The systematics of Oriental voles remains controversial despite numerous previous studies. In this study, we explore the systematics of all species of Oriental voles, except Eothenomys wardi, using a combination of DNA sequences and morphological data. Our molecular phylogeny, based on two mitochondrial genes (COI and cyt b), resolves the Oriental voles as a monophyletic group with strong support. Four distinct lineages are resolved: Eothenomys, Anteliomys, Caryomys, and the new subgenus Ermites. Based on morphology, we consider Caryomys and Eothenomys to be valid genera. Eothenomys, Anteliomys, and Ermites are subgenera of Eothenomys. The molecular phylogeny resolves subgenera Anteliomys and Ermites as sister taxa. Subgenus Eothenomys is sister to the clade Anteliomys Ermites. Caryomys is the sister group to genus Eothenomys. Further, the subspecies E. custos hintoni and E. chinensis tarquinius do not cluster with E. custos custos and E. chinensis chinensis, respectively, and the former two taxa are elevated to species level and assigned to the new subgenus Ermites.
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Vol. 29 • No. 9