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

Mexican Woodrat

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Image of Neotoma mexicana
Neotoma mexicana - gray (upper) or rufous brown (lower) coat
Click to enlarge. (63 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Mexican Woodrats inhabits rocky outcrops, cliffs, and slopes, primarily in montane regions from northern Colorado to Honduras. They eat a wide variety of leaves, seeds, and berries, and sometimes store large amounts of food. They are medium-sized, grayish-brown woodrats with white underparts, bushy tails, and gray throat hairs. Owls, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, weasels, and rattlesnakes all prey on them. Many Mexican Woodrat populations are separate from each other (disjunct), because patches of suitable habitat are separated from each other by terrain the Woodrat cannot cross. For example, Woodrats living on one mountaintop may remain isolated from Woodrats on another. Fossils of this species that are more than 10,000 years old have been found in Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and Mexico.

Also known as:
Trade Rat, Packrat

Length:
Range: 290-417 mm

Weight:
Range: 151-253 g

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. 333.  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 mexicana

Image of Neotoma mexicana
Click to enlarge. (86kb)