Why is my hamster walking funny

The Different Types of Dwarf Hamster

Dwarf hamsters are the tiniest type of hamster.

Despite how small they are, they are extremely popular pets for both children and adults alike.

Despite their size they are extremely capable creatures.

Their resourcefulness has meant that they have withstood the attacks of many predators and adapted to their environment throughout the centuries.

The different species of dwarf hamster which are in the family of cricetidae shows how they have adapted in different environments.

They have shown how they have developed and evolved in their habitat.

Dwarf hamsters are found distinctively in China, Russia, Mongolia, Tibet, Kazakhstan and other parts of Eastern Asia.

They are creatures that measure between 7 to 10 cm or 2.8 to 3.9 inches in length.

They tend to be more sociable creatures than the larger species of hamster and tend to live together rather than by themselves.

So what are the different types of dwarf hamster?

Like other species of animal, they are split into different types of family and genus.

Note: For more details on animal families and genus, check out this page and this page

In the case of the hamster, dwarf hamsters belong mainly to the genus phodopus where they have their own genus as dwarf hamster.

Note: A genus is a principal taxonomic category that ranks above species and below family, and is denoted by a capitalized Latin name, e.g. Leo. (source)

But there are also other species of dwarf hamster that you can find.

Dwarf hamsters
  • Phodopus is a genus of rodents which are native to central Asia which have unusual adaptations to extreme temperatures.
  • They live in groups and there are known cases where the males help significantly with the raising of their young.
  • They are nocturnal creatures and are active throughout the year.

There are three species in this genus that share very similar characteristics

Campbell’s dwarf hamster
  • This species was given its common name by Oldfield Thomas in honor of C. W. Campbell (Charles William Campbell), who collected the first specimen in Mongolia on July 1, 1902.
  • The Campbell’s dwarf hamster has small ears and no distinctive dark fur on its crown and has a narrow dorsal stripe with grey fur on the stomach.
  • It is native to China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia and Russia.
  • They are omnivores, and so feed on both plant and insect material.
Roborovski hamster
  • The Roborovski are the smallest species of dwarf hamster averaging under 2 centimeters (0.8 inches) at birth and 4.5–5 centimeters.
  • They have very short, broad and densely hairy feet.
  • Robo’s have an average lifespan of three years, although this is dependent on living conditions.
  • They are native to desert regions, such as the basin of the lake Zaysan in Kazakhstan and regions of Tuva, Mongolia and Xinjiang in China.
Djungarian hamster or winter-white Russian dwarf hamster
  • Also known as the Siberian hamster, Siberian dwarf hamster or Russian winter white dwarf hamster.
  • They have a  thick, dark grey dorsal stripe running down their head and body and have furry feet.
  • As winter approaches and the days shorten, the Winter white dwarf hamster’s dark fur is almost entirely replaced with white fur.
  • They originate from Dzungaria, the wheat fields of Kazakhstan, the meadows of Mongolia, Siberia, and the birch stands of Manchuria.
Other types of dwarf hamster

Outside of the genus Phodopus, there are other dwarf hamsters inside the family of hamsters.

Tibetan dwarf hamster
  • The Tibetan dwarf hamster is found not only in Tibet and China, but also in India and Nepal in mountainous regions at altitudes of up to about 5,200 m (17,100 ft).
  • It has a head-and-body length of about 103 mm (4.1 inches) and a tail of between 30 and 37 mm (1.2 and 1.5 inches).
  • The head and neck are a pale sandy ochre color and the body is a slightly darker and uniform shade of ochre.
  • They are active in both the day and the night.
Kam Dwarf hamster
  • The Kam Dwarf hamster is found only in the mountains of western China.
  • It inhabits grassland, shrubby marshes and steppes. has a head-and-body length of between 88 and 112 mm (3.5 and 4.4 in) and a tail length of 51 to 64 mm (2.0 to 2.5 in).
  • The Kam dwarf is found in western China where it is found in the Tibet Autonomous Region and the provinces of Qinghai, Gansu and Xinjiang.
  • It is a mountain species and is found at altitudes of between 3,300 and 4,100 m (10,800 and 13,500 ft).
Chinese striped hamster
Long tailed dwarf hamster
  • The long tailed dwarf hamster has a head-and-body length of between 85 and 135 mm (3.35 and 5.31 in) and a tail at least a third as long as this.
  • It is found in China, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, and Russia much like other varieties of dwarf hamster.
  • It inhabits arid areas with shrubby slopes, dry forests, rocky steppes, and the foothills and southern slopes of mountains
Gray dwarf hamster
Sokolov’s dwarf hamster

Sokolov’s dwarf hamster has a distinctive dark stripe down its back on and otherwise grey body.

  • They are found in China and Mongolia, and they are mainly found in burrows beneath desert shrubs.
  • They have a head-body-length of between 77–114 millimetres (3.0–4.5 inches), tail length of 18–32 millimetres (0.71–1.26 in) and ear length of 13–19 millimetres (0.51–0.75 in).
  • The skull is on average between 23–26 millimetres (0.91–1.02 in) long.