Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Tamias ruficaudus

Red-tailed Chipmunk

Order: Rodentia
Family: Sciuridae

Image of Tamias ruficaudus
Tamias ruficaudus - summer coat (above), winter coat (below)
Click to enlarge. (73 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Red-tailed chipmunks sandbathe to clean their fur, rolling and rubbing, sometimes half-buried in sand. They are rarely seen outside their burrows on cold winter days, but in the spring they are out and about, eating seedlings, leaves, and flowers on the forest floor and also foraging in trees. Young chipmunks leave the nest when they are 30-45 days old. The mother stays nearby and calls to them constantly while they are exploring. Individuals can live as long as 8 years in the wild, although most do not live that long.

Also known as:
Rufous-tailed Chipmunk, Coeur d'Alène Chipmunk

Sexual Dimorphism:
Females are slightly larger than males.

Average: 235 mm
Range: 223-248 mm

Average: 57 g males; 58 g females
Range: 53-59 g males; 54-62 g females


Howell, A.H., 1920.  Description of a new chipmunk from Glacier National Park, Montana, p. 91.  Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 33:91-92.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Tamias ruficaudus