Long Answer - There are actually two different species of Russian hamster; the Winter White and the Russian. They have a slightly different appearance – the Russian Winter white is best known for its brown coat with black dorsal stripe which will moult to reveal an almost purely white coat. This feature is an adaptation which helps them to evade predators in the snow covered winter of Siberia. They may not all change colour in captivity due to the artificial lighting. The Russian Campbell comes in a wide variety of colours such as agouti, argente, black, opal and albino. They may also have varying markings, and most Russian Campbells have a dorsal stripe.
Both species typically grow to 8-10 cm. They are the largest of all the dwarf hamsters, and also the slowest, making them easy to handle. The Russian hamster can be known to nip, however this can usually be avoided with proper handling. When you put your hand into the cage over the hamster, this understandably resembles a predator coming down on their prey, and the general response is a scared, defensive and territorial hamster. Always make sure the hamster knows you are there so you don’t take it by surprise, rub your hands in the bedding to neutralise your scent, and it can sometimes be easier so bring the hamster out of the cage by scooping it on to an object. Once the hamster is out keep your palm flat and your hands low. If Russian hamsters are not handled they will become untame, so regular handing is a must with these little guys.