Gerbil Species List

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The following list is based on the entry in Walker's Mammal's of the World (Ronald M Novak, 5th edition 1991) and was summarised for me by I have added one or two other species which appear to be recognised by other major sources.

Several of these species are endangered, usually due to habitat loss, or due to small isolated populations. Note that Walker's the source for this page recognises fewer species than the IUCN so some of the names will not match up exactly. 

For example VU A1c means -

Vulnerable - A) Population reduction in the form of the following -  1) An observed, estimated, inferred or suspected reduction of at least 80% over the last 10 years or three generations, whichever is the longer, based on (and specifying) the following - c) a decline in area of occupancy, extent of occurrence and/or quality of habitat.

Information on classification above species level, and palaeontological information comes from Classification of Mammals - above species level, (Malcolm C McKenna, and Susan K Bell, 1997.)

I would also like to thank all those who have provided English common names for the species especially who always seems to come up with more!.

Classification of Gerbillinae with age of finds and distribution

(§ indicates extinct taxon)




Pseudomeriones § L. Miocene - E. Pliocene - Asia and Southern Europe
Myocricetodintini §
Myocricetodon § M. Miocene - E. Pleistocene - Asia, North Africa and Europe
Paradakkamys § M.- L. Miocene - Pakistan
Dakkamyoides § M. Miocene - E. Pleistocene - South Africa and Pakistan
Dakkamys § M. Miocene - E. Pleistocene - North Africa and Asia
Eulmus § L. Miocene - E. Pleistocene -
Abudhabia § L. Miocene - Asia
Gerbillus L. Miocene - Recent
Microdillus - Recent
Mascaramys § L. Piocene - M. Pleistocene - North Africa
Meriones - E. Pleistocene - Recent
Rhombomys - L. Pliocene - Recent
Psammomys L. Pleistocene - Recent
Sekeetamys - Recent
Brachiones - Recent
Desmodilliscus L. Pleistocene - Recent
Pachyuromys - Recent
Protatera § E. Pliocene - North Africa, Afghanistan and Balearic Islands
Tatera - E. Pliocene - Recent
Taterillus - L. Pliocene - Recent
Desmodillus - Pleistocene - Recent
Gerbillurus - Recent
Ammodillus - Recent

Geological Key:

Miocene = 23.5 - 5.2 Million Years Ago

Pliocene = 5.2 - 1.64 Million Years Ago

Pleistocene = 1.64 Million Years - 10,000 Years Ago

Recent = 10,000 Years Ago to Present

NB. The periods indicated are those for which remains have been found. This does not mean that that genus did not exist either before or after that time.


Common Name(s)



