Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Thomomys bottae

Botta's Pocket Gopher

Order: Rodentia
Family: Geomyidae

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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Pocket gophers dig with their front claws and with their teeth. A pocket gopher can close its mouth behind its front teeth, so it can dig without getting a mouthful of dirt. Its "pockets" are fur-lined, external cheek pouches, one on each side of its mouth, which it uses to transport food. Botta's Pocket Gopher has an extremely broad geographic range, and individuals vary widely in appearance: they can be nearly white, gray, brown, or blackish-brown. They vary in size, too. Males are larger than females. Males grow throughout their lives, whereas females stop growing after their first pregnancy, so older males can be much larger than females. Pocket gophers live in small, local populations, spending almost their entire lives underground in their network of burrows.

Also known as:
Valley Pocket Gopher

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Range: 170-280 mm males; 150-240 mm females

Range: 110-250 g males; 80-160 g females


Eydoux and Gervais, 1836.  in Magasin de Zoologie, Paris, 6:23.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Thomomys bottae

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