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Sigmodon hispidus

Hispid Cotton Rat

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae

Image of Sigmodon hispidus
Sigmodon hispidus - upper right (with S. ochrognathus)
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The Hispid Cotton Rat's fur is sprinkled or streaked with blackish or dark brownish and grayish hairs. The Rats molt, losing and getting a new coat, three times in three months as they move through juvenile and subadult stages and into adulthood. Hispid Cotton Rats inhabit tall, dense grasses that protect them from birds of prey. Their range has recently expanded northward into central Virginia, Kentucky, northern Missouri, southern Nebraska, and northern New Mexico, and westward into western Colorado and the Imperial Valley of California. Where their range and the ranges of Prairie Voles and Pygmy Mice now overlap, the Hispid Cotton Rat appears to be competitively excluding these species.

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Range: 224-365 mm

Range: 110-225 g males; 100-200 g females


Say, T., and G. Ord., 1825.  Description of a new species of Mammalia, whereon a genus is proposed to be founded, p. 354.  Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 4:352-356.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Sigmodon hispidus

Image of Sigmodon hispidus
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Image of Sigmodon hispidus
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Skull of Sigmodon hispidus
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