| The tawny-bellied cotton rat is the largest of the Sigmodon species, and dominates other cotton rats where more than one species occurs. Its back fur has a speckled, "salt and pepper" look, and its underparts are buff-colored, giving it two common names: tawny-bellied and yellow-bellied. The tail is dark and has just enough hair to hide the scales. Like other cotton rats, and voles, the tawny-bellied cotton rat constructs grass-lined paths. Litters of 4 or 6 young are born in nests built from woven grasses. They leave the nest to run around when they are about a week old, and are sexually mature and ready to breed when they are about six weeks old.
Also known as:
Yellow-bellied Cotton Rat
Allen, J.A., 1889. Notes on a collection of mammals from southern Mexico, with descriptions of new species of the genera Sciurus, Tamias, and Sigmodon, p. 180. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, 2:165-181.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).
Mammalian Species, American Society of Mammalogists' species account (opens in a new window).