Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, North American Mammals
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Xenomys nelsoni

Magdalena Woodrat

Order: Rodentia
Family: Cricetidae


Conservation Status: Endangered.

Magdalena Woodrats build round nests of fruit fibers and grass in tree hollows. They use other tree hollows or forks of branches as latrines. Vines are their runways from tree to tree in the dense coastal forests where they live. These tropical forests on the Pacific coast are among the most threatened habitats in Mexico, and Magdalena Woodrats are known from only three locations. Fortunately, one of these, in Jalisco, is protected.

Magdalena Woodrats eat green plant matter. They are nocturnal and most active from about an hour after sunset until midnight. They are reproductively active late in the dry season and in the rainy season (May-November). Newborn mice are blind, hairless, and pink. As adults, these mice have cinnamon brown to light yellow-brown fur on their backs and a white spot over each eye and behind each ear. Their ears are almost naked; their tails are scaly, but covered with short hairs.

Range: Head and Body: 157-165 mm; Tail: 143-170 mm


Merriam, C.H., 1892. Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, 7:161.


Mammal Species of the World

Distribution of Xenomys nelsoni