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Clethrionomys Tilesius, 1850 is the valid generic name for red-backed voles and Myodes Pallas, 1811 is a junior synonym of Lemmus Link, 1795
Tesakov A.S., Lebedev V.S., Bannikova A.A., Abramson N.I.
P. 83-86
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. An 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.

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