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Xerospermophilus tereticaudus

Round-tailed Ground Squirrel

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Xerospermophilus tereticaudus
Spermophilus tereticaudus - gray-brown (top) and cinnamon (bottom) variants
Click to enlarge. (52 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Round-tailed Ground Squirrels occur primarily in sandy, relatively flat desert, from Death Valley, which is about 70 m below sea level, to elevations of 1,200 m. They dig their burrows in loose soil, often under a shrub. Mesquite and creosotebush are typically the dominant plants in their habitat. They can stay active on very hot days, and in some areas they are active year-round. In other places, they spend most of their time underground from September until January, but they do not hibernate. Predators include birds of prey, coyotes, badgers, and snakes.

Also known as:
Roundtail Ground Squirrel

Sexual Dimorphism:
None

Length:
Range: 202-278 mm

Weight:
Range: 110-170 g

References:

Baird, S.F., 1857 [1858].  Mammals. In Reports of explorations and surveys, to ascertain the most practicable and economical route for a railroad from the Mississippi River to the Pacific Ocean, p. 315.  Vol. 8, Pt. 1. Mammals. Beverly Tucker Printer, Washington, D.C., 8(1):1-757 + 43 plates.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Xerospermophilus tereticaudus

Image of Xerospermophilus tereticaudus
Click to enlarge. (57kb)