Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
Search the Archive

  Lagomorpha · Leporidae · Sylvilagus floridanus
  Smithsonian Institution
  Copyright Notice
  Privacy Notice
 
Sylvilagus floridanus

Eastern Cottontail

Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae

Image of Sylvilagus floridanus
Click to enlarge. (88 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Eastern Cottontails share habitats with seven other cottontails and six species of hares. They have been transplanted to areas outside their historically widespread range, which included swamps, prairies, woodlands, and forests. They have two ways of escaping danger: a zig-zag dash or a slink, in which they creep along, low to the ground, with their ears back. Eastern Cottontails are among the most prolific lagomorphs. Females can have seven litters a year, producing as many as 35 young. Litters, usually of 36, are born in a fur-lined nest of dried grasses and leaves.

Also known as:
Florida Cottontail

Sexual Dimorphism:
Females are larger than males.

Length:
Average: 430 mm
Range: 395-477 mm

Weight:
Range: 801-1,533 g

References:

Allen, J.A., 1890.  Descriptions of a new species and a new subspecies of the genus LepusBulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 3:159-160.

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Sylvilagus floridanus

Image of Sylvilagus floridanus
Click to enlarge. (99kb)

Image of Sylvilagus floridanus
Click to enlarge. (141kb)

Image of Sylvilagus floridanus
Click to enlarge. (110kb)

Skull of Sylvilagus floridanus
Click to enlarge. (27kb)