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Microtus californicus

California Vole

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Image of Microtus californicus
Microtus californicus - foot has six distinctive plantar tubercles
Click to enlarge. (49 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The California Vole occurs throughout much of California and southwestern Oregon, with disjunct subspecies in the Mojave Desert, the White Mountain/Panamint ranges, and northern Baja California. California Voles construct surface runways and extensive underground burrows, and are active throughout the year, chiefly at dawn and dusk. Fresh vegetation clippings and fecal pellets are indicators of the Voles' presence. The size of individuals varies considerably over the range of the species, with males about 6 percent longer and 11 percent heavier than females. Local abundance is also highly variable.

Also known as:
California Meadow Mouse

Average: 172 mm
Range: 139-207 mm

Average: 52 g males; 47 g females
Range: 33-81 g males; 30-68 g females


Peale, T.R., 1848.  U.S. exploring expeditions 1838, 1839, 1840, 1841, 1842 under the command of Charles Wilkes, U.S.N., Mammalogy and Ornithology, p. 44. Asherman and Co., Philadelphia, 8:1-338.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Microtus californicus

Image of Microtus californicus
Click to enlarge. (119kb)