Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Xerospermophilus spilosoma

Spotted Ground Squirrel

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Xerospermophilus spilosoma
Spermophilus spilomosa - center (with S. mexicanus (upper right)  and S. washingtoni (lower left))
Click to enlarge. (57 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Spotted Ground Squirrels are among the smallest ground squirrels in North America. They inhabit arid and semi-arid regions of Mexico and the Southwest, and are found in scrubland and grassland as far north as Wyoming and Nebraska. They feed primarily on green grasses, forbs, and seeds, but also eat insect larvae, insects, and even small vertebrates such as lizards and kangaroo rats. Their principal predators include snakes and hawks. In the northern part of their range, they hibernate for long periods. It is not known whether this also occurs in the most southern reaches of the range.

Also known as:
Gopher

Length:
Range: 185-253 mm

Weight:
Range: 100-200 g

References:

Bennett, E.T., 1833.  Characters of new species of mammalia from California.  Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, pp. 39-42.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Xerospermophilus spilosoma

Image of Xerospermophilus spilosoma
Click to enlarge. (73kb)