Facts about Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters, "Scientific name for Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters is Phodopus roborovski". Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters or robos for short are the smallest of all domesticated hamsters. Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are active and a challenge to keep, making them unsuitable for young children.
Appearance of Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters
Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters do not have the dorsal stripe sported by the Siberian Hamster. Most Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters (Phodopus roborovski) are tan with white markings over the eyes. This is called the agouti pattern. However, some Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters sport a face that is entirely white. That trait is a dominant gene. Both varieties have white underbellies. Some are husky, a term referring to those with an orange coat and a white face. Mottled Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters have white patches on their bodies.
Physical Characteristics of Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters
The Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are small and fast and average two inches in length. Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are physically active and love to run.
One reason why Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are loved is their longer life expectancy – up to three years.
These Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are omnivores. They primarily eat grains, vegetables and plants. Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters will eat insects if they can catch them. You can put a cricket in the cage for them to catch for entertainment and protein. You can feed them seed mixes or pellets. Disperse the seeds throughout the cage to make the hamster forage for it; it keeps them engaged and gives them a natural way to burn energy. Dispersing the food also reduces fighting over the food.
Behavior of Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters
The Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters can jump up to two feet in the air, rivaling gerbils in jumping and escape ability. Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are quick to try to get out of a cage and escape human handling. If you hold the hamster tightly, it is prone to bite.
Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are social hamsters and can be kept in groups. However, giving them more than one level to live on increases territorial behavior. You can reduce problems by having multiple toys, food dishes, and wheels. Toys don’t need to be complicated. Putting the cardboard tubes from toilet paper and paper towel rolls is sufficient. You can add tunnels and cardboard Kleenex boxes to the cage to give them something to explore.
Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are skittish of people. They are stressed by appliance noises and pets like cats and dogs. Roborovski Dwarf Hamsterd are mostly nocturnal but their peak activity is around nine and ten at night.
Care and Raising of Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters
The Roborovski Dwarf Hamster needs to be kept in a tight mouse cage or a fish tank with a mesh lid. They can squeeze out of most hamster cages and they will try to do so. A ten gallon aquarium can hold two to four of them; keep same sex groups or you’ll have a new litter every month.
Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters are active hamsters that need exercise wheels. One wheel is enough for two hamsters; four hamsters need two wheels.
Like all hamsters, Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters like to nest in bedding material. Three inches is a minimum. Give them aspen shavings or other non-scented wood shavings. Don’t give them cedar chips; this irritates the skin. Avoid wool bedding, since this can cause digestive problems if they ingest it.
As a desert species, they enjoy rolling around in chinchilla sand in lieu of bathing. However, chinchilla dust is actually dangerous for them.
Trivia about Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters
Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters used to have the species name Cricetulus bedfordiae until their closer relationship to the Phodopus genera was confirmed.
In 2012, a researcher confirmed that these Roborovski Dwarf Hamsters run the equivalent of four human marathons each night, based on how much they ran relative to their body length.