Zaisan Mole Vole Ellobius tancrei

Zaisan Mole Vole
Zaisan Mole Vole
Zaisan Mole Vole
The Zaisan Mole Vole, also called Eastern Mole Vole (sometimes Mole-vole), is native to steppe and grassland of Central Asia.
Zaisan Mole Vole
Zaisan Mole Vole
Zaisan Mole Vole
With mole-like tunnelling habits, it is actually a vole and a rodent (moles are insectivores like shrews, not rodents). It is similar to the Northern Mole Vole, E. talpinus, also native to Central Asia and part of southeastern Europe, and to the Caucasian Mole Vole, E. Lutescens. Unusually none have a Y chromosome, but both male and female of the former two have two pairs of X chromosomes.
Zaisan Mole Vole hole
Zaisan Mole Vole city of tunnels
Zaisan Mole Vole burrow system
They live in mole-like tunnel systems, eating roots and tubers, and rarely emerge.
Zaisan Mole Vole tunnel
Zaisan Mole Vole burrow system
Zaisan Mole Vole burrow system
Many thanks to Alexandra Makhnina for these photos of the Zaisan Mole Vole in southeastern Kazakhstan and its extensive city of tunnels visible over the ground when the snow melts in spring.