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Tamias quadrivittatus

Colorado Chipmunk

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Tamias quadrivittatus
Tamias quadrivittatus - the more southern subspecies australis (upper) has gray shoulders while the subspecies quadrivittatus (lower) has more orange shoulders and is found in the remainder of the distribution range
Click to enlarge. (61 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.


Colorado chipmunks are solitary and territorial, and adults avoid each other except during the breeding season. Males emerge from their burrows in the spring ready to mate. Females emerge a week or two later, and are receptive for only a few days. Gestation lasts about a month, and the young first appear aboveground when they are about 25 days old and three-fourths adult size. Sometimes Colorado chipmunks breed again in the summer and have a second litter. They are a great deal like least chipmunks in their activity cycles, reproduction, foraging behavior, and vocalizations, but curiously enough, when a Colorado chipmunk vocalizes it sways its tail from side to side, and when a least chipmunk vocalizes it flicks its tail up and down.

Sexual Dimorphism:
Females are slightly larger than males.

Length:
Average: 225.7 mm
Range: 212-245 mm

Weight:
Average: 61.5 g
Range: 54-80 g

References:

Say, T., 1823.  in Account of an expedition from Pittsburgh to the Rocky Mountains : performed in the years 1819 and ’20, by order of the Hon. J.C. Calhoun, sec’y of war, under the command of Major Stephen H. Long : from the notes of Major Long, Mr. T. Say, and other gentlemen of the exploring party compiled by Edwin James, botanist and geologist for the expedition; in two vols., H.C. Carey and I. Lea, Philadelphia,1822-23. Vol 2, p 45-47.

(Accessible on-line at the Library of Congress - enter page 37)

Links:

Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Tamias quadrivittatus

Image of Tamias quadrivittatus
Click to enlarge. (311kb)