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

Townsend's Pocket Gopher

Order: Rodentia
Family: Geomyidae

Image of Thomomys townsendii
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Conservation Status: Least Concern.

Townsend's Pocket Gophers require deep, moist soils of river valleys and ancient lake beds. Other pocket gophers that are found in the same region, in the northern Great Basin, prefer different soil types: Botta's Pocket Gopher is usually found in more desert-like situations and the Northern Pocket Gopher lives at higher elevations. Townsend's and Botta's gophers have very occasionally been found inhabiting the same fields, and hybrid offspring have resulted. Genetic studies revealed that in each case, the female parent was the Botta's Pocket Gopher. Because male Townsend's Pocket Gophers are too large to fit into the burrows of Botta's Pocket Gophers, it seems probable that the female Botta's visits the male Townsend's to mate--leading to the interesting conclusion that the females control who mates with whom.

Sexual Dimorphism:
Males are larger than females.

Average: 278 mm males; 260 mm females
Range: 232-315 mm males; 226-287 mm females

Average: 295 g males; 233 g females
Range: 201-417 g males; 122-308 g females


Bachman, J., 1839.  Journal of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia, 8:105.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Thomomys townsendii