The systematic position of the western hamster, Cricetus cricetus canescens, has been a subject of discussion and criticism ever since NEHRING (1899, pp. 1—2) described the hamster occurring in Belgium west of the Meuse as a separate variety. The present paper is a new effort to throw more light on the interesting question concerning the systematic characters by which the western hamster can be distinguished from the typical form described from central Germany. For a better understanding of the present study a brief survey of the main points in the historical development of this problem follows here. According to NEHRING the main characters in which his new variety, Cricetus vulgaris var. canescens, differed from the typical form, were: (1) the dark mouse-greyish colour of the dorsal surface, (2) the less intensive black colour of the ventral surface, (3) the smaller size, and (4) the presumably larger ears. It is to be noted, however, that NEHRING based his description merely on two stuffed skins from the neighbourhood of Fexhe-Slins, Belgium, which he compared with specimens from Saxony and Brandenburg.