Genus Meriones

Subgenus Parameriones
Meriones persicus Persian Jird; Arabic: adhal; Dutch: Perzische gerbils; German: Persische Rennmaus; French: Mérione de Perse Turkey to Pakistan
Meriones rex King Jird ; German: Koenigs Rennmaus Southwestern Arabian Peninsula
Subgenus Cheliones
Meriones hurrianae Indian Desert Jird, Indian Desert Gerbil; Swedish: mindre indisk ökenråtta Southern Afghanistan, Southeastern Iran, Pakistan and Western India
Subgenus Meriones
Meriones tamariscinus Tamarisk Gerbil, Tamarisk Jird, Grebenchikova Gerbil Lower Volga to Northwestern China
Meriones tristrami Tristram´s Jird, Asia Minor Gerbil ; French: Mérione de Tristram German: Tristram-Rennratte, Tristram-Rennmaus; Dutch: Tristram Gerbil; Spanish (Castilian): Rata del desierto; Finnish: Siinainhyppymyyrä; Fench: Mérione de Tristram; Hungarian: Tristram-versenyegér; Dutch: Turkse zandmuis; Polish: Myszoskoczka Tristrama; Slovakin: Pieskomil Turkey to Northwestern Iran and Sinai
Meriones vinogradovi Vinogradov's Gerbil Eastern Asia Minor, Northwestern Iran and Syria
Subgenus Pallasiomys
Meriones chengi Cheng's Jird Sinkiang
Meriones crassus Sundevall's Jird, Silky Jird, Swinhoe´s Jird, Gentle Jird, Jerusalem Jird; Dutch: Sundevall Gerbil, Pakistaanse Gerbil; German: Pakistan-Rennmaus, Sundevall-Rennmaus Northern Africa to Southwestern Asia
Meriones libycus Libyan Jird; Dutch: Libische Gerbil; German: Libysche Rennmaus; French: Mérione de Lybie Western Sahara to Western Sinkiang
Meriones meridianus Chinese Gerbil, The Midday Gerbil; Dutch: Chinese Gerbil; German: Mittagsrennmaus; French: Mérione du sud Caspian Sea to Mongolia and Northern China
Meriones sacramenti Buxton's Jird, Negev Gerbil, Negev Jird; Dutch: Negev Gerbil; German: Negev-Sandrennmaus Southern Israel
Meriones shawi Shaw's Jird; Dutch: Shawi gerbil; German: Shaw-Rennmaus Morocco to Egypt
Meriones unguiculatus Mongolian Gerbil, Clawed Jird: Chinese: Hoang-hao-dze; Japanese: Suna-nezumi; French: Mérione de Mongolie; German: Mongolische Rennratte: Mongolische Rennmaus; Dutch: Mongoolse Gerbil; Swedish: Mongolisk ökenråtta, Vanlig ökenråtta; Norwegian: ørkenrotte; Finnish: Gerbiili Mongolia and adjacent parts of Southern Siberia and Northern China, Sinkiang and Manchuria
Meriones zarudnyi Zarudny's Gerbil Southern Turkmenistan, Northeastern Iran and Northern Afghanistan

