Articles on this page are available in 1 other language: Spanish (2) (learn more)

Overview

Brief Summary

Description

California Ground Squirrels prefer open, well-drained habitat, and are common along roadsides, on farms, especially where grain is grown, and in grassy fields. Adult squirrels are active only a few months of the year. Males usually retreat underground in early summer and remain there until the following spring. Females follow as soon as they finish nursing their young, usually in late summer or early fall. The aboveground fall and winter populations are composed almost entirely of young squirrels. Litter size correlates with climate: where average temperatures are warmer, litters are larger. In the warmest part of their range, in southern California, they average 8.4 young, whereas in the cooler parts of central Oregon, an average of 5.5 young is born. Predation pressure and time spent aboveground may influence litter size. The longer warm season in southern California allows the squirrels to spend a greater number of days awake and foraging, which likely increases the risk of being killed by a predator.

Links:
Mammal Species of the World
  • Original description: Richardson, J., 1829.  Fauna boreali-americana; or the zoology of the northern parts of British America: containing descriptions of the objects of natural history collected on the late northern land expeditions, under command of Captain Sir John Franklin. R.N., p. 170.  John Murray, London, 300 pp.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution

Source: Smithsonian's North American Mammals

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Distribution

Spermophilus beecheyi is found throughout most of California, most of Western Oregon and portions of Western Nevada. This species also occurs in portions of southwestern Washington, and Baja California.

Biogeographic Regions: nearctic (Native )

  • MacClintock, D. 1970. Squirrels of North America. New York and Toronto: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company.
  • Whitaker, Jr., J. 1980. National Audubon society field guide to North American mammals. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Range Description

This species occurs in the western United States and adjoining north-western Mexico, from extreme south-central Washington and western Oregon, south-ward throughout most of California, and into north-western Baja California.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

National Distribution

United States

Origin: Native

Regularity: Regularly occurring

Currently: Present

Confidence: Confident

Type of Residency: Year-round

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Global Range: South-central Washington south through California and extreme west-central Nevada to Baja California, Mexico.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Physical Description

Morphology

California ground squirrels have mottled fur, with gray, light and dark brown, and white present in their pelage. They typically have a darker mantle. The shoulders, neck and sides of this species are a lighter gray. The bushy tail is a combination of the colors that appear on the back. The underside is a lighter combination of light brown, gray and white. California ground squirrels have a white ring around each eye.

The body length can range from 330 to 508 mm and tail length from 127-229 mm. These animals range in weight from 280 to 738 g. The ears are > 10 mm and < 25.4 mm. The dental formula is 1/1 : 0/0 : 2/1 : 3/3 = 22.

Range mass: 280 to 738 g.

Range length: 330 to 508 mm.

Other Physical Features: endothermic ; homoiothermic; bilateral symmetry

Sexual Dimorphism: sexes alike

  • Alden, P., F. Heath, R. Keen, A. Leventer, W. Zomlefer. 1998. National Audubon society field guide to California. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
  • Ingles, L. 1947. Mammals of the Pacific States. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press.
  • Linsdale, J. 1946. The California ground squirrel. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California press.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Size

Length: 50 cm

Weight: 738 grams

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Size in North America

Sexual Dimorphism: Males are slightly larger than females.

Length:
Range: 357-500 mm

Weight:
Range: 250-885 g
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Smithsonian Institution

Source: Smithsonian's North American Mammals

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Ecology

Habitat

Spermophilus beecheyi has successfully exploited many habitat types. California ground squirrels are terrestrial, and semifossorial, requiring habitats with some loose soil where they can excavate an appropriate burrow.

You may find them colonizing fields, pastures, grasslands and in open areas such as oak woodlands. The only habitat they do not use is deserts. You may find them down in valleys and up on rocky outcrops in the mountains, to an elevation of 2,200 m. They can be found in urban, suburban and agricultural areas. By and large this species is widely distributed within its range.

Range elevation: 0 to 2200 m.

Habitat Regions: temperate ; terrestrial

Terrestrial Biomes: chaparral ; mountains

Other Habitat Features: urban ; suburban ; agricultural

  • Evans, F., R. Holdenried. 1943. A population study of the Beechey ground squirrel in Central California. Journal of Mammalogy, 24(2): 231-260.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is found in successional habitats, roadsides, farmlands, chaparral, desert, and open grassy areas.

Systems
  • Terrestrial
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Comments: Found in a wide variety of habitats. Usually in open areas in many plant communities in all life zones up to the Hudsonian. Sleeps and rears young in underground burrow. Digs deep burrow usually under protective object (log, rock, building, bush) if available, or in open.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Migration

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.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Trophic Strategy

California ground squirrels use cheek pouches while they are foraging to collect more food than would otherwise be possible in one sitting. They are also known to cache or store food. They exploit a variety of food sources, which probably contributes to their success as a species.

