Royal vole

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Royal vole
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae
Subfamily: Arvicolinae
Genus: Myodes
Species:
M. regulus
Binomial name
Myodes regulus
(Thomas, 1907)
Synonyms [2]
  • Craseomys regulus Thomas, 1907

The royal vole (Myodes regulus), also called the Korean red-backed vole, [2] is a species of vole endemic to the Korean Peninsula. It lives underground in a burrow, emerging at night to feed on grasses, seeds and other vegetation. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed its conservation status as being of "least concern".

Vole

Voles are small rodents that are relatives of mice, but with a stouter body; a shorter, hairy tail; a slightly rounder head; smaller ears and eyes; and differently formed molars. They are sometimes known as meadow mice or field mice in North America and Australia.

Endemism ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location or habitat

Endemism is the ecological state of a species being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation, country or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. The extreme opposite of endemism is cosmopolitan distribution. An alternative term for a species that is endemic is precinctive, which applies to species that are restricted to a defined geographical area.

Korean Peninsula Peninsula in East Asia

The Korean Peninsula is located in East Asia. It extends southwards for about 1,100 km (680 mi) from continental Asia into the Pacific Ocean and is surrounded by the Sea of Japan to the east and the Yellow Sea to the west, the Korea Strait connecting the two bodies of water.

Contents

Taxonomy

The royal vole was first described in 1907 as Craseomys regulus by the British zoologist Oldfield Thomas, the type locality being Mingyong in Korea, 170 km (106 mi) south east of Seoul. It was later transferred to the genus Myodes , becoming Myodes regulus, but many authorities believed it was a subspecies of Myodes rufocanus . It has unrooted molar teeth, a characteristic shared by the very similar Myodes shanseius but not M. rufocanus, and molecular analysis shows that it is a distinct species. [3]

Oldfield Thomas British mammalogist

Michael Rogers Oldfield Thomas FRS FZS was a British zoologist.

Subspecies taxonomic rank subordinate to species

In biological classification, the term subspecies refers to a unity of populations of a species living in a subdivision of the species' global range and varies from other populations of the same species by morphological characteristics. A subspecies cannot be recognized independently. A species is either recognized as having no subspecies at all or at least two, including any that are extinct. The term is abbreviated subsp. in botany and bacteriology, or ssp. in zoology. The plural is the same as the singular: subspecies.

Molar (tooth) large tooth at the back of the mouth

The molars or molar teeth are large, flat teeth at the back of the mouth. They are more developed in mammals. They are used primarily to grind food during chewing. The name molar derives from Latin, molaris dens, meaning "millstone tooth", from mola, millstone and dens, tooth. Molars show a great deal of diversity in size and shape across mammal groups.

Description

The royal vole has a head-and-body length of about 110 mm (4.3 in) with a tail of 42 to 51 mm (1.7 to 2.0 in). An adult royal vole weighs 23 to 39 g (0.8 to 1.4 oz). The ears are large and are covered in short fur, and the body hair is fine and soft. The dorsal pelage is reddish-brown, the flanks greyish-brown and the underparts buffy-brown. The tail is bicoloured, dark above and pale beneath. Apart from the unrooted molar teeth, it can be distinguished from the grey red-backed vole by having a redder back, a more buffy (rather than greyer) underparts and a longer tail. [2]

Grey red-backed vole species of mammal

The grey red-backed vole or the grey-sided vole is a species of vole. An adult grey red-backed vole weighs 20-50 grams. This species ranges across northern Eurasia, including northern China, the northern Korean Peninsula, and the islands of Sakhalin and Hokkaidō. It is larger and longer-legged than the northern red-backed vole, which covers a similar range and it is also sympatric with the Norwegian lemming.

Distribution

The royal vole is endemic to the Korean peninsula. Its range includes all the southern parts of the peninsula as far north as the southern and western edges of the Kaema Plateau, where it gives way to the grey red-backed vole (Myodes rufocanus). It is not present in the extreme northeasterly part of North Korea. It occupies a range of habitats including mountain forests, bamboo woodland, scrub-covered hillsides, rocky slopes, rough grassland, cultivated land and river banks. [2]

Kaema Plateau landform

The Kaema Plateau is a highland in North Korea. It is surrounded by the Rangrim Mountains, the Macheollyeong Mountains and the Bujeollyeong Mountains. Elevation varies between 700 and 2,000 meters and is approximately 40,000 square kilometers. The Kaema Plateau slopes downward towards the northern border of the People's Republic of China and is the largest tableland in Korea; it is often called "The roof of Korea". In North Korea, the Kaema Plateau is divided into Kaema Plateau, Jagang Plateau, and Baekmu Plateau. Up to approximately one million years ago, the Kaema Plateau was an extension of the Manchurian plains, as such the rivers Hochon and Changjin were tributaries of Songhua River, however basalt from Baekdu Mountain accumulated in Changbai Korean Autonomous County, directing the rivers into Amnok River in modern times, consequently valleys were formed by the tributaries in the ensuing millennia. Some flat terrain still remains in some part in southeastern part of the plateau.

Ecology

The royal vole is mainly nocturnal, and is herbivorous, foraging for plant material including grasses and seeds. It lives underground in a large and deep tunnel system that it excavates. This includes larder chambers for storing food and a nesting chamber lined with grasses, but not latrine chambers. It is a social species, issuing alarm calls to alert others to danger. Predators include foxes, martens, weasels, raccoon dogs, owls, birds of prey and snakes. Breeding takes place three to five times a year, with three or four young being born after a gestation period of 23 days. [2]

Nocturnality animal behavior characterized by activity during the night and sleeping during the day

Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by being active during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal", versus diurnal meaning the opposite.

