Division of the common hamster into subspecies therefore does not create entities which would be "recognizably different" (Corbet 1978), i.e.
Colour polymorphism is the most prominent feature of individual and population variability in the common hamster. The list of variants includes black (atypical melanistic and melanistic), piebald, white, albino, yellow (flavistic), red, sand, and "iron grey" coloured hamsters (Petzsch 1936, Kayser & Stubbe 2000).
Our results, in concert with published information, make it possible to propose a wider picture of morphological variability across the entire range of the common hamster. The most divergent are the westernmost populations (to the west of the River Rheine) which are characterized by smaller size (Niethammer 1982), a high incidence of large chest spot, a longer chin streak and a white cuff on the forepaws (Schroder et al.
The overall pattern of morphological variability is only partly concordant with the genetic architecture of the common hamster (Banaszek et al.
1998: The common hamster (Cricetus cricetus L.) in the eastern part of the area.
1946: The role of natural selection in distribution and dynamics of melanism in common hamster (Cricetus cricetus L.).
This finding may indicate that the hypothesis of the continuous range of the common hamster in the northern Mediterranean that extended from the southern parts of modern France to the Caucasus in the Late Pleistocene, may be too far-reaching.
nuclear genome data) in order to resolve the phylogenetic pattern of the eastern common hamster populations.
2010: Population structure, colonization processes and barriers for dispersal in the common hamster Cricetus cricetus (L.) populations in Poland.
2009: Low genetic diversity and significant structuring of the common hamster populations Cricetus cricetus in Poland revealed by the mtDNA control region sequence variation.
2011: Genetic variability and differentiation in the Polish common hamster (Cricetus cricetus L.): genetic consequences of agricultural habitat fragmentation.