Spermophilus citellus is a species of ground squirrel commonly known as the European ground squirrel. It is a medium-sized rodent, typically measuring between 20 and 30 cm in length, with a tail of up to 15 cm. Its fur is usually greyish-brown in color, with a lighter underside. It is found in open grasslands, meadows, and agricultural areas throughout Europe and parts of Asia. Its lifespan is typically between 2 and 4 years in the wild, and up to 8 years in captivity. The current population of Spermophilus citellus is estimated to be between 1 and 10 million individuals.
Name Origin: The scientific name for the organism, Spermophilus citellus, is derived from the Greek words "sperma" meaning seed and "philus" meaning loving, and the Latin word "citellus" meaning small. This reflects the organism's diet of seeds and nuts, as well as its small size.
Related Species: Spermophilus dauricus, Spermophilus richardsonii, Spermophilus tescorum, Spermophilus xanthoprymnus