Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals

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  Lagomorpha · Leporidae · Sylvilagus palustris

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Sylvilagus palustris

Marsh Rabbit

Order: Lagomorpha
Family: Leporidae

Image of Sylvilagus palustris
Click to enlarge. (71 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Marsh Rabbits live only in marshy areas, and like Swamp Rabbits, are good swimmers. They are often found in habitats with pools of brackish water and plants such as cattails, water hyacinth, rush, centella, and marsh pennywort. They feed on all of these plants, and build nests of soft grass and fur in sedges at the edge of the water. Marsh Rabbits have relatively small litters of 2 or 3 after a gestation of about 30-37 days.

Sexual Dimorphism:

Average: 433 mm
Range: 425-440 mm

Range: 1,200-2,200 g


Bachman, J., 1837.  Description of a new species of hare found in South Carolina.  Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 7:194-199.


Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account *
* PDF reader available here (opens in a new window).

Distribution of Sylvilagus palustris

Image of Sylvilagus palustris
Click to enlarge. (471kb)