Five-toed jerboas of the subfamily Allactaginae comprise several complex taxa occurring over a wide distribution range covering a large part of the Eurasian arid belt. In this study, we employed current methods of molecular phylogenetics based on 15 nuclear genes and the mitochondrial gene cytb to revise relations and systematics within Allactaginae. We also applied species distribution modelling projected on paleo-environmental data to reconstruct the geographic patterns of speciation in Allactaginae. We elucidated the intergeneric relationships within this subfamily and clarified interspecies relations within the genus Scarturus. Moreover, our results demonstrate the species status of S. caprimulga; outline the currently understudied diversity within Orientallactaga, Allactaga, and Pygeretmus; and improve the divergence estimates of these taxa. Based on our results from modelling of geographic range fragmentation in allactagines, we suggest the dating and location of speciation events and present hypotheses regarding general habitat niche conservatism in small mammals.
© 2022. The Author(s).