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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

  Lagomorpha · Leporidae · Sylvilagus aquaticus

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Sylvilagus aquaticus

Swamp Rabbit

Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae

Image of Sylvilagus aquaticus
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The Swamp Rabbit is the largest North American cottontail, but has relatively short ears in proportion to its size. It forages for grasses, sedges, some tree seedlings, and other plants in marshy lowlands of the south-central United States. Most cottontails are not territorial, but Swamp Rabbits (and European rabbits) are: males mark their territory by "chinning," using pheromones from a gland on the chin to scent-mark. A home range can encompass up to 20 acres. Litters, usually of three young, are born in nests, and females often adopt orphan young from another nest.

Also known as:


Sexual Dimorphism:



Average: 501 mm
Range: 452-552 mm


Range: 1,646-2,668 g


Bachman, J., 1837.  Observations on the different species of hares (genus Lepus) inhabiting the United States and Canada, p. 319.  Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 7:282-361.


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Distribution of Sylvilagus aquaticus

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