Herbivore animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material

A herbivore is an animal anatomically and physiologically adapted to eating plant material, for example foliage or marine algae, for the main component of its diet. As a result of their plant diet, herbivorous animals typically have mouthparts adapted to rasping or grinding. Horses and other herbivores have wide flat teeth that are adapted to grinding grass, tree bark, and other tough plant material.

Fox omnivorous mammal in the Canidae family

Foxes are small-to-medium-sized, omnivorous mammals belonging to several genera of the family Canidae. Foxes have a flattened skull, upright triangular ears, a pointed, slightly upturned snout, and a long bushy tail.

Status

This vole is not facing any particular threats and is an adaptable species, so the International Union for Conservation of Nature has listed its conservation status as being of "least concern". [1]

International Union for Conservation of Nature international organisation

The International Union for Conservation of Nature is an international organization working in the field of nature conservation and sustainable use of natural resources. It is involved in data gathering and analysis, research, field projects, advocacy, and education. IUCN's mission is to "influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable".

Least-concern species IUCN conservation category

A least concern (LC) species is a species which has been categorized by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as evaluated as not being a focus of species conservation. They do not qualify as threatened, near threatened, or conservation dependent.

Related Research Articles

Red-backed vole genus of mammals

Red-backed voles are small, slender voles of the genus Myodes found in North America, Europe, and Asia. The genus name comes from the Greek "keyhole mouse". In the past, the genus has been called Evotomys or Clethrionomys, but Myodes takes precedence.

Southern red-backed vole species of mammal

The southern red-backed vole or Gapper's red-backed vole is a small slender vole found in Canada and the northern United States. It is closely related to the western red-backed vole, which lives to the south and west of its range and which is less red with a less sharply bicolored tail.

Rock vole species of mammal

The rock vole is a medium-sized vole found in eastern North America. It is also called the yellow-nosed vole.

Bank vole species of rodent

The bank vole is a small vole with red-brown fur and some grey patches, with a tail about half as long as its body. A rodent, it lives in woodland areas and is around 100 millimetres (3.9 in) in length. The bank vole is found in western Europe and northern Asia. It is native to Great Britain but not to Ireland, where it has been accidentally introduced, and has now colonised much of the south and southwest.

The reed vole is a species of vole. It is found in northern and central Eurasia, including northern China and the Korean Peninsula. This species is somewhat larger and longer-tailed than most other voles.

Western red-backed vole species of mammal

The western red-backed vole is a species of vole in the family Cricetidae. It is found in California and Oregon in the United States and lives mainly in coniferous forest. The body color is chestnut brown, or brown mixed with a considerable quantity of black hair gradually lightening on the sides and grading into a buffy-gray belly, with an indistinct reddish stripe on the back and a bicolored tail about half as long as the head and body.

The Ganzu vole, Eva's red-backed vole, Eva's vole, Gansu vole, or Taozhou vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is found in mountain forests in China. The IUCN has assessed it as being of "least concern".

The Shansei vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is found only in north-central China where its habitat is forests.

The Mediterranean pine vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is found in France, Andorra, Portugal, and Spain where it lives in a network of shallow tunnels.

The narrow-headed vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. Ranging over northern and central Asia and also into Alaska, it is the only species in the subgenus Stenocranius.

The Chinese scrub vole, or Irene's mountain vole, is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is endemic to mountainous parts of southern China and is very similar to the Sikkim mountain vole in appearance. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of "least concern".

Blyth's vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is the only species in the genus Phaiomys. It is found in mountainous regions in northern India, Nepal and China. It is a burrowing rodent and lives in small colonies. It has a wide distribution and faces no particular threats so the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of "least concern".

Maximowicz's vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is found in northeastern China, Mongolia, and eastern Russia.

The Sikkim mountain vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is found in Bhutan, India, Nepal and China.

Townsends vole species of rodent in the family Cricetidae

Townsend's vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae, the sister species of M. canicaudus. It is found in temperate grasslands of British Columbia in Canada and in the states of Washington and Oregon in the United States.

The Japanese red-backed vole or Wakayama red-backed vole or Anderson's red-backed vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is found only on the island of Honshu in Japan. It was first described by the British zoologist Oldfield Thomas in 1905. Thomas named it in honor of scientific collector Malcolm Playfair Anderson. The International Union for Conservation of Nature lists it as "least concern".

Smith's vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is also known as Smith's red-backed vole and is found only in Japan.

The Duke of Bedford's vole is a species of rodent in the family Cricetidae. It is found only in mountainous parts of central China. It is a rare species and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being "vulnerable".

Myodini tribe of rodents

The Myodini are a tribe of forest voles in the subfamily Arvicolinae. Species in this tribe are:

References

  1. 1 2 Stuart, S.N. (2008). "Myodes regulus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2008. International Union for Conservation of Nature . Retrieved 30 June 2009. Database entry includes a brief justification of why this species is of least concern.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Jo, Yeong-Seok; Baccus, John T.; Koprowski, John L. (2018). Mammals of Korea. National Institute of Biological Resources. pp. 510–512. ISBN   978-89-6811-369-7.
  3. Wilson & Reeder. "Myodes regulus". Mammal Species of the World. Retrieved 27 March 2019.