Mammal Species of the World
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- Original description: Hoffmeister, D.F., and L.S. Ellis. Geographic variation in Eutamias quadrivittatus with comments on the taxonomy of other Arizonan chipmunks, p. 656. The Southwestern Naturalist, 24:655-665.
endemic to a single nation
Regularity: Regularly occurring
Type of Residency: Year-round
Global Range: Western Colorado, eastern Utah, and northeastern Arizona. Elevations of about 1290-2700 m.
Length: 23 cm
Size in North America
Average: 211 mm
Range: 197-221 mm
Range: 52-62 g
Comments: Various rocky habitats: woodlands of pinyon-juniper and associated shrubs, rubble slopes, slickrock; may use trees and shrubs for cover; burrows beneath boulders or shrubs (Armstrong 1982). May sometimes use sandy habitats (blackbrush-Indian ricegrass) adjacent to pinyon-juniper or rocky areas. Easily climbs on cliffs and in woody vegetation. Nest sites are associated with piles of broken rock or crevices in solid rock.
Habitat and Ecology
In southeastern Utah mating occurs February-March; gestation lasts 30-33 days; young are born during first half of April, above ground in May; average litter size is 5.2 (Wadsworth 1969). Weaning is completed in 6-7 weeks. Sexually mature in 10-11 months; females give birth to their first litter when about one year old (Burt and Best 1994).
Home range in southeastern Utah was estimated at 0.4-1.3 ha (Wadsworth 1972). Diet includes mainly seeds (of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants), also flowers and insects, and, seasonally, small or large amounts of green vegetation; opportunistic, takes advantage of handouts and human food refuse in campgrounds (Armstrong 1982, Wadsworth 1972, Burt and Best 1994).
Activity peaks in morning and late afternoon (Armstrong 1982), especially in summer when it avoids midday heat. Seldom seen above ground mid-November to mid-February (Armstrong 1982).
Non-Migrant: Yes. At least some populations of this species do not make significant seasonal migrations. Juvenile dispersal is not considered a migration.
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make local extended movements (generally less than 200 km) at particular times of the year (e.g., to breeding or wintering grounds, to hibernation sites).
Locally Migrant: No. No populations of this species make annual migrations of over 200 km.
Comments: Diet includes mainly seeds (of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants), also flowers and insects, and, seasonally, small or large amounts of green vegetation; opportunistic, takes advantage of handouts and human food refuse in campgrounds (Armstrong 1982, Wadsworth 1972, Burt and Best 1994).
Home range in southeastern Utah was estimated at 0.4-1.3 ha (Wadsworth 1972).
Life History and Behavior
Comments: Activity peaks in morning and late afternoon (Armstrong 1982), especially in summer when avoids midday heat. Seldom above ground mid-November to mid-February (Armstrong 1982).
Southeastern Utah: mates February-March; gestation lasts 30-33 days; young are born during first half of April, above ground in May; average litter size is 5.2 (Wadsworth 1969). Lactating females were captured in late May and early June in southeastern Utah (Armstrong 1982) and in mid-June in southwestern Colorado. Weaning is completed in 6-7 weeks. Sexually mature in 10-11 months; females give birth to their first litter when about one year old (see Burt and Best 1994).
National NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure
NatureServe Conservation Status
Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure
IUCN Red List Assessment
Red List Category
Red List Criteria
The Hopi chipmunk (Neotamias rufus) is a small chipmunk found in Colorado, Utah and Arizona in the southwestern United States. It was previously grouped with the Colorado Chipmunk, T. quadrivittatus.
Hopi chipmunks prefer rocky areas with pinion and juniper pines and feed mostly on nuts, seeds and fruits. Food gathered is stored in cheek pouches and taken elsewhere for consumption or storage. They nest in rock piles or crevices. Habitat: This is the common chipmunk of much of the canyon and slickrock piñon-juniper country in western Colorado. Population densities appear to be highest in areas with an abundance of broken rock or rubble at the base of cliff faces or in rock formations with deep fissures and crevices suitable for den sites.
Diet: Seeds of Indian ricegrass and penstemon are eagerly sought as are seeds of junipers, piñon, oak, skunkbrush, and other shrubs.
Description: This species is distinguished by somewhat smaller size and a dorsal pelage that generally lacks significant amounts of black in the stripes, resulting in a more orange red to buff pelage. Measurements are: total length 190–221 mm; length of tail 83–95 mm; length of hindfoot 31–35 mm; length of ear 15–22 mm.
Range in Colorado: The Hopi chipmunk occurs in western Colorado from the Yampa River south. It ranges eastward along the Colorado River to Eagle County and along the Gunnison to the western end of the Black Canyon.
Status: This species is not listed 
Hopi chipmunks are naturally timid, and even individuals born in captivity never become tame. Like Panamint chipmunks, they live in southwestern pinyon-juniper forests and nest in rock crevices or piles of broken rock. They are fast and sure-footed on the sheer rock faces of canyons and buttes. They often climb into shrubs to get seeds, but never eat there: either they take the food to the safety of their den, or perch on a boulder or other lookout where they can eat but at the same time watch for hawks or other predators. Sexual Dimorphism: Females are slightly larger than males.
Length: Average: 211 mm Range: 197–221 mm
Weight: Range: 52-62 g
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Names and Taxonomy
Comments: Formerly included in T. quadrivittatus (as subspecies hopiensis, a nomen dubium); recognized as a distinct species by Patterson (1984), Jones et al. (1992), and Hoffmann et al. (in Wilson and Reeder 1993).
Formerly included in genus Eutamias, which recently was included in the genus Tamias (Levenson et al. 1985; Jones et al. 1992, Hoffmann et al., in Wilson and Reeder 1993). Based on patterns of variation in ectoparasites (Jameson 1999) and molecular phylogenetics (Piaggio and Spicer 2001), the North American mammal checklist by Baker et al. (2003) placed all North American chipmunks (except Tamias striatus) in the genus Neotamias. Thorington and Hoffmann (in Wilson and Reeder 2005) noted that chipmunks could be legitimately allocated to one (Tamias), two (Neotamias, Tamias), or three (Tamias, Neotamias, Eutamias) genera; they chose to adopt the single-genus (Tamias) arrangement.
See Sutton (1992) for a key to the species of Tamias (Neotamias).