Tesakov A.S., Lebedev V.S., Bannikova A.A., Abramson N.I. 2010. Clethrionomys Tilesius, 1850 is the valid generic name for red-backed voles and Myodes Pallas, 1811 is a junior synonym of Lemmus Link, 1795. Russian Journal of Theriology, 9(2), 83-86.

Abstract. Red-backed voles are widespread animals in the temperate zone of the Northern Hemisphere, and have considerable economic, medical, and scientific importance; the name Clethrionomys Tilesius, 1850 has been overwhelmingly used for red-backed voles in the extensive literature of the 20th and early 21st centuries. In 2003, Carleton, Musser & Pavlinov (2003) supported the priority of Myodes Pallas, 1811 over Clethrionomys as the oldest objective synonym of red-backed voles based on the priority of the type designation by Lataste (1883) over that of Hinton (1926). Musser & Carleton (2005) further advocated this usage in the influential third edition of Mammal Species of the World. A n analysis of 19th century zoological literature shows widespread usage of Myodes as the generic name for Norway and Siberian lemmings (currently genus Lemmus Link, 1795). In accordance with that understanding, Coues (1877) gave a diagnosis of Myodes explicitly based on Mus lemmus, which constitutes a valid nomenclatural act designating the type species of the genus Myodes. According to Article 69.1 of the ICZN, all subsequent designations of type species (e.g. that of Lataste, 1883) are not valid. Therefore, Clethrionomys remains the valid genus name for red-backed voles and Myodes is a junior synonym of Lemmus. The incorrect usage of Myodes instead of Clethrionomys for red-backed voles has led to scientific and practical instability and confusion, and should be discontinued.

Tesakov A.S., van Kolfschoten T. 2011. The Early Pleistocene Mimomys hordijki (Arvicolinae, Rodentia) from Europe and the origin of modern neartctic sagebrush voles (Lemmiscus). Palaeontologia Electronica, 14(3), 1-11.

Abstract. Ancient voles with rooted cheek dentitions assigned to the subgenus Cromeromys of the genus Mimomys are known in the Early Pleistocene (Gelasian and ‘Calabrian’) fossil record of northeastern Siberia and in the late Early Pleistocene (‘Calabrian’) record of Canada and United States. The Late Pliocene to Early Pleistocene Holarctic rooted voles of the Mimomys (Cromeromys) group, including (here redescribed) European Mimomys (C.) hordijki, shows affinities with the modern Lemmiscus and provides clues for a robust hypothesis on the origin that genus. The modern Nearctic arvicolini rodents Lemmiscus (sagebrush voles) were long thought to represent a closely related
sister group of Palearctic steppe lemmings of the tribe Lagurini. However, ample morphological, paleontological, and genetic evidence suggests their attribution to the tribe Arvicolini, as a sister clade of modern Microtus. Arvicolini have rootless molars and are assumed to have originated from the Pliocene rhizodont Mimomys.

Baygusheva V.S., Vangengeim E.A.,  Tesakov A.S., Titov V.V., Shvyreva A.K. 2011. Comments on the article by E.N. Mashchenko “Evolution of the elephants of the mammoth lineage in the Northern Caucasus (Russia) in the Pliocene and Pleistocene”. Proceedings of the Zoological Institute RAS, St.-Petersburg, Vol. 315, No. 4, pp. 483-493.

Abstract. The holotype of the recently described new species of mammuthoid elephant Archidiskodon garutti Mashchenko, 2010, contrary to the stated provenance from the Sablya locality, actually comes from Novotroitskaya site lacking age control. The published diagnostic features of this form collectively based on the holotype and additional material with more advanced characters from the locality Sablya (MN17) have no biological and biostratigraphic significance. The Sablya elephant material shows a close correspondence to A. meridionalis gromovi from the Middle Villafranchian (MN17) Khapry faunas of the Lower Don area. The concept of A. m. gromovi as a primitive chronoform of the southern elephant is confirmed by the morphometric features and biostratigraphic position of the type material from Liventsovka and Khapry. Archidiscodon garutti, being an isolated find without external age control, can be regarded as a form of doubtful taxonomic position. This form (based solely on the holotype) shows primitive dental features and may be considered a junior synonym of “Mammuthus rumanus”. It does not in any way affect the validity of A. meridionalis gromovi.

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