Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Neotoma micropus

Southern Plains Woodrat

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Image of Neotoma micropus
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Southern Plains Woodrats are found in places where grasses, creosotebush, mesquite, and cactus grow. Local populations can reach high levels and then crash. Crashes can be associated with changes in habitat—for example, an unusually rainy year may kill cactus the Woodrats rely on for food. Like many rodents, these woodrats are active between dusk and midnight. When disturbed, individuals thump or drum their hindfeet, possibly to communicate territorial ownership. They live in association with many other mammals, including armadillos, cotton rats, kangaroo rats, grasshopper mice, jackrabbits, and cottontails.

Also known as:
Hoary Woodrat, Baird Woodrat, Black Woodrat, Plains Woodrat, Gray Woodrat, Rata de Campo

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Length:
Average: 370 mm males; 356 mm females
Range: 334-411 mm males; 310-382 mm females

Weight:
Range: 210-317 g males; 180-274 g females

References:

Baird, S.F., 1855.  Characteristics of some new species of Mammalia, collecred by the U.S. and Mexican Boundary Survey, Major W.H. Emory, U.S.A. Commissioner, p. 133.  Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 7:331-333.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Neotoma micropus

Image of Neotoma micropus
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