| Pocket gophers are called Topos, Tuzas, or Taltuzas in Spanish, and this one is known locally as Tuza Llanera. It causes enough damage to farmers' fields to also be known as a pest. It feasts on the stems, leaves, and roots of many different plants, but especially seeks out corn, alfalfa, barley, and pumpkin fields as burrow locations. One burrow explored by scientists was 111 meters long, with 22 entrance mounds at the surface. Below ground, there were shallow tunnels used for foraging, and deeper tunnels that led to three nest and three food storage chambers. The pattern was somewhat random: it was apparent that when the pocket gopher came to a major obstacle, it changed direction. All this was home to just one pocket gopher. These mammals come together only to mate, and in captivity, will fight to the death if not kept in separate cages. Captives manipulated food with their front paws, shook it, and rubbed it against their big front teeth to clean off the dirt. After eating, they groomed their head and shoulders with their paws, and used their teeth to clean their chest and tummy.
Cats and dogs actively prey on Naked-nosed Pocket Gophers. Other probable predators include barn owls, hawks, snakes, badgers, coyotes, and weasels. Their burrows provide housing to spiders, centipedes, crickets, beetles, salamanders, snakes, and toads.
Also known as:
Males are larger than females
Total Length: 308-361 mm (males); 271-350 mm (females); Tail: 97-123 mm (males); 80-115 mm (females)
459.3 g (males), 387.2 g (females)
Merriam, C.H., 1895. North American Fauna, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 8:167.
Mammal Species of the World (opens in a new window).