The diet of these animals, as their genus name would suggest, is primarily seed-based. California ground squirrels consume seeds, barley, oats, and acorns (Quercus): valley oak, blue oak, coast oak). They also eat fruits, like gooseberries and pears, and quail (Callipepla) eggs. They include insects in their diets when they are available, and have been known to eat grasshoppers, crickets, beetles and caterpillars. They also eat roots, bulbs, and fungi, such as mushrooms.

Animal Foods: eggs; insects

Plant Foods: roots and tubers; seeds, grains, and nuts; fruit

Foraging Behavior: stores or caches food

Primary Diet: herbivore (Granivore ); omnivore

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Comments: Omnivorous. During spring and summer, feeds primarily on green vegetation: leaves, flowers, bulbs, roots, etc. In late summer and fall, may eat more seeds, berries, and nuts. Also eats insects and occasional small vertebrates, including young conspecifics (done mainly by breeding adult females).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Associations

Due to their diet, California ground squirrels could play a role in regulating some insect populations. They may aid in seed dispersal when a cache is forgotten. they help to aerate the soil through their excavation of burrows, and create habitat for many other animals, such as other rodents and snakes, which occupy empty burrows.

Ecosystem Impact: disperses seeds; creates habitat; soil aeration

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

These ground squirrels are highly vulnerable to predation due to their diurnal habits, open habitat, and the concentrations of conspecifics found in any particular colony. They are known to be preyed upon by red-tailed hawks, golden eagles, coyotes, foxes, badgers, weasels, house cats, dogs, and wild cats such as bobcats and pumas. In addition, large snakes may prey upon them.

Spermophilus beecheyi individuals probably avoid predation mainly through the use of burrow systems and vigilance. They are also cryptically colored. Also, they have skin glands on their back, just posterior to the shoulders, which secrete an odorous oil which could deter predators.

Known Predators:

Anti-predator Adaptations: cryptic

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Known predators

Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Known prey organisms

Spermophilus beecheyi preys on:
Insecta

This list may not be complete but is based on published studies.
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© SPIRE project

Source: SPIRE

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

General Ecology

Usually in loose colonies. About 1/3 to 3/4 of a population consists of yearlings (see Boellstorff and Owings 1995). May carry fleas that transmit sylvatic plague. Predators include dogs, coyotes, and large hawks. Home range usually is less than 50 m across (Burt and Grossenheider 1964). In west-central California, mean home range size was 300-400 sq m in males, 600-900 sq m in females; home ranges overlapped (Boellstorff and Owings 1995).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life History and Behavior

Behavior

California ground squirrels use a variety of sounds, tail signals and scent production as means of communication. For example, glandular folds anterior to the tail region are used for individual identification. When finding a mate or mates, females may approach or males may approach, but scent cues are important in identifying reproductive condition.

Communication Channels: visual ; acoustic ; chemical

Perception Channels: visual ; tactile ; acoustic ; chemical

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Cyclicity

Comments: May hibernate in some areas; winter inactivity is more pronounced at higher latitudes and elevations (Dobson and Davis 1986). Active throughout the day during warmer months and in good weather.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Life Expectancy

The lifespan of a California ground squirrel can be up to 6 years in the wild. They have lived as long as 10 years in captivity.

Range lifespan

Status: wild:
6 (high) years.

Range lifespan

Status: captivity:
10 (high) years.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Reproduction

Females of this species are considered promiscuous. They will often mate with more than one male, either through force or selectivity, and therefore the offspring of a single litter may have multiple paternity. Males may also mate with several females.

Mating System: polygynandrous (promiscuous)

The mating season of S. beecheyi occurs in early spring, typically for a few weeks only. As with most ground-dwelling squirrels, breeding occurs just after the animals emerge from their winter burrows. This is highly dependent on the area and climate the squirrel inhabits, since the timing of hibernation varies geographically, with elevation, and with other ecological factors.

Males possess abdominal testes which drop into a temporary scrotum during the breeding season only.

Females produce one litter per year after of a gestation period of roughly one month. Litters range in size from five to eleven young. The sex ratio of young are about 1:1.

Young S. beecheyi may open their eyes at around 5 weeks of age. They first leave burrows at 5 to 8 weeks of age, and are wenaed between 6 and 8 weeks. The coloring of the young is somewhat lighter than that of adults. Molting for young begins a few weeks after they emerge from their burrows. Young may begin to burrow at 8 weeks of age. They reach sexual maturity no sooner than 1 year old. In the first year of life, some ground squirrels remain above ground and do not hibernate.

