- Mus arvalis Pallas, 1778
- Microtus obscurus (Eversmann, 1841)
No status defined
Value of species
The species consists of two allopatric chromosomal races (“arvalis” and “obscurus”: Wilson and Reeder 2005) which are now reported as two distinct species (Tourgard et al. 2013).
Microtus arvalis has a large range extending from Spain across much of western, central and eastern Europe to the Middle East and central Russia (Shenbrot and Krasnov 2005). Isolated populations exist in Iberia, Guernsey and the Orkney Islands. It is absent from much of southern Europe, Fennoscandia, northern Russia, Iceland and the British Isles (with the exception of the Orkney Islands, where it was introduced prehistorically). The species occurs from sea level to 2,600 m (Spitzenberger 2002).
It is a common species throughout much of its range, with population densities of over 1,000 individuals per ha reported in peak years. Population densities may fluctuate markedly from year to year. The species is probably increasing in some parts of its range (B. Krystufek pers. comm.).
It is found in a wide variety of open habitats including moist meadows, pastures, forest steppe, moist forest and sometimes agricultural areas, rarely in forest plantations. It feeds mainly on the green parts of grasses and herbaceous plants, and is a serious agricultural pest in some areas (Zima 1999). Females produces 3-4 litters per year.