Genus Gerbillus

SubGenus Handecapleura
Gerbillus amoenus Charming Dipodil, Pleasant Gerbil; Dutch: Charmante Gerbil German: Zwerg Dippodil, Giza-Zwergrennmaus Libya, Egypt, possibly Mauritania to Tunisia
Gerbillus bottai Botta's Gerbil Sudan and Kenya
Gerbillus campestris The Rock Gerbil; Large North African Dipodil French: Gerbille des champs; German: Feldrenmaus Atlantic coast of Sahara to Egypt and Somalia
Gerbillus dasyurus Wagner´s Dipodil, Wagner's Gerbil, Rough-tailed Dipodil, Wadi Hof Gerbil; German: Wagner Rennmaus Nile Delta, Sinai, Syria, Iraq, Arabian Peninsula
Gerbillus famulus Black-Tufted Gerbil Southwestern Arabian Peninsula
Gerbillus henleyi Henley´s Gerbil, Pigmy Dipodil Algeria to Israel and Arabian Peninsula
Gerbillus jamesi James's Gerbil Tunisia
Gerbillus mackillingini Mackilligin´s Dipodil Southwestern Egypt and probably adjacent Sudan
Gerbillus maghrebi Maghreb Gerbil, Greater Short-tailed Gerbil Northern Morocco
Gerbillus mauritaniae Mauritanian Gerbil Known only from a single specimine from central Mauritania
Gerbillus mesopotamiae Mesopotamian Gerbil Tigris and Euphrates valley of Iraq and Western Iran
Gerbillus muriculus Barfur Gerbil Western Sudan
Gerbillus nanus Baluchistan Gerbil; Dutch: Noord Afrikaanse Gerbil; German: Nordafrikanische Rennmaus; French: Gerbille champetre Morocco to Somalia and Western India
Gerbillus poecilops Large Aden Gerbil Southwestern Arabian Peninsula
Gerbillus pusillus Least Gerbil; local names; Mbadya (Kigogo), Mogulla (Kitaita and Kisagalla) Southern Sudan, Southwestern Ethiopia and Kenya
Gerbillus ruberrimus Little Red Gerbil Kenya and Somalia
Gerbillus stigmonyx Khartoum Gerbil Sudan
Gerbillus syrticus Southern Pygmy Gerbil, Sand Gerbil Northeastern Libya
Gerbillus watersi Water's Gerbil Sudan, Somalia and Djibouti
Subgenus Dipodillus
Gerbillus simoni Simon´s Dipodil; Lesser Short Tailed Gerbil. Eastern Morocco to Egypt
Gerbillus zakariai Zakaria's Gerbil Kerkennah Islands off Eastern Tunisia
Subgenus Gerbillus
Gerbillus agag Agag Gerbil Southern Mauritania to Northern Nigeria and Sudan
Gerbillus allenbyi Allenby's Gerbil Coastal Israel
Gerbillus andersoni Anderson´s Gerbil; Arabic: Bayoundi; Dutch: Andersons Gerbil; German: Andersons Wuestenrennmaus Coastal areas from Tunisia to Israel
Gerbillus aquilus Swarthy Gerbil
Eastern Iran, Southern Afganistan and Western Pakistan
Gerbillus burtoni * Burton's Gerbil Sudan
Gerbillus cheesmani Cheesman's Gerbil Arabian Peninsula to Southwestern Iran
Gerbillus gerbillus Lesser Gerbil, Lesser Egyptian Gerbil, Small Egyptian Gerbil; Arabic: Bayoundi; local names: Mbadya (Kigogo), Mogulla (Kitaita and Kisagalla); French: Petite gerbille du sable; German: Kleine Sandrenmaus; Kleine Aegyptische Wuestenrennmaus ; Dutch: Kleine Egyptische Gerbil; Swedish: mindre egyptisk ökenråtta Morocco and Northern Nigeria to Jordan and Kenya
Gerbillus gleadowi Indian Hairy-Footed Gerbil; German: Rote Gerbils or Pakistan-Wuestenrennmaus Pakistan and Northwestern India
Gerbillus hesperinus Western Gerbil Northern Morocco
Gerbillus hoogstraali Hoogstraal's Gerbil Southwest Morocco
Gerbillus latastei Lataste's Gerbil Tunisia, Libya and possibly Algeria
Gerbillus nancillus Sudan Gerbil Central Sudan
Gerbillus occiduus Occidental Gerbil Southwestern Morocco
Gerbillus perpallidus Pallid Gerbil; German: Blasse Wuestenrennmaus;
Dutch: Bleke Gerbil
Northwestern Egypt
Gerbillus pulvinatus Cushioned Gerbil Somalia, Ethopia, Djibouti and Kenya
Gerbillus pyramidum Greater Gerbil, Greater Egyptian Gerbil, Pyramid Gerbil; Arabic: Demsy; Dutch: Grote Egyptische Gerbil: German: Grosse Aegyptische Rennmaus or Pyramiden-maus: Swedish: större egyptisk ökenråtta Throughout Northern Africa and Israel
Gerbillus riggenbachi Riggenbach's Gerbil Morocco and Western Sahara
Gerbillus rosalinda Rosalinda Gerbil Central Sudan

Genus Pachyuromys

Pachyuromys duprasis Duprasi Gerbil, Fat-Tailed Gerbil, Fat-Tailed Jird; Arabic: Abu Lya; French: Souris á grosse queue; German: Fettschwanzmaus; Dutch: Dikstaart Gerbil Northern sahara from Western Morocco to Egypt

Genus Sekeetamys

Sekeetamys calurus Bushy-Tailed Jird, Bushy Tailed Dipodil; German: Bilch-Rennmause; Quastenschwanzrennmaus; Dutch: Pluimstaart Gerbil; Eastern Egypt, Sinai, Southern Israel, Jordan and Central Saudi Arabia.

Genus Taterillus

Taterillus arenarius Sahel Gerbil Southern parts of Mauritani, Senegal, Gambia and Southwestern Chad
Taterillus congicus Congo Gerbil Eastern Cameroon to Sudan
Taterillus emini Emin's Gerbil; German: Antilopenmaus; French: Gerbille d'Emin Chad, Central African Republic to Northwestern Kenya
Taterillus gracilis The Slender Gerbil Senegal to Nigeria, probably Cameroon
Taterillus harringtoni Harrington's Gerbil Central Sudan and Eastern Central African Republic to Southern Somalia and Northeastern Tanzania
Taterillus lacustris Lake Chad Gerbil Northeastern Nigeria, Northern Cameroon, possibly Niger and Chad
Taterillus petteri Petter's Gerbil Burkino Faso
Taterillus pygargus Senegal Gerbil Southern Mauritania, Senagal, Gambia and Southwestern Mali