Breeding season: Breeding begins shortly after emergence from hibernation. Timing of the breeding seasons varies, depending upon when the animals end their hibernation.

Range number of offspring: 5 to 11.

Average gestation period: 1 months.

Range weaning age: 6 to 8 weeks.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female): 1 (low) years.

Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male): 1 (low) years.

Key Reproductive Features: iteroparous ; seasonal breeding ; gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate); sexual ; viviparous

The only active parenting is provided by the mother. Females give birth to their pups in a burrow, and will move young into new burrows frequently to avoid predation. Young are helpless at birth, and their eyes do not open until they are about 5 weeks old. Shortly after their eyes open, the young pups leave the burrow and begin to explore their surroundings.

Parental Investment: altricial ; pre-fertilization (Provisioning, Protecting: Female); pre-hatching/birth (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female); pre-weaning/fledging (Provisioning: Female, Protecting: Female)

  • Alden, P., F. Heath, R. Keen, A. Leventer, W. Zomlefer. 1998. National Audubon society field guide to California. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
  • Boellstorff, D., D. Owings, M. Penedo, M. Hersek. 1994. Reproductive behaviour and multiple paternity of California ground squirrels. Animal Behaviour, 47(5): 1057-1064.
  • Evans, F., R. Holdenried. 1943. A population study of the Beechey ground squirrel in Central California. Journal of Mammalogy, 24(2): 231-260.
  • Whitaker, Jr., J. 1980. National Audubon society field guide to North American mammals. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.
  • Cato, F. 2003. "San Diego Natural history Museum Field Guide: Spermophilus beecheyi " (On-line). Accessed June 17, 2003 at http://www.sdnhm.org/fieldguide/mammals/sper-bee.html.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Breeding occurs soon after hibernation. Gestation lasts 25-30 days. Litter size averages about 6-7. In the lowlands, females usually produce one litter per year. The young are born hairless and their eyes are closed; they remain underground for about 8 weeks. In central Calfornia, young began to emerge from burrows in late April or early May (Boellstorff and Owings 1995).

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Spermophilus beecheyi

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 6
Species With Barcodes: 1
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 (CC BY 3.0)

© Barcode of Life Data Systems

Source: Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD)

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Conservation

Conservation Status

There are no special conservation practices currently for S. beecheyi. Some control of their numbers has been attempted, costing several hundred thousand dollars. These are generally targeted responses to crop damage or disease outbreaks.

US Federal List: no special status

CITES: no special status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: least concern

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2008

Assessor/s
Linzey, A.V., Timm, R., Álvarez-Castañeda, S.T., Castro-Arellano, I. & Lacher, T.

Reviewer/s
McKnight, M. (Global Mammal Assessment Team), Amori, G., Koprowski, J. & Roth, L. (Small Nonvolant Mammal Red List Authority)

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is listed as Least Concern in view of its wide distribution, presumed large population, tolerance of a broad range of habitats, and because it does not appear to be under threat and is unlikely to be declining at nearly the rate required to qualify for listing in a threatened category.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

National NatureServe Conservation Status

United States

Rounded National Status Rank: N5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

NatureServe Conservation Status

Rounded Global Status Rank: G5 - Secure

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Population

Population
In California and northern Baja California, this species is widespread and locally abundant in most habitats where found, including agricultural areas. In the central desert of Baja California and California it is rare.

Population Trend
Stable
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Threats

Major Threats
No major threats.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no known conservation measures specific to this species. However, there are several protected areas within its range.
Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources

Source: IUCN

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Management Requirements: Control measures may be short-lived; recolonizes former colonies rapidly (within a few months) if adjacent colony is present.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

This species may threaten agricultural crops, such as grain fields and orchards, through their foraging activities. They are potential carriers of diseases, such as tularemia, bubonic plague, and sylvatic plague. The two latter diseases are from fleas the squirrels carry.

Negative Impacts: injures humans (carries human disease); crop pest; causes or carries domestic animal disease

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)

© The Regents of the University of Michigan and its licensors

Source: Animal Diversity Web

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Economic Uses

Comments: May be locally destructive to nut, fruit, and cereal crops.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Wikipedia

California ground squirrel

The California ground squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi), is a common and easily observed ground squirrel of the western United States and the Baja California peninsula; it is common in Oregon and California and its range has relatively recently extended into Washington and northwestern Nevada. Formerly placed in Spermophilus, as Spermophilus beecheyi, it was reclassified in Otospermophilus in 2009 as it became clear that Spermophilus as previously defined was not a natural (monophyletic) group.[2]

Description[edit]

