Field mice of the genus Calomys are small, mostly granivorous rodents common to several habitats in South America. To date, phylogenies for the genus have been proposed on the basis of morphological, chromosomal, and biochemical data, often with contradictory results due to incomplete species sampling or methodological shortcomings. In this paper, we propose relationships among 10 species of Calomys based on the complete cytochrome b gene sequence. Our analyses show that Calomys is constituted by two major clades, one mostly associated with mountain habitats with subsequent invasions to lowland habitats and another with species restricted to lowland habitats both north and south of the Amazon basin. The evolution of the genus was likely accompanied by a reduction of chromosome diploid numbers that occurred independently in each of the two evolutionary lineages. A "clock" calibrated on the split between Auliscomys and Loxodontomys suggests that the almost nonexistent fossil record for the genus greatly underestimates divergence times among its species.