.  E. Nodder and Son, London, 1:1-150.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Microtus xanthognathus