California ground squirrel at Point Lobos

The squirrel's upper parts are mottled, the fur containing a mixture of gray, light brown and dusky hairs; the underside is lighter, buff or grayish yellow. The fur around the eyes is whitish, while that around the ears is black. Head and body are about 30 cm (12 in) long and the tail an additional 15 cm (5.9 in). The tail is relatively bushy for a ground squirrel, and at a quick glance the squirrel might be mistaken for a fox squirrel.[3]

As is typical for ground squirrels, California ground squirrels live in burrows which they excavate themselves. Some burrows are occupied communally but each individual squirrel has its own entrance. Although they readily become tame in areas used by humans, and quickly learn to take food left or offered by picnickers, they spend most of their time within 25 m (82 ft) of their burrow, and rarely go further than 50 m (160 ft) from it.[3]

In the colder parts of their range, California ground squirrels hibernate for several months, but in areas where winters have no snow, most squirrels are active year round. In those parts where the summers are hot they may also estivate for periods of a few days.[4]

California ground squirrels are often regarded as a pest in gardens and parks, since they will feed off ornamental plants and trees. They commonly feed on seeds, such as oats, but also eat insects such as crickets and grasshoppers as well as various fruits.[5]

Predators[edit]

California ground squirrels are frequently preyed on by rattlesnakes. They are also preyed on by eagles, raccoons, foxes, badgers, and weasels. Interdisciplinary research at the University of California, Davis, since the 1970s has shown that the squirrels use a variety of techniques to reduce rattlesnake predation. Some populations of California ground squirrels have varying levels of immunity to rattlesnake venom as adults. Female squirrels with pups also chew on the skins shed by rattlesnakes and then lick themselves and their pups (who are never immune to venom before one month of age) to disguise their scent.[6] Sand-kicking and other forms of harassment provoke the snake to rattle its tail, which allows a squirrel to assess the size and activity level (dependent on blood temperature) of the snake.[7]

Another strategy is for a squirrel to super-heat and swish around its tail.[8] When hunting, rattlesnakes primarily rely on their pit organ, which detects infra-red radiation. The hot-tail-swishing appears to convey the message "I am not a threat, but I am too big and swift-moving for it to be worth trying to hunt me." These two confrontational techniques also distract the snake from any nearby squirrel burrows containing pups.

Name[edit]

John Richardson, who originally described the species, named Otospermophilus beecheyi after Frederick William Beechey, an early 19th-century British explorer and naval officer.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Linzey, A. V., Timm, R., Álvarez-Castañeda, S. T., Castro-Arellano, I. & Lacher, T. (2008). Spermophilus beecheyi. In: IUCN 2008. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
  2. ^ Helgen, Kristofer M.; Cole, F. Russel; Helgen, Lauren E.; and Wilson, Don E (2009). "Generic revision in the Holarctic ground squirrel genus Spermophilus". Journal of Mammalogy 90 (2): 270–305. doi:10.1644/07-MAMM-A-309.1. Archived from the original on 22 October 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Animal Diversity Web
  4. ^ Linsdale, J. 1946. The California ground squirrel. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California press.
  5. ^ "California Ground Squirrel". www.naturemappingfoundation.org. NatureMapping. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  6. ^ Squirrels Use Old Snake Skins To Mask Their Scent From Predators
  7. ^ California squirrels yank rattlesnakes' tails
  8. ^ "Squirrel Has Hot Tail to Tell Snakes". Scientific American. Retrieved 2007-09-29. 
  9. ^ Fauna Boreali-Americana or the Zoology or the Northern Parts of British American, page 170. Retrieved 2009-01-11. 
Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Source: Wikipedia

Unreviewed

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Names and Taxonomy

Taxonomy

Comments: Recent molecular phylogenetic studies suggest that the traditionally recognized genera Marmota (marmots), Cynomys (prairie dogs), and Ammospermophilus (antelope ground squirrels) render Spermophilus paraphyletic, potentially suggesting that multiple generic-level lineages should be credited within Spermophilus (Helgen et al. 2009). As a result, ground squirrels formerly allocated to the genus Spermophilus (sensu Thorington and Hoffman, in Wilson and Reeder 2005) are now classified in 8 genera (Notocitellus, Otospermophilus, Callospermophilus, Ictidomys, Poliocitellus, Xerospermophilus, and Urocitellus). Spermophilus sensu stricto is restricted to Eurasia.

Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 (CC BY-NC 3.0)

© NatureServe

Source: NatureServe

Trusted

Article rating from 0 people

Default rating: 2.5 of 5

Disclaimer

EOL content is automatically assembled from many different content providers. As a result, from time to time you may find pages on EOL that are confusing.

To request an improvement, please leave a comment on the page. Thank you!