Genus Tatera

Subgenus Gerbilliscus
Tatera boehmi Böehm`s gerbil, King gerbil Southwestern Kenya to Angola and Zambia
Subgenus Tatera
Tatera afra Cape Gerbil; in Afrikaans: Kaapse nagmuis; German: Kapp Rennmaus Southwestern South Africa
Tatera brantsii Highveld Gerbil; in Afrikaans: Hoëveldse nagmuis Southern Africa
Tatera gambiana Gambian Gerbil Senegal
Tatera guineae The Guinea Gerbil Senegal to Ghana
Tatera inclusa Gorongoza Gerbil; in Afrikaans: Gorongoza nagmuis Tanzania to Zimabwe and Mozambique
Tatera indica Indian Gerbil, Antelope Rat, Kangaroo-rat, Sand-rat; French: Gerbille des Tristram, Gerbille d'Inde German: Indische Nacktsohlen-Rennmaus; Dutch: Indische Gerbil; Swedish: Indisk ökenråtta; Nepalese: Musa - (Celonese subspecies - Tatera indica ceylonia - The Ceylon Gerbil; Sinhalese: Wer-miya; Tamil: Vel-elli.) Syria to India and Sri Lanka
Tatera leucogaster Bushveld Gerbil; in Afrikaans; Bosveldse nagmuis Angola and Southwestern Tanzania to South Africa
Tatera nigricauda The Black-Tailed Gerbil
Southern Ethiopia to Northern Tanzania
Tatera phillipsi Phillip's Gerbil Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya
Tatera pringlei Pringle's Gerbil Northeastern Tanzania
Tatera robusta Fringe-Tailed Gerbil Guinea-Bissau to Somalia and Central Tanzania
Tatera valida Kemp's Gerbil , Savannah Gerbil, Bocage's Gerbil Savannah from Sensgal to Western Ethiopia and South to Angola and Zambia

Genus Gerbillurus

Gerbillurus paeba Namib Paeba, Snowshoe Gerbil, Hairy-footed Gerbil, South African Pygmy Gerbil; Afrikaans: Haarpootnagmuis; German: Kalahari-Rennmaus Southwestern Angola, Namibia, Botswana and South Africa
Gerbillurus setzeri Setzer´s Hairy-footed Gerbil; in Afrikaans: Setzer se haarpootnamuis Namibia
Gerbillurus tytonis Dune Hairy-footed Gerbil; in Afrikaans: Duinehaarpootnagmuis Southern Namibia
Gerbillurus vallinus Brush-tailed Hairy-footed Gerbil; in Afrikaans: Borselsterhaarpootnagmuis Southwestern Angola and Namibia

Genus Psammomys

Psammomys obesus Fat Sand Rat; German: Sandratte Libya, Egypt, Coastal Sudan, Palistine and Saudi Arabia
Psammomys vexillaris Pale Sand Rat, Thin Sand Rat; German: Helle Sandratte Algeria and Libya

Genus Microdillus

Microdillus peeli Somali Pygmy Gerbil Somalia

Genus Desmodillus

Desmodillus auricularis Short-tailed Gerbil, Xape Short Eared Gerbil; in Afrikaans: Kortsertnagmuis; German: Kurzschwanz-Rennmaus Namibia, Botswana and South Africa

Genus Desmodilliscus

Desmodilliscus braueri Brauer's Gerbil, Pouched Gerbil; German: Brauer Rennmaus Northern Senegal, Northern Nigeria and Sudan

Genus Ammodillus

Ammodillus imbellis Walo, Somali Gerbil, Ammodile Somalia and Southwestern Ethiopia

Genus Rhombomys

Rhombomys opimus Great Gerbil, Giant Day Gerbil; Dutch: Grote gerbil; French: Gerbille géante Central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan, Western Pakistan, Sinkiang and Southern Mongolia

Genus Brachiones

Brachiones przewalskii Przewalski's Gerbil, Gobi Short Eared Gerbil; German: Przewalski Rennmaus Northwestern China


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Last updated 14 September 2009