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Xerospermophilus spilosoma (Spermophilus spilosoma)

Spotted Ground Squirrel

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Xerospermophilus spilosoma (Spermophilus spilosoma)
Xerospermophilus spilomosa - center (with Ictidomys mexicanus (upper right)  and Urocitellus washingtoni (lower left))
Click to enlarge. (57 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Spotted Ground Squirrels are among the smallest ground squirrels in North America. They inhabit arid and semi-arid regions of Mexico and the Southwest, and are found in scrubland and grassland as far north as Wyoming and Nebraska. They feed primarily on green grasses, forbs, and seeds, but also eat insect larvae, insects, and even small vertebrates such as lizards and kangaroo rats. Their principal predators include snakes and hawks. In the northern part of their range, they hibernate for long periods. It is not known whether this also occurs in the most southern reaches of the range.

Also known as:

Range: 185-253 mm

Range: 100-200 g


Bennett, E.T., 1833.  Characters of new species of mammalia from California.  Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, pp. 39-42.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Xerospermophilus spilosoma (Spermophilus spilosoma)

Image of Xerospermophilus spilosoma (Spermophilus spilosoma)
Click to enlarge. (73kb)