Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Chaetodipus fallax

San Diego Pocket Mouse

Order: Rodentia
Family: Heteromyidae

Image of Chaetodipus fallax
Chaetodipus californicus (California pocket mouse) is on the left, and Chaetodipus fallax (San Diego pocket mouse) is on the right
Click to enlarge. (82 kb)

Conservation Status: Least Concern.

The San Diego Pocket Mouse occurs in desert and coastal habitats in southern California, Mexico, and northern Baja California, from sea level to at least 1,400 m. Yellowish or orange hair on its sides contrasts with a dark brown back, and its ears are relatively small. It excavates rather elaborate burrow systems, with one or two chambers for sleeping, and the rest for storing seeds. Owls, snakes, and some other mammals prey on San Diego Pocket Mice when they leave their burrows at night to forage. They have been known to live 5-6 years in captivity, but their life span in the wild is much shorter.

Sexual Dimorphism:

Range: 176-200 mm

Range: 17-22 g


Merriam, C.H., 1889.  Preliminary revision of the North American pocket mice (genera Perognathus et Cricetodipus auct.) with descriptions of new species and subspecies and a key to the known forms, p. 19.  North American Fauna, 1:1-36.


Mammal Species of the World

Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account

Distribution of Chaetodipus fallax

Image of Chaetodipus fallax
Click to enlarge. (35kb)