Named after the Roborovsky and Koslov expedition, when in July of 1894 a specimen of this hamster was captured. The Roborovski’s natural habitat is the desert dunes of the Western and Eastern regions of Mongolia and parts of Manchuria and Northern China.
Roborovskis (or Robs) are the smallest of all hamster species, with adults reaching approximately 2 inches (4 to 5 cm) in length. Unlike other dwarf species, the Rob doesn’t have a dorsal stripe and their legs are slightly longer. The top coat is a sandy brown with a slate grey undercoat, the belly and side arches are pure white. Their large black eyes are emphasized with a white facial marking which slightly resemble eyebrows.
Robs are extremely active, making them somewhat difficult to handle, but certainly entertaining. In addition to a wheel, they like several hiding places and things to climb on. Due to their small size they can be difficult to keep in wire cages. In the wild their burrows can often reach as deep as 6 feet! The Rob is a very clean animal. It spends much of it’s time with grooming itself. A Roborovski hamster will be particularly please with a dust bath. Dust bath designed for Chinchillas is too fine, but commercial hamster litter is inexpensive and works great, just put some in a bowl and watch them go!
Roborovski hamsters are easier to breed than the Chinese hamster but slightly more difficult than the Campbells or Winter White breeds with difficulty varying between individual hamsters. In the wild their breeding period is from April to September, but in captivity they may breed at any time of year. The female will usually be pregnant between 23 and 30 days. During the breeding period the female can produce up to four litters of between one and nine tiny pups, weighing only a gram each! Like all hamsters, Rob pups are born hairless and with their eyes and ears closed. They do however have claws and teeth. Robs mature at a remarkable rate, in two days their whiskers appear and after five days their hair is visibly growing. At three weeks they are fully furred miniature dwarf hamsters ready to take on the world without their mother’s care.