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Neotoma stephensi

Stephen's Woodrat

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Image of Neotoma stephensi
Neotoma stephensi - darker coat (western, top), lighter coat (eastern, lower)
Click to enlarge. (58 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Juniper trees are the main source of food, water, and shelter for Stephen's Woodrat. Like Red Tree Voles, which feed mostly on Douglas-fir, the Woodrats are able to feed primarily on conifer leaves, which contain chemical compounds - tannins and terepenoids - that interfere with digestion in most mammals. Stephen's Woodrats usually nest at or near the base of junipers, in habitats that include rocks and crevices. Fossils and studies of preserved middens indicate that these Woodrats have been associated with junipers for at least 15,000 years. Females of this species can reproduce when they are nine months old, and can produce offspring five times a year. Usually only one young is born at a time, but occasionally there are twins.

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Length:
Average: 293 mm
Range: 274-312 mm

Weight:
Range: 117-180 g

References:

Goldman, E.A., 1905.  Twelve new woodrats of the genus Neotoma,p. 32.  Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 18:27-34.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Neotoma stephensi

Skull of Neotoma stephensi
Click to enlarge. (14kb)